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Critics

The imprint of celluloid

Book

Film and psychoanalysis were almost born in agreement with one another. The nineteenth century was drawing to a close. Whilst in Vienna Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuers were engaged in publishing a study on hysteria, inventors Louis and Auguste Lumière were making history in the darkness of the Salon Indien of the Grand Café in Paris projecting the first scene ever filmed in cinema: workers leaving the Lumière factory in Lyon Monplaisir.

Jordi Montaner | 28 june 2010

Baywatch

Documentary

It has already harvested two major awards by winning the Oscar for best documentary and being voted the best U.S. documentary by the audience at the Sundance Film Festival. No doubt this is a risky film. Its development lies in its structure, following a pattern typical of a thriller, taking apart piece by piece a macabre scenario that has pitted Japan versus the world’s public opinion. The Cove unveils a “theme park” that, in reality, is used as a farm to regularly slaughter whales and sell their meat on the market. In the morning, dolphins receive herring and applause, while at night, bullets dye the sea red and animals are butchered in a gloomy cave that lends its name to the documentary.

Jordi Montaner | 16 june 2010

Quantum Whistles

Lily Asquith, a researcher from the department of physics and astronomy at the University of London, has spent the last two years in France following the trail of the Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector. Seated at the “God machine,” a gigantic, 27-kilometers-long particle accelerator installed at CERN where one hundred physicists from around the world seek to explain the origin of matter, Asquith focused her attention on a particular boson with both quark and anti-quark properties called tth(H-> bb), also known as SUSY (an abbreviation for supersymmetric particle).

Jordi Montaner | 31 may 2010

Art from the abyss

The abstract sculptor Xavier Sis (Lleida, Spain) has planted in gallery of the Pons Fundació in Barcelona a collection of sculptures that incorporate electronic light as a conceptual innovation that grants them a larger-than-life appearance. Sis never fails to leave the visitor indifferent. He is an experimental artist, and, this time, he plunges us into the depths of a dark ocean where light is nothing but a trap of form, a vital gesture designed to attract prey or confuse predators.

Jordi Montaner | 24 may 2010

Towards a simpler future

Book

The present seems increasingly complex, but does it have its origin in a simple past? John Maeda takes it for granted that this is so. He argues that everything original is essentially simple in nature. This designer, digital artist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) confesses in his most famous book to date that ever since he was a child he has gone crazy for simple things. A native of Seattle, but of Japanese descent, this 44-year-old researcher has been anointed the guru of simplicity by the digital community.

Jordi Montaner | 17 may 2010

Water woes

Exhibition

A tribute to people dispossessed of their land. A people deprived of a vital resource. Those who become ill from the unhygienic conditions that surround them. Victims of natural disasters compounded by human greed. Those who die unjustly. Those who defend a fundamental right. A tribute to all those whose voices have been silenced, repressed and forgotten. All because of that most precious resource: water.

Octavi Planells | 11 may 2010

The end of the road

Movie

Carlos Montes, Professor of Ecology at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) uses this movie and the book it is based on as talismans to explain climate change to his students. What a task. The dissection of your favorite pet in the university laboratory seems to be unbearably cruel. The film is harsh, unsettling and disturbing. The book it is based on is devastating. Since the film is no longer on in cinemas, you will have to catch it on DVD. But in any case, it is highly recommended to have gone through the experience of the Pulitzer-prize novel, translated into numerous languages, before taking in the film version.

Jordi Montaner | 10 may 2010

Big Brother’s bag of biometric tricks

Exhibition

Someday, all identity cards will cease to exist. Go ahead and start bidding a fond farewell to the passport and credit cards; even the days of the Social Security card are numbered. Perhaps the same goes for the passwords to access our e-mail account or Facebook profile. Today, in the eyes of Big Brother, we are nothing but a number, when, in reality, our body is full of inimitable and completely impossible to falsify traits. Someday, IDs, passwords and bank cards will be replaced by some anatomical feature that characterizes us, something that make us totally and undeniably unique.

Octavi Planells | 7 may 2010

Pure physical attraction

Book

”Real science is far stranger than science fiction, and the universe is far more incredible than any invented contrivance,” says Marcus Chown, a British physicist at the University of London who writes for New Scientist magazine and has previously published several popular science books such as “The Universe Next Door”.

Jordi Montaner | 3 may 2010

Without the vice of the haste

Joan Domènech and the Federation of Educational Renewal Movement of Catalonia propose a revolution, and this book would serve as a manual of instructions. It is not a fanciful claim. It is, in fact, an international movement proposed by Maurice Holt, professor emeritus of education at the University of Colorado at Denver (United States), who currently lives in retirement in Oxford (England). The rush dehumanizes us, brutalizes us...

15 March 2010

Control.Burble.Remote, a participatory urban show

Performance

Las t February the 27th, 'La Rambla' in Barcelona was the stage of a series of experiments that the London architect Usman Haque has developed over the past seven years. An immense cloud of glowing globes of light and colour, gave warmth and science to a cold winter day.

10 March 2010

Women at the foot of science

Exhibition

These are the 16 judges of the Catalan science; experts in anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, biology, biomedicine, physics, chemistry and mathematics leading the working groups at universities, research centres and companies in the Principality. Until March 10, their profiles will be exhibited at the Cultural Centre "Les Corts” of Barcelona (Dolors Masferrer, 33-35). Afterwards one will be able to visit it virtually at: http://16cientifiquescatalanes.blogspot.com/

8 March 2010

Seeds as weapons

Documentary

A flawless documentary, that hardly reaps rewards or awards for its audacity and poignancy. Of exquisite invoicing technique (it undertakes a hard theme, whilst managing to keep the viewer in tension throughout its structure), The World According to Monsanto stems from the basic principle of every documentary project: revelation. Nothing we have heard about the nature of the agricultural products we eat resembles not even by surprise what this documentary exposes...

1 March 2010

Essay about the vision

Documentary

Here was the chicken before the egg ... The Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles surprised just a year ago by adapted to the big screen Essay about blindness by Jose Saramago. It was a raw and uncompromising recreation of Plato's cave, transferred to our society, showing that what we are is not determined by what we see; but rather the reverse.What would everything be like if we could not see anything? Saramago set a pattern in his novel; but two co-workers of Meirelles, João Jardim (Fitter) and Walter Carvalho (Photographer), asked themselves this same question seven years before filming Blindness and with the precise intention of giving an answer, or at least, rate a reflection...

24 February 2010

A dark and colossal future

Film

Misery challenges all sorts of progress and dodges the best intentions. In America-the America of Barack Hussein Obama, the dream of a pluralistic social security, universal, and political action aimed at alleviating the suffering of the poor, is unable to move beyond his statement. In 2010, north of Manhattan, New York, scenes are reproduced tat in the twenty-first Century one would only imagine in remote areas of Africa, unrelated to any kind of development and without any hint of morality...

22 February 2010

 
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