Creating female semen….?!

Earlier this year we were approached by artist Charlotte Jarvis and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) to help create a 45-minute abstract performative lecture film…. all about creating female semen.

Charlotte is on a quest to make semen from ‘female’ stem cells, and attempting to ‘smash up the patriarchy’ while doing it.

Her performative lecture is all about this quest and aims to use science and art to disrupt patriarchal norms. It is a creative manifesto of sorts that contains not only personal reflections on becoming pregnant and having a child, identity and sex but also cutting-edge scientific exploration that has real-life implications for so many segments of society.

We had so much fun creating this with Charlotte. It was a chance to be amazingly experimental with filming and editing – we jumped at the opportunity.

Off we went to the Roman Baths in freezing cold February at night to film some funky scenes of Charlotte lit up over the water, delivering lines of her lecture, with a good dose of smoke machine action behind her.

It was important to get the lighting right to be able to capture her reflections in the water and illuminate her face warmly in the darkness. Luckily we managed to get the amazing award-winning Director of Photography, Simona Susnea, on board.

In the edit we overlayed, sped up, slowed down and mirrored the footage and used Super8 shots to enhance the mystical, experimental feel of the existing shots. Have a look at the short teaser trailer of the film here.

An installation version of the film went onto Sheffield this summer!