Baum & Leahy
Sensory Cellumonials invites you to connect with yourself on a cellular level, and through this intimate encounter explore possible futures within cellular biology and health. Five ceremonial journeys guide you into your inner cellular sensorium: Through the domes dotted with taste buds on the tongue, the swaying temples in the ear canals, the furry forests in the nose, the sensitive soft valleys in the skin and the layers of crystalline refraction through the eyeballs and beyond.
Each journey is guided by Our Living Cellular Kin (Olcks) – guardians of the five human senses and connected to the five kin-doms of life. They welcome us into their cellular habitats – across the geographies of our bodies – where genes, proteins and synaptic signaling weaves the tissue of us and the world, and reveals the vast interconnectedness of these living, cellular landscapes.
Sensory Cellumonials consists of five 6-8 minute meditative ceremonies. For the best experience, you’re encouraged to take part in the ceremonies from a quiet space and with time to relax. At the end of each portal, you’re invited to share your response into the wishing pool – a generative map of perspectives on cellular biology research inspired by the umaps created for the Human Cell Atlas. Using Chrome or Safari from a computer, entering full screen and listening to the sound on speakers is recommended.
Baum & Leahy is an award-winning, international, creative duo working across interdisciplinary collaboration, interactive installation, art direction, scenography and experience design. Collaborating with experts across disciplines, they open up, question and sensorialise scientific research into tactile, participatory experiences. Within these worlds participants are invited into the concepts and research through performative interactions, using frameworks of sensorial meditative ceremonies, and remediation rituals. Through research-led worldmaking and material storytelling, their work allows the beholder a proximity to alternative realities, melting between the feasible and fantastical.
Since meeting at the Royal College of Art, Baum & Leahy have exhibited internationally, including at Somerset House, Victoria and Albert Museum, Wellcome Collection, (UK), The National Gallery of Denmark, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Medical Museion (DK), MU Hybrid Art House, Museum Het Valkhof (NL), Centre for Book Arts, (US), Vega Scene (NO), and Art Laboratory Berlin (DE). They are currently fellows at BOM (Birmingham Open Media), and were part of the CPH:DOX LAB 2020-2021. They were shortlisted for the Lumen Art Prize and The Rapoport Award for Women in Art and Tech in 2019, and received both the Bio Art & Design Award and the British Library Labs Artistic Award in 2018.
Artists: Baum & Leahy
Community engagement producer: Justine Boussard
Curator: Suzy O’Hara
Visuals and video editing: Ella Yolande
3D-modelling and animation: Benjamin Hall
Sound artist: Sofie Birch
Sound engineer: Max Worgan
Web development team: Paul Bevan, Mark Wilson and James Smith
Human Cell Atlas advisors: Issac Goh Kai’En, Ami Day, Krishnaa Mahbubani, David Rowitch, John Xu
Special thanks to communities in Southwark, the advisory panel, and members of the Human Cell Atlas, who helped shape this project and shared their voices for the online experience.