Art of the Cell

Beneath our everyday world there is a miniature universe of cells, trillions of tiny worlds, unseen and beautiful. Here is our latest 3D medical demo reel, including clips from many of the projects we’ve worked on, such as “Biology:How Life Works”, and “The Inner Life of the Cell”. We hope that you enjoy this two and a half minute tour of the Art of the Cell.


Art de la cellule

Sous notre monde quotidien, il y a un univers miniature de cellules, des trillions de mondes minuscules, invisibles et beaux. Voici notre dernière démo médicale en 3D, comprenant des extraits de nombreux projets sur lesquels nous avons travaillé, tels que «Biologie: comment fonctionne la vie» et «La vie intérieure de la cellule». Nous espérons que vous apprécierez cette visite de deux minutes et demie de l’Art de la cellule.


Morphogenetic Creations
Created by a mathematician, digital artist and Emmy award winning supervisor of computer generated effects – Andy Lomas, Morphogenetic Creations is a collection of works that explore the nature of complex forms that can be produced by digital simulation of growth systems. These pieces start with a simple initial form which is incrementally developed over time by adding iterative layers of complexity to the structure.The aim is to create structures emergently: exploring generic similarities between many different forms in nature rather than recreating any particular organism. In the process he is exploring universal archetypal forms that can come from growth processes rather than top-down externally engineered design.Programmed using C++ with CUDA, the series use a system of growth by deposition: small particles of matter are repeatedly deposited onto a growing structure to build incrementally over time. Rules are used to determine how new particles are created, and how they move before being deposited. Small changes to these rules can have dramatic effects on the final structure, in effect changing the environment in which the form is grown. To create these works, Andy uses the GPU as a compute device rather than as a display device. All the data is held in memory on the GPU and various kernel functions are called to do things like apply forces to the cells, make cells split, and to render the cells using ray-tracing. The simulations and rendering for each of the different animated structures within this piece take about 12 hours to run, Andy explains. By the end of the simulations there are over 50,000,000 cells in each structure.The Cellular Forms use a more biological model, representing a simplified system of cellular growth. Structures are created out of interconnected cells, with rules for the forces between cells, as well as rules for how cells accumulate internal nutrients. When the nutrient level in a cell exceeds a given threshold the cell splits into two, with both the parent and daughter cells reconnecting to their immediate neighbours. Many different complex organic structures are seen to arise from subtle variations on these rules, creating forms with strong reminiscences of plants, corals, internal organs and micro-organisms.

Ehab Alhariri

Futuristic Sustainable Mountain Pod
A Futuristic Smart Sustainable Mountain pod designed to utilize solar power using a petals mechanism that allows it to open up and close down to charge up the pod using photovoltaic cells mounted on the petals. Inspired by a flower motion, the petals when open allows for a 360° view of the surrounding, the mechanism could also potentially allow the pod to collect rainwater to be self-sufficient and of the grid hide out.


regenerative reliquary
Leveraging the intelligence of human stem cells, she created “Regenerative Reliquary”, a bioprinted scaffold in the shape of a human hand design 3D printed in a biodegradable pegda hydrogel that disintegrates over time. The sculpture is installed in a bioreactor, with the intention that human Mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs from an adult donor) seeded onto that design will eventually grow into tissue and mineralize into bone along that scaffold.


My Whale
There is an impressive space at the front of the ship, with panoramic windshield and hexagonal pattern on the vaulted ceiling, remained from the 80-s, the time, when “Brusov” was constructed in Austria. Standing there gives you the feeling of floating through the reflections of the Krymsky bridge lights on the river, inside a giant whale head. Looking through its eyes, listening to its songs that flow across the brain made of hexagonal cells by the wires hanging down here and there.
With some light and sound we brought this whale to life.
Each piece of the projection onto the cells was cloned from the previous one with a random changes. So each cell behaved differently, pulsating to the rythm of the whale songs. To interract with the whale the visitor could place the phone screen above the black box in the center of the room.

Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits

Swamp Radio
Swamp Radio gets beyond our anthropocenic reality, and maintains connections between the humans and other species. By artistic interventions and transmitting interfaces, the Swamp Radio is turned into a social media megaphone for invisible and inaudible actors of nature. The artists are installing microbial fuel cells, environmental monitoring sensors and transmitting devices to transform the swamps into dynamic power plants and the 21st century multi-voiced broadcast media.


the solar tree

Solar tree”presents a modular architecture consisting of prefabricated “cells” made of steel and wood.
The cells can also house “solar leaves” to contribute even more to the energy needs and make the structure more and more autonomous.The architects’ aim is not only to create something innovative and sustainable, but also to integrate the new project with nature and the surrounding landscape.

Signe Lykke & Yoshi Sodeoka


“The textural work Body Textures by Signe Lykke is a beautiful sonic journey into the human body’s different cells. Cross-sectional images of cell types such as fat, protein and connective tissue form the basis of this orchestral work, and have served as an inspirational source for the different texture areas and movements. Morten Ryelund conducts the Danish Youth Ensemble.”

Mycelium Network Society

Franz XAVER + Taro + Martin HOWSE + Shu Lea CHEANG + global network nodes
Mycelium Network Society (MNS) investigates the unique abilities of mycelium, the collective name given to thread-like networks of fungal cells, to share and process information. Launched at the Ecologies excursion of transmediale 2017 in Berlin, in 2018 MNS takes on a franchise mode—inviting alternative art spaces and bio-hack labs to become nodes within a mycelium network, and to host workshops, residencies and exhibitions investigating mycelium, fungus and spores. Mycelium is henceforth used as a structure through which to connect co-habitants across borders, to develop channels for constant communication, to construct political tactics and contest economic collapse. The network currently comprises six nodes across France, the UK and USA, and most recently four sites in Taiwan.


Silent Barrage

Silent Barrage has a “biological brain” that telematically connects with its “body” in a way that is familiar to humans: the brain processes sense data that it receives, and then brain and body formulate expressions through movement and mark making. But this familiarity is hidden within a sophisticated conceptual and scientific framework that is gradually decoded by the viewer. The brain consists of a neural network of embryonic rat neurons, growing in a Petri dish in a lab in Atlanta, Georgia, which exhibits the uncontrolled activity of nerve tissue that is typical of cultured nerve cells. This neural network is connected to neural interfacing electrodes that write to and read from the neurons. The thirty-six robotic pole-shaped objects of the body, meanwhile, live in whatever exhibition space is their temporary home. They have sensors that detect the presence of viewers who come in. It is from this environment that data is transmitted over the Internet, to be read by the electrodes and thus to stimulate, train or calm parts of the brain, depending on which area of the neuronal net has been addressed.

Hans Breder

“The canvas is fixed and rigid – but its image is caused to move and to change hues by the movement of molecules and ions in and out of cells in the observer’s retinas.” Richard Sjolund

Thomas Feuerstein


The marble sculpture PROMETHEUS DELIVERED – a replica of Prometheus Bound by Nicolas Sébastien Adam (1762) – is slowly decomposed by chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. The acidic process water from the bioreactor KAZBEK penetrates the body of the sculpture via tubes and runs off the surface of the stone. The limestone turns into gypsum while the sculpture slowly dissolves. The biomass of the bacteria is the energy source for human liver cells from which the organic sculpture OCTOPLASMA grows. Inorganic stone turns into organic meat. PROMETHEUS DELIVERED is a play on words, referring to birth in the sense of “delivery”, and to the central importance of the liver in myth.


Gravicells puts the senses on edge. This installation produces a visualization and sonification of the force of gravity acting upon the visitor. Interconnected sensors continuously measure the visitor’s weight, movements and speed. The resulting data are converted into physical audio-visual experience by various media systems.

Saburo Teshigawara


Saburo Teshigawara´s Metamorphosis, inspired by Kafka‘s novels, is an art work filled with pain and breathtaking beauty. At its centre is the body’s constant changes, the cells constant renewal – the metamorphosis: “Even when we believe we are completely still, our bodies are moving. That movement is life. To stop is to die. Life is like cycling – if you stop you lose your balance and fall over. Life is balance in motion.”

Peter Flemming

The work here in Dawson is like an old vehicle in which I’ve put a new engine. Entitled Canoe, it consists of an approximately 20 foot long trough of water, that resembles some kind of boat. This provides a means for a gunwales tracking mechanism to slowly, endlessly paddle its way back and forth. It was first constructed in 2001 in a studio beside Halifax harbour. It draws visual inspiration from the bridges and water vessels of this port. Conceptually, it grew from an interest in technological obsolescence: how things (like canoes) make shifts from utility to leisure.
It has experienced several major rebuilds since 2001. Most of them have been practical, but for Dawson I’ve opted for an experimental configuration that changes significantly the nature of the work. Previously, Canoe has only ever been shown indoors. Normally in runs on rechargeable batteries, with a continuous, smooth motion. In Dawson, it is shown outdoors, alongside the Yukon river, showing up in an absurd way the paleness of its artificial river. Here, the primary source of power is sunlight.
Making use of the long northern day, solar panels receive light, storing energy in an array of super-capacitor cells. At this time, Canoe remains still. A custom circuit monitors the amount of charge, and when a predetermined trigger point is reached, it is dumped into Canoe’s electric motor in a burst, allowing it to make a few strokes. Then Canoe rests, while the charging cycle begins again. Motion is intermittent, entirely dependent on the amount and intensity of sunlight. It ranges from near standstill in overcast conditions to perhaps 1 or 2 strokes every minute in full light. The technical term for this type of circuit is a relaxation oscillator. I like this term because, if you remove it from its technical context, it points back to ideas about leisure and utility.

Arcangel Constantini

Phonotube are experimental instruments for live audio visual performance, constructed as Luminous instruments and sound sequencers, that use fluorescent lamp tubes and LED strips, as light sources. The tubes are covered with negative ofsset, printed with sound patterns that spin at variable speed. The oscillation from the light emitted by these patterns is transduced to sound, processed by light excitation, a variety of electronic circuits as pre-amps with photo-cells and phototransitors, voltage control oscillators, relays, Filters, 1bit attiny85 micro controler. The technological principle is based on the photophone, patented by Graham Bell and inspired by audio visuals experimenters as Norman Mclaren,that used the optical sound technology of Film. In the history of the invention of electronic sound instruments, the study of light and its behavior as a particle or wave, and its application to sound processes, had a relevant position and is currently, one of the areas of scientific research with the greatest potential in human communication.


Джузеппе Рандаццо
Transmutation#01 is a generative system composed of two interacting multicellular agents in a Voronoi spatial configuration. Each cell owns a color/saturation information. The cells interact with each other and with the other agent. The two agents are different. The circular one, the most active and in evolution, constantly tries to reorganize its shape and color structures, connecting similar colors in concentric formations. Moreover the saturation and shape of its colors aggregates are influenced by the duration and proximity of the interaction with the other pluricellular agent, whose motion is abstract and immutable. The metaphor at the heart of this system is a reference to the subject of the 2012 Gender Docufilm Festival in Rome, from which the video was commissioned, that precisely addresses the issues related to the the reengineering and the transmutation of the sexual, physical, mental identity, through the collision / confrontation with the external reality. Coded with Processing, rendered with 3Delight (via Processing). In collaboration with Filippo Ulivieri, music by Massimo Dolce.



o what extent does the quality of movement of the virtual world influence real sequences of human movement? Will the real world of the 21st century assume via nanotechnology attributes of the virtual world? Are there still significant differences between a body that is made of synthetic material and warmed artificially and the deep glow of trillions of living cells? VIVISECTOR is an examination of the different speeds of people/nature and technology/information society and of their acceleration; an experiment to overcome the space-time continuum in the real world. It breaks the linearity of movement and in doing so shows the absurdity of momentum. Based on the video-technological concept of the moving body-projection that made D.A.V.E. an international hit, VIVISECTOR now goes one step further: the exclusive concentration on video light and video projection produces a new stage aesthetic in which light, body, video and acoustic space form an unprecedented unity.


keyboard study

The score to “Keyboard Study 1” is spare: two pages of musical cells and two pages of written instructions for how to navigate and manipulate those cells provide the pitch material, but choices about duration, dynamics, and shape are left up to the performer. There are three ostinati that form the skeleton of the piece between which are related sets of variations that will be mixed, matched, and sometimes played on top of the primary pattern. Riley offers the recipe for how to mix the ostinati and variation sets then its up to the performer(s) to choose which variation to use out of a particular set and how to shape the transitions from one ostinato to the next. Riley’s music empowers performers to create and react while also bonding their expression to the act of composition.