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Lifeblood: On The Geometry Of The Heart, Biomorphism And A Sentient Earth


In your heart is a space no bigger than an atom, God has placed the 18,000 universes
–Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

In wave-duality theory, it has been discovered that matter can act as both a wave and a particle depending on whether or not it is being observed during the unfolding of the double-slit experiment. Similar light is shed in Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, as an unobserved small object, such as an electron, exists only in a blurry, unpredictable state with no well-defined location or motion until the moment it is observed. In both instances we have the effect of the seen and unseen. Until this very moment, we’ve yet to probe much of what’s in our direct existence and many dimensions remain unrecognizable to us.

Between an idea and that idea brought into existence there is often an original archetype, a sort of scaffolding with underlying geometry that is largely invisible to us. This is the foundation of Frank Chester’s work, a San Francisco-based artist, sculptor and geometrician. Drawing inspiration from a 7-sided column at the Goethenaeum in Dornach, Switzerland, he sought to create a 7-sided 3D form, which had never been attempted before.


First beginning with sticks and mud, his ideas evolved through trial and error until a heptahedron was formed. This structure, which he named the Chestahedron, consists of 4 equilateral triangles and 3 quadrilaterals and is the geometric archetype of the heart. When placed in a vortex generator at an upright angle, it is capable of eliminating the vortex and therefore acting as a formative force; however, when angled at 36°, it produces two spirals similar to DNA strands. One section gets pushed off to the side, and when the negative space it creates is filled with epoxy, it resembles a cross-section of the left and right ventricles of the human heart. Interestingly enough, it is said that the heart sits in the chest at 45°. This would be the case in 2D (square surfaces); however in 3D, placed within a cube, the heart sits at 36° (√3). The outer muscles of the heart twist at 15°, while the inside left ventrical twists 40°, analogous to the characteristic wringing action described in cardiology.

The heart moving in this specific way, within a specific range can be defined by its space in a cube. The Chestahedron has also lead to breakthroughs in understanding the complex layering of the heart muscle fibers, as it is capable of generating vortices and vortices have cone-like shapes. The winding, spiraling action of the two cones found in the Chestahedron represent the shifting myocardial layering design in the heart. This design is complementary to the spiraling motion of vortices within the bloodstream, which move clockwise and counter-clockwise. When two vortices are spinning in opposite directions, they need to be turned in the same direction so they don’t clash, the heart does this through its intricate geometry. In this way, the heart acts as a brake to augment the momenta of the bloodstream and balance its forces.


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