In The Art of Questionable Provenance, the lives of a photojournalist, a neuropathologist, an art forensic expert, and a fortune teller intersect around a bizarre crime. A tale of perception that parallels the functions of the brain and explores critical themes emerging from modern neuroscience, The Art of Questionable Provenance examines how we piece together the stories – real or illusory – of our selves. Do the firings of certain neurons in a particular pattern ultimately determine who we are? The Art of Questionable Provenance is a continuing collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara, and its participants include prominent scientists and professional artists.
See the trailer of the work in progress.
A young scientist, at a critical point in her career, receives notice of a mysterious package left to her by the late mother she never knew. What she finds when she travels to Japan to retrieve her inheritance is much more than she ever could have imagined. Dealing with themes of identity, culture, and heritage, Bend, Fold, Break asks how we define ourselves—as scientists and artists, as individuals, and as family.
What drives scientists to push the boundaries of knowledge?
What is their process of discovery?
The Web series, Curiosity: The Making of a Scientist, is a unique research project encompassing storytelling, science communication and documentary filmmaking. Curiosity takes us into the labs and lives of scientists and explores what motivates and is involved in choosing a career in science, what inspires scientific investigation, and the nature of curiosity itself. Our goal is to show the human side of scientists by showing the everyday lives, inspirations and challenges of scientists and break away from some of the stereotypes that the words ‘scientist’ or ‘science’ brings to the public minds.
Our process of content creation for the episodes is heavily inspired by methodologies of experimental scientific research. We treat the footage that we obtained from our film shoots analogous to ‘data’ obtained from an experiment that a scientist performs. Similar to a ‘hypothesis’ in an experiment, we begin with a thesis of the story we want to show. We work in an interdisciplinary team to iteratively analyze the footage (‘data’) in several ‘objective’ and 'analytical' ways and let this analysis unfold the content of the story (‘publication’). Our methods deviate in several ways from traditional artistic processes and lend room for failure and serendipitous discoveries which we believe can lead to new and exciting paths. We also try to identify two character arcs in the footage: the scientist and the “science” that the scientist does. We realize that what grabs a viewer's attention is the emotional tones in the character arc. We thus want to identify the ‘emotions’ intrinsic to the nature of the research as well.
Curiosity is made possible, in part, by:
Research and experimentation in the kitchen entangled with the personal lives of three famous chefs.
Two women, a critical moment in history, and the fundamental principle of symmetry.