Private Project

Call of the Silent Cell

Call of the Silent Cell is an experimental film of cellular behaviour centred on the interplay between the gut microbiome, the immune system and wider concerns regarding the symbiosis of human and environmental health.

The beautiful patterns of nature, as we might experience on a walk in the woods, can also be found in our bodies. Call of the Silent Cell gives you the opportunity to briefly enter this magical world as a storm breaks, revealing we are not as separated from nature as we think.

In the film you journey with an old man who wanders through a forest, meditating on the fragility of his body and the environment. A storm arrives, ‘not of breath and air but of cells and their signals’, revealing a disturbance in the body, an immune system in overdrive. Emerging from the storm the old man gains a new wisdom that his bodily health is deeply intertwined with the life of the forest.

The film reflects on the latest insights revealed by single cell analysis and was produced in collaboration with Human Cell Atlas members, Marcin Pekalski and Melanie Dunstan, based at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, the University of Oxford.

Call of the Silent Cell is produced by Fusion Arts and commissioned by One Cell At A Time, a public engagement project with the Human Cell Atlas research initiative that is mapping every cell type in the human body. This work was funded in whole by Wellcome Trust Grant 218597/Z/19/Z.

  • Vicky Isley
    In Search of Chemozoa, AfterGlow
  • Paul Smith
    In Search of Chemozoa, AfterGlow
  • Suzy O'Hara
  • Fusion Arts
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Indie, experimental, animation
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 12, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SCINEMA International Science Film Festival
    August 15, 2022
    Australia Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Southampton Film Week
    United Kingdom
    November 12, 2022
    United Kingdom
    Best Film, Best Artist Film, Best Regional Filmmaker
Director Biography - Vicky Isley, Paul Smith

Boredomresearch is a collaboration between British artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, their work uses 3D gaming, animation and film tools to create poetic expressions that respond to a developing understanding of human dependence and dominance of nature. Boredomresearch has produced award-winning films and artworks including: 'Call of the Silent Cell' (2021), a film exploring the symbiosis of human and environmental health which won the Best Film and Best Artist Film Awards in Southampton Film Week (2022); 'In Search of Chemozoa' (2020), a moving image artwork created in collaboration with Arizona Cancer Evolution Center, which presents a poetic rendering of a fictional model organism, won the Best Film Award at Sigma Xi STEM Art & Film Festival (2021); 'AfterGlow' (2016), a SciArt experimental animation project, commissioned by Animate Projects, won the moving image Lumen Prize award (2016) that celebrates the very best art created with technology.

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Director Statement

Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, as boredomresearch have been producing and exhibiting art projects embedding scientific principles and mechanics for over 20 years. Producing projects that explore: biodiversity, critically endangered and extinct species, environmental conservation and the health of our human bodies and our sustaining environment. The artist duo have always been interested in natural systems. They collaborate with scientists to shift perspectives from one centred on data and understanding, to instead foster an experience of research beyond normal frames of scientific reference. Through their artworks they present biological insights and creative speculations that encourage us to understand our being and our environment from a different perspective.