The Black Box Theater, 2:00 PM Hybrid Creatures: Are humans a part of nature or separate from it? As we forge deeper into the anthropocene era, the ongoing geologic era in which humans are recognized as the major force reshaping the globe, this philosophical question becomes increasingly complicated. Certainly no other species on earth has had such an impact, but our origins and fates are shared with the rest of the biosphere. Our species-wide integration with technology is unique, but genetics shows us to be not so dissimilar from our many cousins, while recombinant DNA blurs species boundaries further. This is a program about fuzzy boundaries and the questions they raise: between humans and animals, humans and technology, and even animals and technology. In every case of such crossing, the things we find beyond these boundaries will reveal more about ourselves: our fears, our aspirations, our need to connect with another, somewhere. Una Chaudhuri, Professor of Environmental Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi, will open the program that begins with a live-scored sci-fi documentary by Giulia Grossman (Mars Society) and featuring new work by Noah Hutton (the techno-neurological Blue Brain Year 8), Alexis Gambis (transgenic oryx story Insan) and ISFF New York winners Allora & Calzadilla (The Great Silence).
Including the films: Mars Society
Giulia Grossmann, France, 2016, 16 min "We are here. This is 2030!" A conversation between today's fiction and scientific simulation, this is as much a study of contemporary research (the conquest of space), as an experiment in two genres: the scientific documentary and the fictional contemplative work. The Best Life
Meqdad Al Kout, Kuwait, 2016, 6 min A man is hooked on following a social media celebrity on his mobile, as he goes about his mundane life. Insan
Alexis Gambis, UAE, 2017, 12 min Shakhbout shares with us the story of the first speaking Arabian Oryx "Mozaik" that changed the course of his life and for that matter the future of humankind. Squid: Coming to Life
Nipam Patel, USA, 2017, 7 min Embryos of squids and cuttlefish, among the most enigmatic groups of marine creatures, rapidly develop into small versions of the adults and flash their chromatophores as young hatchlings. Blue Brain Year 8
Noah Hutton, USA, 2018, 15 min Begun in 2009, Bluebrain is director Noah Hutton's 10-year film-in-the-making that chronicles the twists and turns of the Blue Brain Project—neuroscientist Henry Markram's audacious and controversial attempt to reverse-engineer a human brain, neuron by neuron, in a massive virtual simulation on supercomputers. The Breeder
Demelza Kooij, Scotland, 2017, 11 min Always wanted an extra fluffy rabbit, a legless cat, or a dog on two legs? Dr Schönbacher's new app makes it easy for you to design and order your own! The Great Silence
Allora & Calzadilla, USA, 2016, 16 min Arecibo, the world's largest radio telescope, is located in Esperanza, Puerto Rico, which is also home to a critically endangered species of parrots. The telescope functions as an ear that is capable of capturing signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. The witty messages from the parrots remain unnoticed. Followed by a Q&A with Noah Hutton, Giulia Grossmann, Cosmic Neman (Mars Society composer) and Alexis Gambis.