“There exist very few techniques for studying a group of cells containing a large number / compared to a single cell but small compared to a whole tissue / This implies that statistics are exceedingly difficult to obtain from measurements of individual cells.” I won’t pretend to understand all of what is meant by this, but the research group around Charles Baroud and Caroline Frot at École Polytechnique in Paris apparently studies and therefore visualizes the flow of microfluidic droplets.
The Berlin design studio Pfadfinderei (German for pathfinding/pathfinders) used those videos as a basis for their video of “They Know Your Name” by the avant garde electronic duo Mouse on Mars. Music and video are well matched, and interesting to watch, but that isn’t what makes this video special to me. I read the combination of the visuals and the title phrase as a fascination with and simultaneous warning of the use of technology for the singling out and subsequent surveillance of single entities, be it embryonic cells in a test tube or indiviual persons in a stream of people. Be careful: They know your name!
“They Know Your Name” was released on “Parastrophics” on Modeselektor’s Monkeytown label earlier this year.