The film repertoire prepared by the New York-based Imagine Science Films foundation, combines scientific perspective with experimental film form. Three thematic sections present a great story about Space, new technologies and diversity of life on Earth.
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Searching the Beyond
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Life on the Brink of the Singularity
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Scenes from the Biosphere
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Life on the Brink of the Singularity
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Scenes from the Biosphere
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Searching the Beyond
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Scenes from the Biosphere
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Searching the Beyond
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Life on the Brink of the Singularity
DESCRIPTIONS OF ALL FILMS
I. Searching the Beyond
(TRT 83 min)
Voyagers (Santiago Menghini, Canada, 2015)
Travel along with the Voyager spacecraft as they traverse the solar system on their planetary expedition spanning over three decades.
Hotaru (William Laboury, France, 2015)
They told me: “You have a gift, Martha. Here, this gift is nothing to you. So we will show you the most beautiful things. You will never wake, but you will carry the most precious memories…”
Mars Closer (Annelie Boros & Vera Brückner, Germany / Japan / Latvia, 2015)
“We have made our peace with the fact that we are not coming back. We are the first ever people on another planet. We are now interplanetary.”
In 2024 a private organization plans to send a group of four people to Mars. Paul Leeming and Pauls Irbins are both shortlisted candidates for the planet’s first human settlement. The mission is going to be a one-way trip.
Black (Tomasz Popakul, Poland, 2016)
‘Black’ (‘黒’) tells about a pair of astronauts trapped on an orbital space station because of a nuclear war that erupted unexpectedly on Earth. They lost contact with Earth and all attempts to communicate with their base or anybody else have failed. All they can do now is watch nuclear explosions taking place on the surface of the Earth and try to survive together somehow.
Bow Shock (Javier Diez, Spain, 2016)
An object that appears in a series of recent telescope images will drive a young astronomer and her colleages to a shocking discovery. A new astronomical survey takes wide angle pictures to make a tridimensional cartography of the sky. It will find out position and distances to far galaxies, stars in our Galaxy and objects of the Solar System like minor planets and asteroids. A young astronomer discovers a strange object in a series of pictures from the survey which shows a curious behaviour. And it’ll bring unexpected results when reviewed with her colleagues.
A real new astronomy obsevatory built specially for a wide field optical survey of the universe in the Northern hemisphere. A brief overview of how the observatory works and how data is used later by scientists. And, a realistic approach to a First Contact.
For more on the science project, visit a webpage »
II. Life on the Brink of the Singularity
(TRT 77 min)
Quantum Fluctuations (Markos Kay, UK, 2016)
In Quantum Fluctuations, particle simulations are used to visualise the distinct micro-events that occur in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) during a proton collision. Made as a series of conceptual experiments, the film aims to show the complexity and abstract nature of these unobservable aspects of the world that create concrete reality.
Quantum mechanics, high energy particle physics, standard model, copenhagen interpretation, elementary particles, emergence, complexity theory, information theory, simulations, The quantum world is impossible to observe directly and visualisations of quantum interactions have been forbidden since the time of Heisenberg. The presence and properties of elementary particles are ascertained by measuring the minute changes they make on instruments such as the LHC which are then compared to data collected from supercomputer simulations. It is perhaps the most indirect method of observation imaginable, an abstract form of observation mediated by computer simulations.
The Mirror System (Eva Zornio, Switzerland, 2015)
Pictures escape from a dream. A curious forest made out of neurons where the young director wanders every night. A dream that brings together brain and cinema, memories and scientific experiments. She tries to understand the link which is being woven between Neuroscience and films. A poetic journey at the heart of the Mirror System, the mechanism by which we feel or not empathy for other, whether in the real world or on the screen.
Blue-Eyed Me (Alexey Marfin, UK / Hong Kong, 2015)
This is the world of the 99-cent lifeform. Like a social media profile or an online shopping list tailored to our hobbies, we collect genetically modified pets, engineered to look like their owners. You are not unique; this is the post-personal economy.
The Signal and the Noise (Charlie Tweed, UK, 2016)
The film is voiced by an anonymous group of ‘hybrid’ machines, from some point in the near future, who look at humans and animals as inefficient machines and consider ways of editing and improving their code. Whilst the work appears to be a piece of science fiction all of the technologies and ideas discussed are based on actual advances and research and real visions of how things might materialise in the future including the concepts of DNA and biological computing and the recent technology for gene editing known as CRISPR.
A film by Charlie Tweed, in collaboration with Dr Darren Logan. Commissioned by Animate Projects and supported by the Wellcome Trust.
Paramusical Ensemble (Tim Grabham, UK, 2015)
Short documentary following the preparation and performance of the musical composition ‘Activating Memory’ by the Paramusical Ensemble, comprising of four severely motor-impaired patients and a string quartet at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London. The parts for each instrument are generated in real-time from the electrical activity of four performers wearing a Brain-Computer Music Interfacing system, consisting of a brain cap furnished with electrodes, which reads electrical information from the brain. This electrical information is used to control a generative music system.
Activating Memory, a piece for a string quartet, designed by Eduardo Reck Miranda. Brain-Computer Music Interfacing system built by Joel Eaton In collaboration with - Dr Julian O’Kelly and Dr Sophie Duport at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disabilty, London
A BCMI system consists of a brain cap furnished with electrodes, which read electrical information from the brain. This electrical information is used to control a generative music system. In this performance, four severely motor-impaired patients at RHN use groundbreaking BCMI technology developed at Plymouth University’s ICCMR to generate musical scores in real-time for the string quartet to play on the fly."
Geosynchronous (Toby Smith, UK, 2015)
Over 6,600 satellites have been launched into space since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957. 3,600 are currently in operation and launch frequencies are ever increasing to satisfy our global thirst for more communication, data and broadcast channels. In 2012 I began a long-term partnership with SES to document some of the world’s most advanced commercial satellites from their design, construction and testing through to international transportation, space launch and operations. From their headquarters in Luxembourg they control a large fleet of satellites, monitoring both their position and operation but also the data and broadcast channels they relay.
Shrinking Microscope Lenses (Chris Burns, USA, 2016)
While batteries, screens and other electronic components get smaller and smaller, lenses have not done their part. Now, with a material science approach, scientists have created tiny meta-material lenses.
A Net to Capture Light (Erin Espelie, USA, 2016)
Digitally and energetically, light and its origins drive our circadian rhythms, our internal clocks, and affect the retina. Notably, blue light, in the realm of 400 to 500 nanometers, has become increasingly pervasive, just as our light sources have homogenized. How might this unwind us?
Autonomous (Per Eriksson & Alexander Rynéus, Sweden, 2014)
A new, overwhelming era is approaching from the sidelines. The boundaries between what is real and unreal are becoming increasingly blurred through technological advances. Is there a limit for what can be replaced? Autonomous is an intense, emotional look into a future that is already here.
III. Scenes from the Biosphere
(TRT 71 min)
Rhacophorus (Laura Verlinden, Netherlands, 2016)
A contemplative journey through nature and its various facets, guides by a mysterious being. The voyage puts into question our place in the universe and makes us reflects on the elements that surround us.
Archives of Extinction (Alyce Takayesu, USA, 2016)
Throughout the 19th century scientists transformed living birds into dried, stuffed, and otherwise preserved scientific specimens. Today scientists seek to transform these lifeless specimens into living birds through the emerging science of de-extinction. Exploring these transformations, Archives of Extinction evokes questions about de-animating and re-animating forms of life and about the human role in disassembling past and reassembling future ecologies.
A.D.A.M. (Vladislav Knežević, Croatia, 2014)
The fall of a device named A.D.A.M. (Autonomous Drone for Asteroid Mining) causes the strengthening of its cognitive processes and activation of the autonomous mode. This leads to its refusal of communication with the satellite company operators. An atlas of intensive empty landscapes, urban megastructures and lost horizons immersed in a cacophony of languages, codes and communication networks forms the basis of this metafiction about the relationship between man and machine.
Rare Earthenware (Toby Smith, UK, 2015)
While journeys to extraordinary places are the cornerstone of luxury travel, this project follows more well-concealed journeys taking place across global supply chains. It retraces rare earth elements, which are widely used in high end electronics and green technologies, to their origins. The film, developed with photographer Toby Smith, documents their voyage from container ships and ports, wholesalers and factories, back to the banks of a barely-liquid radioactive lake in Inner Mongolia, where the refining process takes place. Unknown Fields Division, in collaboration with Kevin Callaghan, have used mud from this lake to craft a set of three ceramic vessels. Each is sized in relation to the amount of waste created in the production of three items of technology – a smartphone, a featherweight laptop and the cell of a smart car battery.
Deforest (Grayson Cooke, Australia, 2015)
Deforest is an art/science project that combines environmental critique with material enquiry. In this project, sulphuric acid – a highly corrosive acid that burns to the touch – is used to dissolve photographs of old growth rainforest from subtropical Queensland.
Deforestation is one of the key planks of anthropogenic climate change. It is responsible for around 12% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and also causes erosion and biodiversity loss. Our forests are vital carbon sinks, but they are also repositories of extra-human time, a kind of “memory of the earth” that is erased daily to serve the needs of the present. Within the context of the Anthropocene, deforestation is an urgent touchstone for the threshold between economic and environmental imperatives in both developed and developing nations.
This project focuses on these issues in a unique way. Deforest seeks to find a media analogue for the depletion of the world’s forests, using photographic media and a corrosive acid to “materialize” deforestation along different channels than the documentary record. The ruin of the image, the experience of its loss, and its relation to the world at large lies at the core of this project.
Time-lapse photography is used to record the complex interaction between the acid and the slide film. The image is accompanied by music by Matthew Bourne and a soundtrack composed primarily of environmental recordings in the Bunya Mountains, a temperate rainforest in South-East Queensland and the site of the photographs used in this project.
The catalysts of CHANGE: Adapting to changing weather in Ladakh (Chintan Gohil, India, 2013)
The region of Ladakh, the cold desert in the high Himalayas in India is one of many places of subtle ecological balance and it is at the forefront of climate change impacts. The ecosystem and life in the region are affected by unforeseen changes like droughts, flash floods and a myriad of other climatic imbalances. This film highlights some of these issues faced by the region and the efforts made towards climate change adaptation by organisations as well as foresighted individuals from the region.
Is there enough soil to feed a planet of cities? (Valerio Palma, Italy, 2015)
A law describes the consumption of soil as the population grows. How much longer can the city continue to grow ensuring enough fertile soil to feed the population of the Earth?
Here is a popular science short film recounting this study, and it is animated entirely through programming code for the open source software POV-Ray.
The scientific research entitled “Is there enough soil to feed a planet of growing cities?”, by Roberto D’Autilia and Ilaria D’Ambrosi, analyzes a scaling law for the consumption of agricultural soil by cities. The nonlinear dependence of the size of the city on the number of inhabitants gives rise to an equation for population dynamics. The limit of the solution for this equation is given by the so-called carrying capacity, in terms of number of inhabitants that can be fed. The carrying capacity as a function of the scaling law exponent shows that this exponent must be very small to ensure food sustainability. A bound for the value is suggested, and trying to achieve it is a challenge for future cities.
Wayward Fronds (Fern Silva, USA, 2014)
Wayward Fronds references a series of historical events that helped shape the Florida Everglades today, while fictionalizing its geological future and its effects on both native and exotic inhabitants. Guided by recent talks in the Florida legislature to finally disburse billions of dollars in restoration funds, events in this film unfold by giving way to a future eco-flourished Everglades. Nature begins to take over, en-gulfs and tames civilization after centuries of attack, and even guides it into its mysterious aqueous depths, forcing humans to adapt and evolve to its surroundings.
15 september 2017,
1 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m.
16 and 17 september 2017,
3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m.