Cell Cave, 2016 & 2018
Immersive projected light installation
Cell Cave is an immersive cellular projected light installation. Visitors can explore this magnified neural cellular world created from fluorescent micrographs. The cells in these projections are neurons and astrocytes that the artist grew from neural stem cells in the laboratory of Dr. Derek van der Kooy at the University of Toronto. Astrocytes are star shaped cells that act as master regulators of the brain. They connect neurons and blood vessels, create the blood brain barrier, and clean up metabolic waste. Neurons are long and stringy in appearance and transmit information through electrical and chemical signals at immense speeds. This cellular world is part of our largely unconsidered and unseen reality. The internal skeletons of these cells have been made visible by labeling the bones of the cells with different coloured fluorescent antibodies. Laser light activates the fluorescent molecules and the artist can photograph the light they emit. Cell Cave symbolizes the invisible realities that underlie our existence, and the shrouded nature of self-perception.