Unfortunately, the festival is almost over, but we can still look forward to the Award show. In any case, yesterday was an interesting day full of films, an escape room, and NEMO City Lab. Read more about the highlights of the fourth festival day here.
The documentary Saving Brinton offers itself to multiple descriptions. Saving Brinton is about a man who has enough perseverance to make others passionate about his remarkable discovery in 1981 in a barn of a small town in Iowa. The film presents a glimpse into film history. It invites us to think about a thin line between hoarding and preserving what may not be of apparent value.
After the screening, we talked with Kathleen Lotze from University of Antwerp who does research on media and culture in order to hear her reflections on this documentary.
Until recently there has not been much excitement about this unique discovery of M. Zahs. Why is that?
From my experience, no one shows much interest because they cannot estimate the value of things. With films, it is easier to get someone interested because we know that old films are rather rare. But, for example, with logbooks, letters, diaries, all of which is important documentation this is not the case.
How do some collections survive while others may never become known and gradually dissolve?
Indeed, it often is the faith of collections like this. If you don’t find the right person who knows the value of the material, then it probably is going to get lost. Archives typically have limited space. How it usually goes is that you meet someone and they know someone else. So if you don’t know someone you are a Don Quixote fighting against windmills.
Yesterday many people came to watch Family Shots because they had the same question as the family in the film: “Should we vaccinate our children?”. Philosopher Marcel Verweij thinks that the trust in vaccines becomes less and less in the Netherlands. He says that one of the reason might be an easy access to information about vaccination through the Internet which is often not in favor of vaccination. Moreover, he noted that not much care is given to side effects of vaccination when it comes to scientific research.
Parents in the audience felt familiar with the character’s doubts. In a childcare center, they are often not heard when they show their doubts about vaccination. “I think it is good to have an open discussion about vaccination.”
Max welling about life with artificial intelligence
The idea of artificial intelligence often contains images of robots helping us in our home. Max Welling thinks differently. He thinks there will be a smarter version of Siri or Alexa, floating around on a server. Computers will have to learn a lot before that time comes, although we already have algorithms helping us in our daily life, such as a navigation system, Tinder or Spotify and Netflix suggestions. There are still some challenges when it comes to privacy and legislation, but Welling has trust in AI making our life easier. Unfortunately, this may take some time, so we have to swipe on our phones ourselves.
NEMO City Lab
Digital technology is making the world a very odd place. On social media, although friends with many people of varied political slants and opinions, we only see and hear about those we like, those similar to our own. We are existing in a bubble, a filter bubble. All smart functions – recording, tracking, algorithms – are hidden away from view, in a seemingly invisible digital code. But NEMO Kennislink has eloquently designed an interactive experience to make the intangible, tangible.
NEMO Kennislink took over the library with NEMO City Lab, an interactive experience exploring smart cities, solidifying digital processes such as profiling and the filter bubble. Explore smart cities, through voting on the concept of cities taking your data, or with an illustrator, design your own. NEMO City Lab has cleverly even managed to make their talks interactive. In silent-disco style, through headphones listen as a group to statements, and express your opinion by standing in different zones.
NEMO Kennislink has skilfully made an important and at times confusing topic, enjoyable and accessible.
Photos by Almicheal Fraay.