The art of science and the science of art in full display in Valletta
Pictured above: Brainrave
In the era of hyper connectivity, arts provide the quiet of the soul that humans require and the upcoming Science in the City 2016 will transform an abundance of information into boundless fusion of science and humanities.
Now in its fifth year, the Festival is the biggest attempt to date by the organisers to bring artists and scientists together and help each other cross the border between the two realms. Science in the City 2016 will be held on Friday 30th September and runs with the theme of the ‘Brain’.
“Whether outside our studio or laboratory, by working outside our comfort zones we can spark new understandings and create new ideas on artistic, scientific and social progress,” said Angele Galea, artistic consultant of Science in the City 2016. “This year’s festival is brimming with science related artistic works. For example, Valletta’s St George’s Square will be portrayed as the “Brain Square” and will feature a cacophony of artworks and exhibitions.”
The activities at Brain Square include a Kummettiva dance performance, which fuses traditional Maltese dance depicting movements of Alzheimer’s disease performed by Paul Curmi Dance company; Brainrave, where visitors will be able to control music and visuals just by thinking about it will be shown by artists and sound engineering Andrew Schembri and Toni Gialanzé; a larger than life model of the human skull will showcase the evolution of psychiatry by Mount Carmel Hospital; Raphael Vella’s Cortex is an art installation inspired by neuroscience and scientific comparative studies of different mammalian brains (created with the assistance of scientific adviser Prof Mario Valentino); and Richmond Foundation will show an art exhibition by some of their members.
Further up in Republic Street, a blindfolded dancer will be performing Trust Me, an act inspired by the Romborg’s Test. The test is typically undertaken to determine the limits of balance. This is a project of Moveo Dance Company.
As interactivity is a hallmark of the Science in the City festivals, little brainiacs will be able to indulge in a variety of activities and games in Science at Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier. Children 4+ can join the Kids Dig Science workshops to learn how their brains sense the world at the Studio Room. The Cinema Room will host two puppet shows Inside Out at 6pm and 8pm and Marie Curie by S-Cubed at 7pm.
Acclaimed group Teatru Anon will be performing I’m Still Here, one woman’s battle with a life threatening condition – dementia. This will be performed at 6.30pm, 8.00pm and 9.30pm at the Theatre Room, St James Cavalier. While at the Cinema, CineXjenza will present the film Still Alice (on Alzheimer’s disease) at 9.00pm followed by a discussion with Dr Charles Scerri.
Funk Initiative, an alternative indie art rock band, is recreating their work in an experimental performance called Cartographers, which is inspired by reflections of neurologists, psychoanalysts, and poets. The first show starts at 8.00pm and repeated at 9.45pm at Pjazza Teatru Rjal. In between shows the audience can meet Gianluca Bezzina, Paul Torpiano, Shaun Abdilla, Christopher Tate, Luke Grech, Fabian Bonello, Daniel Buttigieg at Meet the Researchers (area 3a)
At City Gate entrance, four anthropomorphic sculptures will be displaying the evolution of the nervous system in different animals – artworks are by artist Liliana Fleri Soler.
Science in the City festival – European Researchers’ Night coincides with 300 other events held across Europe and is organised by the University of Malta, the Malta Chamber of Scientists, the University’s Research Trust (RIDT) together with a number of partners.
It is funded by the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (H2020, 2014–2020) by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and recognised as a Festival by Europe for Festivals and Festivals for Europe (EFFE). It is supported by the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth & Sport, University Research Trust (RIDT), Jugs Malta, Studio 7, MEUSAC, MCST, Valletta Local Council, MCAST, PBS, Notte Bianca, Spazju Kreattiv, Pjazza Teatru Rjal, and General Soft drinks with Coca Cola.
The programme can be viewed on www.scienceinthecity.org.mt or follow the festival on Facebook for regular updates: www.facebook.com/ScienceInTheCityMalta.