“You’re a pathogen – a micron across – and you’re about to attack the body. You’re inside a bright, swirling, bubbling, fluid filled blister. Together with other mutated microbes you swim and ooze, searching for a place to replicate your infectious forces. In the distance appear the body’s immune cells. They are coming to destroy you – squeezing through blood vessel walls. Some cells roll past you tagging your surface with anti-bodies – you have been signalled for destruction. Soon other cells move in – their arms outstretched, surrounding and devouring you. They carry your broken membranes back into the bloodstream to be dispatched. You become aware that a nearby machine, a Cytometer – has been building up an image, cell by cell, capturing the complex dynamics of the inflammatory process – recording another battle in the epic struggle between infection and immunity. The body has survived another trauma. The blister heals…this time.”
This blog documents the making of a short animation film by art group Genetic Moo in collaboration with scientist Dr Neil Dufton. The film is an Animate Projects commission and is funded by the Wellcome Trust. It is part of a larger project called Silent Signal which sees six sets of art/science collaborations which explore the way in which the body uses soundless internal dialogues between cells to fight disease. Our film is set inside a blister.
We specialise in making interactive art and so we are writing programs to allow people to interact with a series of bacteria, neutrophils, macrophages, histomines and other cellular and chemical elements of the inflammation process. We will be filming people interacting and then collage all the elements into a short art-science film. The project will run throughout 2014-2015 and then the six films will be toured around the UK in a series of exhibitions and screenings.
Genetic Moo, 2014