Labocine — August 2019 Issue — The Poetry of Math

32 film from the science new wave

Numbers are a peculiar human invention, a highly abstract concept that nonetheless map our physical existence in a very direct and comprehensive way. As those mappings become more complicated, so does the mathematics involved, but the tight relationship remains. Concepts initially discovered through complex mathematical transformations entirely divorced from any specific referent have proven, time and again, to be applicable to real phenomena in the world around us. Numbers, then, seem to be simultaneously completely made up and an inherent part of the fabric of reality. But if numbers are a product of our minds, they equally shape how we think. Seeing the world in base ten is very different from taking a binary viewpoint. And the highly mathematical mind, attuned to numerical nuances that may escape the rest of us, may be a thing of beauty and wonder. These films dance along the blurry boundary of the abstract and applied mathematical worlds, in and out of the perspectives those who work with them — physicists, mathematicians, educators, artists — to discover delicate, and yes, poetic, interrelations of the world and its systems of representation.

abbau

The world is submerged in uncertainty. Atom is wave, wave is signal. This movie shows uncertainty by the technique of changing media from PC to paper, from paper to water, from water to PC.

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abbau

Rites of Love and Math

Is there a mathematical formula for love without death? The film “Rites of Love and Math” is a sprawling allegory about Truth and Beauty, Love and Death, Mathematics and Tattoo, set on the stage of Japanese Noh theater.

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Rites of Love and Math

Chances Are

In CHANCES ARE, a mathematics whiz, compulsively totting up the chances on everything, uses his skills to locate the girl of his dreams after a chance encounter with her at a bar. When a probability geek loses a $20 bill with a girl’s phone number on it, he tries to calculate where the bill, and his chances for love have ended up.

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Chances Are

Les Cinq Sages (The Five Wisemen)

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Les Cinq Sages (The Five Wisemen)

A young man explores various space: office, apartment, laboratory… He encounters the inhabitants of this space and makes himself at home. Edgar Morin, Jean-Claude Carrière, Stéphane Douady… The discussion is about the process of creation. The interviews interlace, create a dialogue and enrich each other. New relationships are formed and affinities creates. The frontiers of art, science and philosophy are suddenly very blurry.

Unknown Fields: Madagascar — A Treasure Island

In times past an anarchist community of pirates called Madagascar home. It was an island beyond the law and off the map, a place of rogues, booty and bounties. These were outlaws moored on a marooned ecosystem. Set adrift 88 million years ago, the island is a castaway in the Indian Ocean, inhabited by a band of ecological stowaways. In this splendid isolation it has evolved into an unparalleled wonderland of the weird and unique, diverse and unbelievable.

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Unknown Fields: Madagascar — A Treasure Island

Einstein-Rosen

Summer of 1982. Teo claims he has found a wormhole. His brother Óscar does not believe him — at least not for now.

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Einstein-Rosen

Persistence & Vision

Persistence & Vision is a video animation project that explores science from the perspectives of undergraduate research students at the University of Manitoba. It celebrates their work and the questions they are trying to answer, enhances the communication of science across disciplines, and delves into what it is really like to do research. Each video focuses on one undergraduate student and one research project, and each is a look into a different world of science. In this first video of the series, Ryan Sherbo describes the experience of doing math-bio research to model the spread of disease.

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Persistence & Vision

Fermat’s Room

Summoned to a remote warehouse by the enigmatic Fermat, four brilliant mathematicians are given pseudonyms — Galois, Hilbert, Olivia and Pascal — and tasked with solving highly complex numerical riddles. As the apparent strangers struggle to solve the puzzles and determine why they are there, the stakes get higher as the walls literally begin to close in around them.

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Fermat’s Room

The Mathematics Engraver

La Motte-Chalancon, Drôme provençale, Winter 2016. A black-cloaked figure paces the narrow, crooked streets of the medieval village, as if straight out of a gothic film: muttering mathematical formulae, Patrice Jeener is taking us to his house, where he introduces us to his work — hundreds of engravings representing mathematical objects, concepts and graphs.

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The Mathematics Engraver

Matter Patterns

Many people believe that mathematics and science somehow detract from the beauty of nature. We respectfully disagree — for science has shown that nature is mathematics and mathematics nature. With the right kind of eyes, flowers are no longer just flowers and stars are no longer just stars. Rather than subtract, science and mathematics provide an extra dimension to appreciate the beauty of nature: a new kind of aesthetic and a new kind of elegance. We’re creating a film that offers everyone this wondrous new perspective: one that shares the spirit (if not the budget) of the new generation of Cosmos.

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Matter Patterns

Strange Particles

The young quantum physicist Konstantin teaches at university and during summer vacation he goes to a university’s sea campus. Every day he teaches for a group of students, and at night he keeps order in he dormitory. Students prefer summer, girls and their own youth instead of physics. Like a fish out of the water, Konstantin perceives the surrounding reality through the prizm of physics and feels the opposition between the classical world and the quantum one. Both worlds don’t seem to fit in.

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Strange Particles

The Approximate Present

A short animated film about the weather — inspired and informed by chaos theory and Lorenz attractors, romantic landscape paintings and the minimalist polygonal look of early computer simulations.

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The Approximate Present

Logically Policed

Nature, said Galileo, is a book written in the language of mathematics. Fast-forward 400 years and mathematics has become the essential tool for driving human progress and innovation. From a stand up comedian to a professional juggler this film puts together science communicators who you would not expect to be your typical maths teacher and, along with University professors, they talk about our relationship with mathematics, unveiling the reasons for which we don’t like numbers but cannot do without them.

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Logically Policed

Värin — äänin (With colour — with sound)

The stop motion animation is the artist’s personal attempt to portray infinity “with colour — with sound”. The concept of infinity is both fascinating and frustrating. How can something be infinite? Is there something beyond infinite? Infinity can be approached with imagination or mathematics — yet it can never be attained. Each frame of the animation is a painting or a drawing. The soundtrack is composed of manipulated recordings.

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Värin — äänin (With colour — with sound)

Thödgal

Tögal (Tib., Wyl. thod rgal), translated as ‘direct crossing’, ‘the direct approach’ or ‘leapover’, can very quickly bring the actual realization of the three kayas in this lifetime, and thus is a more rapid way of bringing about the dissolution of the practitioner’s karmic vision. The practice of tögal brings the realization of ‘spontaneous presence’, and it can only be undertaken by a practitioner who has first gained stability in the practice of kadak trekchö

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Thödgal

Everything Turns

A shorthand study of the mythology of numbers, from 1 to 12. Scientific tradition is adopted then eschewed for rumours, legends and defunct theories from across the ages. The camera pens a year-long record of space, movement and the passing of time in historic locations around the world. This almanac of anthropomorphic numerology is recorded in-camera onto Super 8, using open exposure photography, light painting, light table animation, paper animation, hand drawn animation and more. Just like Richter nearly 100 years ago, we will discover that everything turns, everything revolves and everything feels the deep score of time.

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Everything Turns

Delirio Matematico

To me you were neither arithmetic of love, simple and pure, nor algebra of feelings, moved by factors such as boredom, convenience or fear elements of the granitic equations. Family and Future. In a life which is a continuous division by zero dominated by transforms and curves gone mad over Cartesian axes, behind which complicated functions — better to say fictions — raise themselves as corrupt solvers of every decision to be had.

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Delirio Matematico

10–3 = 13

Set between a children’s play town that playfully delivers sincere propositions for a collective logic of political imagination. Drawing from anti-bias curricula alongside radical positions on colonial and historical debts, 10–3 = 13 offers a lesson on the ‘misinvention’ of negative numbers.

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10–3 = 13

Head, Heart and Soul

Almost everyone thinks they understand art. Almost no one believes that they understand theoretical physics and modern mathematics. Both worlds collide and influence each other during the art competition MATH CREATIONS. Modern math lectures interpreted by modern artists.

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Head, Heart and Soul

The Discrete Charm of Geometry

A team of mathematicians is working together on a big project. Excitement of discovery, hope and disappointment, competition and recognition are shown from an infinitely close distance. Scientists united by the idea of discretization, which, in short, means: constructing continuous objects from basic building blocks. Akin to the scientists’ search for the right discretization of continuum, this film itself is composed of fragments — individual characters of different ages, temperaments and scientific approaches — which form a single continuous melody. The question of where the boundaries lie between mathematics and the lives of those who are involved in it and how much they are willing to sacrifice is as important as the search for precise scientific answers. A unique and unprecedented dive into the unknown world of mathematicians.

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The Discrete Charm of Geometry

Geometric Poetry

There is something between lines and words

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Geometric Poetry

Algorithmic Poetry

The world has become unimaginably complex. Digital presence has reframed and re-narrated individuals; re-created new forms or archives and revolutionized historiographies. The digital and contemporary practices of reading and writing have reshaped literature and our relation with text. Internet communication has turned into a form of virtual performance of the self.

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Algorithmic Poetry

Metatrón

Before the studies that the Earth was infinite, Ernesto was inspired in the shape of the metratron to design his own alternate universite. Obsessed with the idea of how he and his project would be classified, he becomes convinced that only ideas, and not the creator, should transcend.

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Metatrón

Tangent Room

Trapped in a mysterious room, four brilliant minds must race against time to prevent a cosmic collapse of the universe.

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Tangent Room

75000 Futures

The artbook »75,000 futures« depicts 240 graphs along with their poetic titles that picture high frequency trade sequences of the New York Stock Exchange crash on May 6th, 2010. »The Blue Pig», »Low Tide», »The Circus Comes To Town» and others document how trading algorithms caused an initial collapse of the stock markets . The graphs were collatedand named by the firm Nanex that ultimately identified the cause of the crash: a network problem triggered the sale of 75,000 e-mini futures. The artbook dispenses with explanations. The graphs appear, without time axis and key, as pure forms. What seems insane in economic terms, suddenly makes sense in terms of beauty and poetry. The essay that is part of the project you can find here: http://thegreeneyl.com/75000-futures

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75000 Futures

mars & math

Only Mars appears in this movie.

Mars has own shadow .

I can feel Integration from shadow.

I can feel other things from shadow to shadow.

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mars & math

Sun Zero to Planet Six

A sample of my poetry planet countup, Planet Six. A collage film that counts up from Sun Zero to Saturn Six, culled from archival math and science films, and an homage to space activity and historical representations of it. It is part of a live cinema performance that ends with spoken word and violin.

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Sun Zero to Planet Six

Reanimation ep6: Monsters in the Machine

In the sixth film of this series, a response to the 200th anniversary Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, historian and philosopher of science Margaret Wertheim, neuroscientist and AI researcher Daniel Baer, and engineer and ethicist Branden Allenby reflect on our perpetually evolving definition of and ethical parameters around intelligence and artificiality. Animated by Joe Bichard and produced by Massive Science.

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Reanimation ep6: Monsters in the Machine

Alternative Math

A well meaning math teacher finds herself trumped by a post-fact America.

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Alternative Math

The Math Behind the McKnelly Megalith

McKnelly MegalithCarving starting around 1100 A.D., the Moai of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) weigh up to 82 tons apiece. When Dutch explorers discovered this pacific island in 1722, they wondered at these megalithic figures, asking the inhabitants how their ancestors possibly moved the statues from quarry to site. The Rapanui explained that their ancestors didn’t move the Moai; rather, the Moai walked themselves. It wasn’t until 2012 that Archaeolgist Carl Lipo discovered and proved that the Moai were indeed transported upright, bringing new meaning to the assumed folklore that the statues ‘walked themselves’.

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The Math Behind the McKnelly Megalith

Elena Asins — Genesis

Elena Asins has lived for over 20 years in Azpirotz, a small village in the northeast of Navarra. From there she develops one of the most significant artistic careers in the Spanish contemporary art scene.

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Elena Asins — Genesis

Labocine is an Imagine Science Films initiative to extend our film programming to a broader and more diverse audience. We have over 2,000 film titles from 200 countries for all ages brought to you by artists, scientists, filmmakers and educators.

By experimenting with cinematic form and style, we are committed to provoking scientific intrigue and understanding, always ensuring compelling and well-founded narratives. Periodically, we release Spotlights online. On the first Tuesday of every month, enjoy our issue selections which complement newsworthy science by proposing a surgically curated online festival. From documentary to fiction to lab footage, we hope to always challenge the way you understand, interpret and appreciate scientific ideas and perspectives.

Submissions: If you would like to submit a film or propose a program for Spotlights, write to us at film@labocine.com

Stay tuned and email us for more information at info@labocine.com.

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