Research and Investigation: Heart Music | Ars Nova Workshop
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Mondays with Milford

Research and Investigation: Heart Music

October 26–November 8, 2020

A collection of films chronicling Milford Graves’s study of cardiology. Using a device known as an electronic stethoscope, Graves was able to hear and record the different patterns produced by each heartbeat. Through LabVIEW software, he translated these vibrations into audible frequencies that he called heart music. His research inspired several medical studies, including a collaboration with researcher Carlo Ventura which showed that exposure to heart music caused unassigned stem cells to develop into myocardial cells.

Cover: Milford Graves. in the laboratory. Image courtesy of the artist.
October 26–November 8, 2020


  • Screening

Program Info

All Ages

Sponsored by

Major support for Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Joseph Robert Foundation.



Presented by

Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal, organized and presented by Ars Nova Workshop and Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (ICA).

Research and Investigation: Heart Music
Screening Program

  • Bata Wormhole (2020)
    16mm film transferred to digital
    Runtime: 6:23 min
  • Cell Melodies (2020)
    Produced by Stefano Croci
    Digital video
    Runtime: 40:41 min
September 28, 2020 – January 24, 2021

Mondays with Milford

  • Screening
  • Series

Mondays with Milford

Bi-weekly screenings of rare digital footage from Milford Graves’s archives, along with additional video selections and dialogues that contextualize Graves’s practice.