Acclaimed filmmaker Mary Sweeney and neuroscientist Jonas Kaplan explore the creative place where art and science meet. FLOAT is a series of conversations with filmmakers, fine artists, musicians, technologists, and neuroscientists, investigating their common inspirations, motivations, and processes. Hosted by two USC professors, FLOAT takes you on a journey to the nexus of art and science.
Nancy Baker Cahill: Tapping a Vein
Nancy Baker Cahill is a new media artist who examines power, selfhood, and embodied consciousness through drawing and shared immersive space. She is the Founder of 4th Wall, a free Augmented Reality art platform exploring resistance and inclusive creative expression. Her AR site specific installations have been exhibited around the world. She was a 2021 resident at Oxy Arts’ ‘Encoding Futures,’ focused on virtual monuments, and was recently awarded the Williams College Bicentennial Medal of Honor.
Rodrigo Garcia: The Scent Of An Idea
Rodrigo Garcia is an award-winning writer and director of the feature films Nine Lives, Albert Nobbs and Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her. He directed many seminal TV series including Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and In Treatment. He is an Executive Producer of the upcoming Netflix series based on Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. He recently published the memoir, A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes, about his parents Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha.
Joe Walker: Paradoxes in Editing
Joe Walker was born in the UK and originally trained as a classical music composer. He switched to film editing, working for several years editing British films, television and documentaries. He now lives and works in L.A. where he has collaborated extensively with two directors, Steve McQueen and Denis Villeneuve. In the past 7 years Joe has been nominated for two Oscars and three BAFTAs for his work on 12 Years a Slave, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. He most recently collaborated with Villeneuve on Dune.
Antonio Damasio: Lunch With Orson Welles
In this episode we speak with Dr. Antonio Damasio, who is perhaps one of the most influential neuroscientists of the last hundred years. His work has emphasized the role of emotion in cognition, the deep connection between brain and body, and the roots of consciousness in biological systems for maintaining life. The mystery of consciousness is the subject of his latest book, Feeling and Knowing: Making Minds Conscious. Antonio Damasio is the Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC.
Kasi Lemmons: Writing Ourselves
Kasi is an award-winning director, writer and actress who has been a staple in Hollywood for nearly three decades, most recently with her Oscar nominated film Harriet. Her acclaimed 1997 feature directorial debut Eve’s Bayou was recently inducted into the National Film Registry. Kasi wrote the libretto for Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which will open the Metropolitan Opera Season on September 27th and she’s currently directing the Whitney Houston story, I Wanna Dance with Somebody.
Sam Harris: Thieves Entering an Empty House
In this episode of FLOAT we talk with Sam Harris. Sam is a public thinker, a neuroscientist, an author, a philosopher, and a podcaster. He hosts the incredibly popular Making Sense podcast, and he also has a successful meditation app called Waking Up. In addition to studying philosophy at Stanford and neuroscience at UCLA he has trained with some of the world’s foremost meditation teachers, making him a rare expert in both scientific and experiential approaches to investigating consciousness.