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28 June 2024

Careful Whisper: a new installation exploring the intersection of art, heart and feminist science

The project, displayed at Science Gallery London, draws on Professor Anne Pollock’s 2015 article ‘Heart feminism’.

A person wearing headphones looking at a display with text on

A new installation at the Science Gallery London brings feminist Science and Techology Studies (STS) in conversation with cardiovascular science to explore new ways of doing science. The installation is the result of a collaboration between Professor Anne Pollock, Head of the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, Professor Susan Brain in the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, and Professor Nina Wakeford, artist and sociologist at Goldsmiths University of London.

The sound installation titled ‘Careful Whisper’ will share sonic experiments from cardiology labs with the public. Visitors will be able to consider how the heart is characterised in medical science and how a feminist lens might reshape our understanding of it.

The project draws on a 2015 article titled ‘Heart feminism’ by Professor Pollock published in the journal ‘Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience’. In the article, she argued that “thinking with the heart has value for feminist theory.”

Professor Pollock explained in an interview to Science Gallery London: “Feminists stress the need to understand ourselves as embodied humans navigating the world. A numbers-driven analysis isn’t always the answer to figuring out the best way forward. We need to think about humans (and animals) in space, in relation, in community. Historically many voices and experiences have been systematically ignored or silenced by medicine. Turning away from the brain and towards the heart might refocus our attention on particular kinds of inequality and marginalisation.”

As part of the exhibition, Professor Pollock and Professor Wakeford will be in conversation with Professor Brain on 8 July from 13:00-13:45 BST about the generative potential of thinking across the domains of art, feminist theory and cardiovascular science. Book your place.

On the afternoon of 12 July, the collaborators will be in conversation with Dr Nassim Parvin from the University of Washington about the past, present, and future of inquiry into “heart feminism.” Book your place.

The chance to be part of this interdisciplinary collaboration has been an extraordinary one for me as a scholar of feminist science and technology studies. The work has sparked new life into a line of inquiry that I have been thinking about for years: how thinking with the heart be a resource for feminist theory? It’s fascinating to have the chance to engage across science, art, and feminist science and technology studies in this beautiful public space.

Anne Pollock, Professor of Global Health & Social Medicine

Undergraduate interns Aysha Leach (Goldsmiths) and Maithili Pittea (IoPPN, King’s) also collaborated on the project.

The exhibition will be on display from 18 June to 3 August at the Science Gallery London, Guy’s campus. Entry is free.

In this story

Anne Pollock

Head, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine

Susan  Brain

Professor of Pharmacology