There is always movement, even in stillness. Things around us are constantly changing in tiny ways that we don’t notice, eventually building up to growth and death. In “Confluence,” by director Noah Shulman, viewers look beyond what the human eye is capable of seeing to experience those moments in between the transformations that we perceive.
Noah Shulman shot an array of processes both natural and mechanical at incredibly close range and in a controlled environment, allowing to isolate the micro-movements that constantly occur around us in a nearly balletic way. The film includes extreme close-ups of everything from magnetic to chemical and heat reactions, but it’s up to the viewer to extrapolate out from what they can see to imagine the larger view that they can’t.
Created with specialty macro lenses and microscopes and shot in 4K resolution, the film reveals hauntingly beautiful movement at the microscopic level and reminds viewers that everything around them is in flux, even when the surface is calm. Tiny movements compound upon each other to create perceptible change.
The film is part of Mental Fabrications, an installation by architect Ion Popian that aims to map the mind's mental landscape through electroencephalogram (EEG). To do that, “Confluence” seeks to stimulate particular brain activities and reactions and then convert them into physical sculptures. It's art in the purest form; directly from the brain to creation.
While the desired brain activity occurs, it’s tracked with a standard EEG headset that the viewers wear. Once the data has been collected, the brain’s landscape can then be replicated with a 3D printer, making manifest a representation of a formerly hidden human process. Not only does the film reveal micro-processes in and of themselves, but it also reveals the generally unseen results of discovering those movements.