small matters and cosmic scans from Nina Barnett + Jeremy Bolen, Deborah Stratman, Mike Gibisser and Semiconductor
The Beam plays like a science nonfiction road film–– following the largely invisible NOVA experiment path over 550 miles – from Illinois to Northern Minnesota – in search of something that’s everywhere: neutrinos, the tiny subatomic particles that fill our world, unbothered by matter or its related matters. Visually striking, enlightening but never didactic, first time collaborators Barnett and Bolen—draw out the poetics of seeking the unseeable, of trying to name and know the invisible bits that we share space with. In celebration of its world premiere, we’ve paired it with some other incredible films playing in the interstices of the scientific and poetic, dispensing with those classifications, but keen to understand the links between technologies of vision and visualization, the metaphors through which we understand the universe.
Nina Barnett + Jeremy Bolen — The Beam | 27 mins. | HD | color | sound | 2018
“They go through everything and they never stop.”
“There is no stop.”
“It just keeps going into the cosmos”
Mike Gibisser — Second Law: S Leh St. | 14 mins. | 16mm to HD | color | sound | 2010
The second of a four part series. The second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, states order tends toward disorder. An old woman passes time in her home. The dust in the air sometimes floats skyward.
Semiconductor — 20Hz | 5 mins. | HD | b+w | sound | 2011
20Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations. As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception.
Deborah Stratman — …These Blazeing Starrs! | 14 mins. | 16mm to HD | b+w | sound | 2011
Since comets have been recorded, they’ve augured disaster: catastrophe, messiahs, upheaval and end times. A short film about these meteoric ice-cored fireballs and their historic ties to divination that combines imagery of 15th-18th century European broadsides with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory footage.
…These Blazeing Starrs! juxtaposes a modern empirical desire to probe and measure against older methods, when star gazers were translators, explicating the sky more intuitively for predictions of human folly. Comets are now understood as time capsules harboring elemental information about the formation of our solar system. Today we smash rockets into them to read spectral signatures. In a sense, they remain oracles – it’s just the manner of divining which has changed.