Marmoreal Anatomy

Produced by Polina Teif + Sabine Spare

Marbling is a millennia-old surface design technique in which pigments are dropped onto the surface of a thickened liquid, spreading out and melding into one-another, creating organic blob-like forms. Patterns form and a subsequent print can be taken on a flat, natural-fiber surface such as paper or cotton.

Used as the impetus for this film, the process of marbling is documented along with imagery of the resulting silk garment worn on the body. Footage of bodies of water are interspersed with the marbleizing imagery to create a non-chronological visual narrative of the process of using the element of water to create a patterned piece of cloth. 

The conceptual frameworks for the film address the topic of water and connectivity. We often fail to recognize that everything in this universe is connected. From the micro to the macro, one way this fundamental principle can be explored is through visual representations such as patterning. Seemingly random patterns such as those created with the dispersion of pigments in marbling, are governed by the same physical laws that form biological structures. As a result, the patterns created from marbling greatly resemble cellular anatomy. In the video marbling is used as a visual representation of biological matter under the microscope. Cells are the fundamental building block of all biological systems. Made from organic looking circular shapes, cells that make up different organisms may look incongruous, but their composition is largely the same.

Our anatomy is composed of a high percentage of water and through systems such as osmosis, water flows though every one of our cells. The film aims to captivate our imaginations and bring awareness to the integral role water plays in life on earth. If we can be more cognizant of how all life is made of the same matter, we can take steps towards living more sustainably.