Sperm Soccer (2009)

Sperm Soccer (Foutreball in French) is an installation where a simplified game of soccer is played exclusively by spermatozoa. A screen shows a pre-recorded microscopic view of fresh semen divided in two equal parts. In each half part, the same given number of spermatozoa are selected to constitute two teams of spermatozoa. The ball is constituted by an ovum. The screen is inserted into the hip of a life-size mannequin and can be viewed only through the vagina of the mannequin.

Setup of Sperm Soccer.

Artist Statement
This installation proposes a provocative, ironic and humorous vision of how entertainment (for example, soccer) has become such an obsession for some people that it disrupts their social life and eventually their body. The audience looks at semen where spermatozoa appear to play soccer through a setup that is like looking in the vagina of a woman where a man (in this case, presumably a soccer fan) just ejaculated.

Technical Statement
Fresh semen (or a pre-recorded movie of fresh semen) is viewed under a digital microscope (a microscope equipped with a camera) that sends the images to a program written in C++ with openFrameworks. The program processes the video stream in order to detect the moving spermatozoa, and to select and track some of them. When the ball/ovum meets a player, the situation is analyzed by the computer that computes a score. The value of the score determines the action of the spermatozoon controlling the ball; it can shoot in direction of the adverse goal, pass the ball to a fellow member that is better positioned or keep it until the situation changes.

Screenshot of the Sperm Soccer game.

Short video with an ovum as the ball.

First demonstration video.

Second demonstration video.

Flickr (screenshots and demo videos)
Post on the blog Dictatorship of Poetariat.

Olivier for his suggestion of the French title “Foutreball”.