Theme 2023 AIR
The definition of air spans from a set of chemical elements, a concept, an inspiration, a source of life and death, and its elementary role as a game changer for people, animals, and landscapes. Air is fundamental for life, being relevant both at a global scale to evaluate climate change or loss of biodiversity and at a local scale to design sustainable and resilient urban and rural environments. It is an indicator of Sustainable Development Goals such as good health and well-being, reduced inequalities, climate action, and life below water and on land. The pandemic has reminded us of its shared condition when we have been forced to filter the air with masks or mechanical devices, renew it with ventilation, and study if it spreads infectious diseases.
Despite its invisible nature, air has always played a key role in architecture and urbanism, for people’s physical and psychological health and well-being depend on environmental qualities. Degradation or improvement of air defines the sustainability of life conditions and is an indicator of the quality of life. In early Islamic and Mediterranean architecture, windcatchers provided passive cooling systems. The drying of Dutch polders has been powered by windmills which have become distinctive landmarks. Mild weather conditions have shaped public spaces as places for culture and economy. And more recently, the greening of post-industrial cities improved air quality. The concept of air quality and pollution has translated into national regulations, sensing communities that collaborate locally, and generated IoT (Internet of Things) solutions and data platforms.
Air applies to many scientific fields, such as aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, for efficient and sustainable transport and navigation design, improving combustion processes and generating clean or renewable energies. Leonardo da Vinci, an artist on the verge of art and science, preconises the modern helicopter already in the late 1480s in his pioneering drawings of the “aerial screw”. Air is elementary in chemical processes such as the wear, tear, and oxidation of materials and in transmitting sound and digital information by wireless means. Climate and meteorological sciences connect the physics and chemistry of the air with weather and climate models, the Earth’s system of living things, clouds, and oceans.
Air, a unique and volatile element, also means beauty. Air has always been a source of inspiration in art, crossing all kinds of artistic media. Air becomes visible and corporeal in the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi’s “Sunbeams” from 1900. Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from 1893 takes the form of sound waves transformed into a landscape expressing a state of mind. In Bill Viola’s 2014 video artwork “The Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water)”, we experience it as a force of nature only tamed by inner strength to resist it. In contrast, Hisao Suzuki’s 2014 photograph “Magic in La Vila” evokes in the vegetation the purity of the air as a generator of life in an exercise of sharp visual perception.
A wide-ranging concept as air raises the opportunity to create a common ground for any artistic or scientific discipline, making the invisible visible. And where architecture plays a crucial role in the air’s visibility by creating spaces drawing boundaries in the air.
Regional S+T+ARTS Centre: AIR
Lecture Series RCR TALKS
The series of 6 lectures are given by Francis Soler, Un Parell d’Arquitectes (Eduard Callís and Guillem Moliner) and Héctor Barroso, who will talk about architecture, Miquel Adrià, who will explain how to communicate architecture in different formats from the publishing house, festivals and other types of activism, of Fernando Moral who will open up horizons for us in the world of art, and of Jordi Balló who takes us to the world of cinema.
FOREST MATTER V
Forest Matter is a selection of video creations that celebrate the poetic power of trees. In its 5th edition, it presents six short video dance and video-art works that, as in previous editions, accompany the lectures of the 2022 Open Programme. Forest Matter is a LABEA – art, science and nature laboratory project, carried out in collaboration with the RCR Bunka Foundation / RCR Arquitectes (Pritzker Prize 2017), curated by Isabel Ferreira and produced by Lívia Diniz. See videos-summary of previous editions, and more information on this link.
“Industry continues to tempt us with new products in wood, concrete and steel, but our primary building material is nearly weightless; in fact, it is air. Not only weightless but invisible, quixotic.”. Jill Stoner – “Poems for Architects: An Anthology “. Air is also essential in constructing the poetic experience of the video art and video dance works that comprise the Materia Bosque programme.
Isabel Ferreira is a curator and cultural manager with a degree in Art History, a master’s in visual Culture and University Specialist in Culture and Territory. She is the director of the Festival—more info on her website. Lívia Diniz is an artist, project creator and manager. She activates networks to develop collaborative and transdisciplinary initiatives related to childhood, living arts, dreams, nature and technologies.
Videocreations Series FOREST MATTER V
Monday, July 3, 2023 · Forest Matter V · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
Monday, July 3, 2023 · Lecture · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
Tuesday, July 4, 2023 · Forest Matter · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
Tuesday, July 4, 2023 · Lecture · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
Wednesday, July 5, 2023 · Forest Matter V · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
FOREST MATTER V · Motus Gravis (2013) · Michele Ragni, Italy · 01:00 min
A work that evokes the beauty and elegance of the world’s movement. “Motus Gravis, by Italian filmmaker Michele Ragni, is a 60-second video artwork that captures the hypnotic and sophisticated dance of trees.
Direction and editing: Michele Ragni; Composition: Andrea Rellini; Performance: Nature.
Wednesday, July 5, 2023 · Lecture · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
Tuesday, July 11, 2023 · Forest Matter V · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
Tuesday, July 11, 2023 · Lecture · Pati de l'Hospici · Olot · 7 pm
CINEMA · The Wind Will Carry Us · Jordi Balló
In the cinema, the air is tangible because it creates movement. A tree, an object on the street, a cloud, or a flying piece of paper acquire prominence when perceived as oscillating. That is why the great authors of nature and the human condition take advantage of this significant factor and turn the air, the wind, and the space between the camera and the filmed into the primary source of visual poetry.
Jordi Balló (Figueres, Spain, 1954) is Professor of Film Iconography at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. He was elected Dean of the Faculty of Communication (2018-2021) and subsequently Director of the Department of Communication (2021). He was also Visiting Professor in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford University (California) in 2008.
He is the author and co-author of the books La llavor immortal. Els arguments universals en el cinema (1995); Imatges del silenci (2000); Jo ja he estat aquí: ficcions de la repetició (2005, winner of the Serra d’Or Award); El món un escenari. Shakespeare: el guionista invisible (2015) and Motivos visuales del cine (2016). In addition, he was the conceptual author of the Cultura/s supplement of La Vanguardia. He was head of its Advisory Board between 2002 and 2014.
He was director of exhibitions at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona from 1998 to 2011, where he curated collections such as El siglo del cine; Mundo TV; La Ciudad de los cineastas; Erice/Kiarostami; Hammershoi and Dreyer; Todas las cartas: Correspondencias fílmicas; and Pasolini Roma, where he explored the limits between the cinema and the museum space.
He directs the Master in Creative Documentary at Pompeu Fabra University, where he has promoted films such as La plaga and Sis dies corrents, by Neus Ballús; El cielo gira by Mercedes Álvarez; Cravan vs Cravan and La leyenda del tiempo by Isaki Lacuesta; Aguaviva by Ariadna Pujol; En Construcción by José Luis Guerin, or Mones com la Becky and De nens, by Joaquim Jordà, among others.
In 2011, he received the City of Barcelona Audiovisual Award as the Todas las cartas exhibition curator. Correspondencias fílmicas. In 2005, he was awarded the Generalitat de Catalunya’s National Culture Prize for his direction of the master’s degree in Creative Documentary and his promotion of creative freedom.