Cytomotion [2001 – ]

Films & Installations


CYTOMOTION – amniotic architectures of light, colour, structure and movement arise and disintegrate in a luminous world. Planetary space begins in our cells.

From when I was a child, I have been fascinated by the world of microscopic, shape-shifting organisms that exists parallel to ours. These life forms as seen through a microscope – strangely illuminated and stained with colour – inspired the film’s visual language. Cytomotion explores the physical possibilities, structures & inner spaces of the human body, and how these could be amplified into architecture.

Cytomotion is an analogue-digital hybrid and was created using specially designed camera set-ups, filming & editing processes developed over a year of research. The amoebic quality of movement in the film is drawn from my practice of Butoh and Contact Improvisation.

Cytomotion has been shown as a single-screen work at film festivals & events such as Kinofilm 2002 in Manchester, and the Lux Open Film Festival 2003 in London, and site-specific installations have been created for galleries and other locations, for example:

Makeshift Body : Cytomotion

A sculptural video & sound installation at Lucent, a show of works by 4 international artists at the AVIT Audio Visual Festival 2003. Floating in the centre of the darkened space, a translucent sculptural element captures a video loop projection of Cytomotion, drawing the audience into a microscopic world. Smaller translucent elements in the form of microscope slides are suspended from the ceiling and are lit to reveal and refract still images of the film trapped inside. Sound environment by Testcard.

Tabula Rasa

Artistic statement for Tabula Rasa, a large-scale urban projection event in 2002, where my films Cytomotion and Plant Life were shown:

“My films often play with dimension, from microscopic to cosmic. By projecting them onto the skin of huge buildings, I hope to make a direct, physical connection between different scales of perception, and to trigger a re-imagination of the urban environment. Out of the corner of the eye, there’s a sense of change in the familiar brickwork – an office high-rise vibrates with cellular movement, and is transformed into shifting architectures of bone and light. Passers-by become explorers on unknown territory, wandering into the frames of an unknown film …”

Unbekannter Ort [Unknown Place]

A sculptural video installation with two screens and rubble field at Sensuous Structures, an exhibition at the East London School of Architecture curated and produced by architect Conrad Margoles. Sound environment by Testcard. The exhibition included works by Bucholz/McEvoy, Cassion Castle TCA, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Balkrishna Doshi, Durbach/Block, Neville Gabie, Herman Hertzberger, Susanne Hofmann, Steven Holl, Mecanoo, Martin Moller, Juhani Pallasmaa, Michael Sorkin, Allan Schwarz, and Ushida Findlay.

Unbekannter Ort [Unknown Place]

Unbekannter Ort
An einem unbekannten Ort
kannst du nicht Abstand halten
von den Träumen der Steine
die dir mit jedem Schritt
in winzigen Erschütterungen
durch die Knochen dringen
und das innere Ohr
in Schwingungen versetzen
An einem unbekannten Ort
spürst du den Geruch nasser Erde
auf der Zunge
vibriert in jeder Farbe
die Bewegung kleinster Zellen
in dir
hinterlasse deine Spuren
Unknown Place [Unbekannter Ort], Brighton. Film installation & writing: CiCi Blumstein 2002 Unknown Place
In an unknown place
you cannot keep a distance
from the dreams of stones
with each step
they enter the bones
in minute tremors
and excite the inner ear
with sound
In an unknown place
you sense the smell of wet earth
On the tongue
every colour vibrates with
the movement of the smallest cells
within you
leave your imprint

Cytomotion continues to evolve …

Projects in development: Eaten [working title], a self-consuming interactive film installation mimicking the destructive activity of malignant cells. Eaten will include a series of films, workshops and installations.

Cytomotion credits:


Directed, performed, edited & produced: CiCi Blumstein
Camera: Christopher Hornzee-Jones
Soundtrack: Testcard


Concepts, texts & designs: CiCi Blumstein
Unbekannter Ort produced at the East London School of Architecture by: Conrad Margoles
Sound environments: Testcard

All photos / video stills: CiCi Blumstein