Science

2007
Magnetic Movie

The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries. All action takes place around NASA's Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries. Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent 'whistlers' produced by fleeting electrons. Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?

2008
The Man Who Went Outside

A distinguished looking man (performance artist Richard Layzell) is apparently trapped in an ever changing void of colour, locked in a power play with a perversely operated camera. A mute, caged, charismatic TV presenter he is by turns charming, menacing, educational, confused. At times he appears to have great powers. A voiceover tells us extraordinary things — how this man is special — the first man to 'have a baby'. Hallucinogenic flash-frames punctuate the colour field to give us a view of his world's disturbing and alien futuristic logic.

2014
The Measures

Jacqueline Goss and Jenny Perlin retrace the journey of two 18th-century astronomers tasked with determining the true length of the meter. From the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel, The Measures explores the metric system’s origins during the violence and upheavals of the French Revolution. Along the way, Goss and Perlin consider the intertwining of political and personal turmoil, the failures of standardization, and the subtleties of collaboration.

2007
Paweł Wojtasik, Naked

Naked shows a colony of naked mole rats living in a laboratory. This rare and highly socialized species demonstrates modes of behavior that in uncanny ways seem human-like. The mole rats are the most inbred species on the planet, and have the longest life span of any laboratory animal. The film zeroes in on aspects of their existence (overcrowded conditions, violence, tenderness) that have parallels in the life of human society.

2007
Nebula

Nebula is a hallucinogenically immersive spectacle: a complex, long-form audio-visual composition, which pays playful homage to science fiction fantasies. Captured for video by means of stop-motion photography, objects made of glass, glitter and tulle, are nestled within a kaleidoscopic flow of computer-generated imagery. Drawing from Thomas Wilfred's Clavilux color organs as well as experimental abstract filmmakers such as Mary Ellen Bute, and James and John Whitney, Nebula also recalls liquid light shows and the marvelous sightings of the Hubble Space Telescope.

2012
The Obligate Symbionts of Colubus Grand, Suzie Silver and Hilary Harp

In the solar system 18 SCORPII, located some 45.3 light years from Earth at the northern edge of the Scorpius constellation, two planets have evolved cultures of profound mutual symbiotic reliance. The ecstatic dance-like interaction between the almost inert Kalataka and the exhausted but entranced Tarzanians, is extraordinarily beautiful, building to the climactic effusion of Kalataka sporge.

Produced in Tempe, Arizona this cosmic symbiosis is rendered with the help of masks, costumes and campy visual effects.

2008
Orphans of the Cosmos

Made at the San Francisco Art Institute with my students, this tuneful picture transports the viewer to the planet Mars as three attractive teens seek funding for an expedition into adulthood. Along the way they and we encounter the ups and downs of human relations and otherworldly intercourse. A family picture with timeless values, this foray into fantasy land on a tight budget should please the young at heart or old in body in unexpected ways. Although this trip is short on funding but big in concept it’s really quite a ride and looks like a million bucks for the vision impaired.

2007
Ephraim Asili "Points on a Space Age"

“A documentary about the Arkestra, but it's one whose presentation reflects the multilevel approach Sun Ra had to music and life in general. Jump cuts and split screens dot the visual stream with home movie footage from the Arkestra in Egypt during the 1970s to the Arkestra of today led by Marshall Allen. Director Ephraim Asili wisely divides the 40 minutes into distinct chapters, illustrating each with band interviews, live footage, visuals of planets and NASA launches, and his voice quoting writings from Ra.

2012

Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is a drama made expressly for chimpanzees – and the chimps' reaction to its screening at the Edinburgh Zoo. Chimpanzees watch television as a form of enrichment in captivity. But no filmmaker had made a film for a specifically ape audience.

2004
Satellite

"The human ear. A gatherer of energy. A gatherer of sound. RPMs and BPMs. Satellites go up to the sky."

In the video Satellite, Nelson Henricks combines found footage and techno beats to question western society's ongoing obsession with science, technology and the future. Juxtaposing images derived from old educational films with absurd, aphoristic slogans, Henricks offers up a witty, entertaining and provocative commentary of our need to make sense of everything, at any cost.

2012
Semiconductor Videoworks: Volume 1

Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, who comprise the UK artist duo Semiconductor, make moving image works that explore the material nature of our world and question our place in the physical universe. This collection of works shows Semiconductor’s adoption of scientific tools, processes and philosophies that encourage artefacts, errors and interference as a way to reflect on the presence of the human as observer.

2004

The Soft Science “Cinema of Attractions” is a series of short movies by scientists. Commission and concept by Rachel Mayeri, electronic compositions and musical accompaniment by Joe Milutis. Many of the videos can be found on the web, posted for public appreciation of a scientist's lab work, as instructional material, or for communication to peers as data. As "data," the videos are non-narrative, scientific information.

2006
Steve Kurtz Waiting

On May 11 2004, Steve Kurtz phoned 911 to report Hope, his wife of 20 years, was unresponsive. When paramedics came to his house, one of them noticed that Kurtz had laboratory equipment, which he used in his art exhibits. The paramedics reported this to police and the FBI sealed off his house.

Authorities later said that Kurtz's wife had died of "heart failure," but he wasn't allowed to return to his home for two days while the FBI confiscated his equipment, and biological samples. They also carted off his books, personal papers and computer.

2003

Part cloning experiment, part documentary, Stories from the Genome follows an unnamed CEO-geneticist whose company sequenced the Human Genome in 2003 — a genome that secretly was his own. Not satisfied with this feat, the scientist self-replicates, producing a colony of clone-scientists to save himself from Alzheimer’s. The animated video switches between misadventures in cloning, and a history of equally improbable theories of human development.

This title is only available on Soft Science.

2010
Storyteller

Storyteller recomposes aerial shots from the Las Vegas casino skyline to create a slick, artificial world, reminiscent of science fiction. At first glance, the viewer might think of jewelry-like space ships floating slowly through the universe. When the camera zooms in on buildings and architecture, the detailed glitter and kitsch of the city hypnotically reveals something of pure beauty and madness.