Science Non-Fiction | Films at the Intersection of Science + Experimental Documentary at National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Exhibitions, Screenings, and Performances

This recent series of films, made throughout the 2010s, sits at the intersection of science and experimental documentary. In both my photography and video work I’ve explored forms of documentary production that tap into raw, unfettered human emotion and behavior. Our understanding of a range of cognitive processes has been enhanced over the past two decades, coinciding with a period of rapid discovery and advancement in the brain sciences in the new millennium. New insights into early childhood development, emotional intelligence, decision-making, addiction, depression, anger, brain-machine interfaces, etc. are all now studied with a more precise understanding of what’s taking place in the brain. As we have rapidly come to better understand how our brains and emotions operate, our vulnerabilities have increased. This is due in part to the explosive growth of artificial intelligence as well as the astonishing changes in our own habits of communication due to the vast reach of the internet and the widespread adoption of smartphones and personal computers. Across the globe, in an interconnected world, we’re being manipulated and ultimately rewired, our agency diminished and our very perception of reality altered. We’ve entered the dark place that 20th century scientists, writers and theorists anticipated and feared. Since these changes have been gradual and subtle, and because they are so interior, I’ve been wondering exactly how they can be better understood; in particular, I’m interested in how they can be made visual within the context of cinematic expression. In this ongoing and loosely connected series of films I’ve sought answers, particularly as to what evidence may be hiding in plain sight in our new media world of machine intelligence and human vulnerability. Part I. Subjects Bicycle Day | 2016 | 13:30 Apparatus Synapse | 2016 | 16:00 Part II. Manifestations Toxic Detroit | 2011 | 10:00 Oneiric | 2014 | 16:30 Part III. Persuasion Instruction Book on Self | 2019 | 18:30 Nix | 2018 | 23:30

Duke Artist

  • Noland, William  Professor of the Practice Emeritus of Art, Art History and Visual Studies


  • January 18, 2020