Heartbleed is an immersive installation by Kristina Libby that honors the lives lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each fallen rose petal in the film represents one American we have lost and every two seconds represents the passage of one day since January 2020. A contemporary memento mori, the softly falling petals become a storm of red as we recall our collective trauma of the past 18 months.
Growing from Libby’s “The Floral Heart Project,” with impromptu heart-shaped floral garlands appearing in cities around the United States as ephemeral living public memorials, the film explores how we process loss, understand global trauma on a local scale and translate statistics into an emotional experience. The piece is fraught with intertwining emotions as we see the grace and poetry of the image, but can also comprehend that the crescendo of petals equates to an exponential number of deaths and lives touched by loss.
Heartbleed is an offering to our communities. It asks whether art can help us cope with grief, trauma, anxiety and isolation and whether a memorial can provide and promote healing. Perhaps by connecting and feeling connected, we may decrease the burden of carrying the weight of our emotions alone -- as we turn collective grief into collective healing.
The public art piece has been recognized in the New York Times, featured at SPRING/BREAK and shown in the Arizona Historical Society Museum.
1 copy out of the collection of 5 will be on sale starting March 1st, as an NFT. Additionally, 12 smaller works derived from the original piece will go on sale on March 1st. Proceeds will benefit efforts to create a COVID-19 Memorial Day.