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Warning: this film features flashing light that could be unsuitable for photosensitive viewers.
The recently released images from the James Webb Space Telescope are dazzling accomplishments of human ingenuity. They’re also processed for maximum awe-inducing effect, with multiple pictures often combined to form one pristine image, and colours recalibrated for the human eye. The experimental short Brilliant Noise (2006) finds beauty in the unvarnished and little-seen imagery of space observation in its rawest form. Composed of gritty black and white videos built from NASA’s open data portal, the film features a compilation of solar-flare activity, complete with the flickering and static that are usually smoothed over in NASA-released public-outreach videos. Stripped down to their essence, these sequences possess a direct and guttural power – like a punk-rock alternative to the refined imagery that abounds in social media feeds.
Directors: Ruth Jarman, Joe Gerhardt
Even in modern secular societies, belief in an afterlife persists. Why?
Nature and landscape
Take a serene hike through an ancient forest, inspired by a Miyazaki masterpiece
Design and fashion
The mundane becomes mesmerising in this deep dive into segmented displays
A song of ice, fire and jelly – exploring the physics and history of the trumpet
Animals and humans
An artist and ants collaborate on an exhibit of ‘tiny Abstract Expressionist paintings’
How a curious question about colouring maps changed mathematics forever
A dreamy tribute to the music of Brian Eno, rendered in paint, soap and water
To understand how an animal sees the world, start with the shape of its pupils
Technology and the self
Why we should worry less about ‘sentient’ AIs and more about what we’re teaching them