BCC – Blind Carbon Copy

2011

It’s in marionet’s DNA to ask questions and try to answer them, combining both the subjective and emotional dimension of the artists we collaborate with and the accurate and inquiring look of the scientists that cross our path. In order to create BCC, we followed IMAR-CMA’s (Marine and Environmental Research Centre) work for almost two years, taking a closer look at life inside rivers, which is plural, complex and threatened just like ours.

BCC is our insight about the important issue of climate change and other important transformations each of us stirs in everyday’s life.

As in an email in which we don’t know the hidden contacts, our life often seems to hide from us what’s essential. Apparently transparent like the water in a creek, our existence is part of a chaos impossible to understand merely by looking at it.

Mankind is changing Earth into a hot and unbearable planet. That’s what the macroinvertebrates we’ve been watching through the magnifying glass during this artistic residence would say.

 

It’s now over two years since we first visited the work developed by the IMAR-CMA group “Freshwater Ecosystems and Catchment Areas”. Back then, we were surprised by the amount of life in rivers, and became conscious of both the fragility and complexity of these ecosystems and the constant threats Mankind exposes them to.

The fascination with the almost invisible world of macroinvertebrates and the will to bring the audience’s attention to the issue of climate change made us bring this matters on to the stage. During the course of our artistic residence in this research centre we gathered samples of the scientific work in order to use them in our own work. We went along on field trips, watched the relationships established between scientists and their study objects, we were at the lab and observed their controlled experiences, we learned their methods, their motives, their visions of the world, their doubts and their questions. From all this, we established the premises for the experience at our own artistic lab.

When we started the final stage of our project, already aiming at a collective performance created from the samples we gathered and the experiences we had, it seemed inevitable to reveal, in our final work, the “microcosmos” of rivers and the life that inhabits them. However, the variables in our experience weren’t fully controlled, perhaps showing a fundamental distinction between art and science, and the final result was an unexpected insight about the human being. With the magnifying glass over a petri dish filled with macroinvertebrates potentially threatened by a global rise of the planet’s temperature, we find ourselves looking at a mirror trying to unravel the reasons for our behaviors.

IMAR-CMA is a research unit of the Institute of Marine Research created in 1994. Locates at the university of Coimbra, IMAR-CMA is an unit classified as “Very Good” by international panels of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. Its 100+ researchers work closely in research projects focused on coastal ecosystems and rivers. Their research provides scientific and technical answers to both public and private entities about the evaluation and management of ecological quality, optimization of hydric resources, development of strategies in bio-conservation. IMAR-CMA’s research line 2 (Freshwater Ecosystems and Catchment Areas) specifically develops studies related to the decomposition of leaf materials and biomonitoring of rivers, and also the interaction between nematodes and plants.

 

Credits

Discussion and Ideas: Alexandre Lemos, Dinis Santos, Emanuel Botelho, Joana Cardoso, Joana Pupo, Maria João Feio, Mário Montenegro, Miguel Lança, Pedro Andrade, Pedro Augusto, Rafaela Bidarra, Rui Simão, Tiago Serra. Text and Artistic Direction: Mário Montenegro. Actors: Joana Pupo, Mário Montenegro, Miguel Lança, Rafaela Bidarra. Stage design, costume and props: Joana Cardoso, Pedro Andrade. Image: Pedro Andrade. Original Soundtrack/Sound Operation: Pedro Augusto. Light Operation: Rui Simão. Original Video/Video Operation: Dinis Santos, Miguel Marinheiro. Generative Software: Tiago Serra, Victor Martins. Hair Styling: Carlos Gago, Paula Rodrigues, Ilídio Design Photography: Francisca Moreira. Video recording and editing: João de Almeida. Production Director: Alexandre Lemos. Executive Production: Emanuel Botelho, Lígia Anjos. Paintings used in the posters are from Carlos Seabra.

 

Supporters

Fundação Bissaya Barreto; Ilídio Design; MAFIA – Federação Cultural de Coimbra; RUC – Rádio Universidade de Coimbra; TEUC – Teatro dos Estudantes da Universidade de Coimbra.

 

Artistic Residence with the support of

IMAR-CMA – Instituto do Mar – Centro do Mar e Ambiente

 

Acknowledgments

BCC was created due to an artistic residency at IMAR-CMA, where we accompanied essentialy two projects from its research line 2: project PTDC/AAC-AMB/105297/2008 “Aquaweb”, lead by Maria João Feio, and project PTDC/CLI/67180/2006, “Predicting the effect of global warming on stream ecosystems”, lead by Cristina Canhoto.

We thank the generous collaboration of IMAR-CMA, specially to: Ana Gonçalves, Cristina Canhoto, João Carlos Marques, Manuel Graça, Maria João Feio, Maria Gabriel, Sónia Serra, Verónica Ferreira. We also thank to Nicolai Sarbib, Carlos Seabra, Carlos Gago, Teresa Pato and all the team of A Escola da Noite.

 

Financial support

Ministério da Cultura/DGArtes

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