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Bomani Oseni McClendon

Return of Spontaneous Circulation


An electrocardiogram graphs electrical activity in the heart against time. A long sequence of spikes on an electrocardiogram strip is the canonical representation of the activity within the heart of a living person.

I am alive, and there is activity happening inside of my heart. An electrocardiogram would tell me that the activity within my heart looks like a consistent pulse of electrical activity about once every second. Though I'd like to imagine that the activity within my heart has a different shape — more disorganized, chaotic, complex, and curved at times.

I made this tool called "Return of Spontaneous Circulation" to help myself find the shape that describes the activity within my heart, and what frequencies and waveforms compose it. This iteration visualizes a parametric graphing of two oscillators (either sine, sawtooth, square, or triangle) producing sound at different frequencies. Some of the outputs remind me of sigils (like Vodun veves). I'm still looking for the right parameters.

Non-chronologically: I came to understand Lissajous curves in a class by Daniel Shiffman. I first experimented with inserting different types of oscillators into Lissajous-like graphic techniques after learning about consonance and dissonance in a class by Luisa Pereira. I made this on March 1, 2021 using Tone.js, p5.js, and React.


Bomani Oseni McClendon is an engineer, educator, and (occasional) health worker living in Brooklyn, NY.

Through his creative practice, Bomani studies the ways that Black health outcomes are influenced by a history of scientific racism and — through his work as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and COVID-19 vaccinator — examines his own proximity to techno-solutionist monocultures and the medical industry as a starting point. He creates projection installations, software works, or custom electronics that use rythym, sound, diffusion, or light to invoke thoughtful observation. By exploring the shortcomings of scientific practice, Bomani hopes to highlight the validity of other ways of knowing.

Projects that Bomani has worked on have been displayed at Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, Meet D3 Festival in Dubai Design District, Art Basel Hong Kong, Cincinnati Art Museum, Oakland Museum, Pioneer Works Art Foundation, Westbeth Gallery, and Lightbox and have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, Creative Applications, and more. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northwestern University.