Developed to bring attention and reveal the opportunities in research for undergrads, this series focuses on compelling new research by undergraduates supported by NSERC. These are minds that are fresh to science, who have just started to explore a new way of looking at the world. In visual perception, persistence of vision is what allows for still images to become moving sequences. Here these words also refer to the process of science: persistence and vision are the driving forces for research, and the threads that link scientists in different disciplines.
This film plays with the form of a documentary, and is ultimately about the questions, unknown, and search part of research more than it is about having the answers. Hand-drawn animations weave through and surprise the documentary form to vitalize things that aren't quite expressed verbally - they create metaphors that both help express the more mathy concepts, and hint at the explorative and creative aspects of science. In the imagery chosen (a cell that appears as though under a microscope, individuals realized as a connection map), in the questions asked, and in the approach to the project itself, there is evidence of the science minds behind this short film - produced not by filmmakers, but by people with unusual, hybrid backgrounds.
Mahalia Lepage holds a B.Sc. in genetics. Her skills are many and diverse including a deep love of languages both verbal and visual, a commitment to science communication and outreach, and an awareness that beauty and humour connect human experience across cultures and disciplines. This project is her first foray into video and stop action animation. It is entirely hand drawn, old-school style and provides a rare forum for the perspective of a scientist to be realized for the viewer. We see through her lens (and hand) as a person connected to chemistry and biology as much as we are introduced to Mathematical Biology.
Jeremiah Yarmie is a B.Sc. graduate in genetics, and a current master's student in science communication, where he focuses in particular on storytelling. He has an affinity for finding connections to the human aspects of science, paying mind to the people who study science as much as to the science itself. His background in the discipline gives him a particular attention for the significance of what he is reporting, and its impact on the world it works within. Here, as in much of Jeremiah's work, this guides the narrative that is drawn out, educing the personality and character of the scientist behind it.
Seema Goel is an art-science cross over with education in both fields, and the current STEAM coordinator for the Faculty of Science at the U of M. Her ambition is to reveal the inherent creativity of science and its need for risk, dynamic and resilient thinking, the value of serendipity, and how its activity is rooted in hope. Science is the quest for truth, and here we celebrate those who seek it.
Kira Koop approaches science from an art background, having come into the field after completing a B.F.A. She is particularly skilled in photography, with a propensity for capturing unusual perspectives - currently this means those of scientists in their workspaces. She looks where they look, sees what they see, and shares the view with people outside the field. Through her art, as well as in her current studies in library and information sciences, she seeks to build connections. Here she connects art, and science, and the people who make them both happen.
Persistence & Vision is a video animation project that explores science from the perspectives of undergraduate research students at the University of Manitoba. It celebrates their work and the questions they are trying to answer, enhances the communication of science across disciplines, and delves into what it is really like to do research. Each video focuses on one undergraduate student and one research project, and each is a look into a different world of science.
In this first video of the series, Ryan Sherbo describes the experience of doing math-bio research to model the spread of disease.
This project was produced as part of the STEAM initiative at the University of Manitoba, through collaboration between several science-minded people.
Mahalia Lepage (animations, editing, co-director)
B.Sc. (genetics / biochemistry), University of Manitoba
Mahalia has research experience and a science background of her own, which she draws from to produce imagery and visualizations with a certain scientific authenticity. Persistence & Vision is her first animation project.
Jeremiah Yarmie (video / audio, editing, co-director)
B.Sc. (genetics / biochemistry), University of Manitoba
M.S.Comm, Laurentian University (in progress)
Jeremiah is a science writer and communicator, also with science and research experience to back it up. His interests and skills converge in exploring science through video and new media, through which he especially likes to tell stories and connect to the human aspects of science.
Seema Goel (producer, co-director)
B.Sc. (environmental biology), McGill University
M.A. (sculpture), Rhode Island School of Design
Seema is an artist who produces work that plays at the interface of art and science, frequently with interactive or responsive elements. She is currently the first STEAM Coordinator and Artist-In-Residence for the University of Manitoba Faculty of Science.
Kira Koop (video)
B.F.A., University of Manitoba
M.LIS, San Jose State University (in progress)
Kira is an artist / photographer who explores the lab and field through her camera. She is currently the STEAM photographer for the University of Manitoba Faculty of Science.
Alison Davis is a Winnipeg-based animation filmmaker, who helped greatly with advice about this project.
Music: “Pythagoras” by Podington Bear, Free Music Archive, CC BY-NC
Out of the Weeping Web is a story of loss and subsequent recovery of oneself through the process of mourning. It combines stop-motion animation with classical 2D and cut-outs. The visual metaphors in the film create a language that describe the beauty of existence and the importance of emotion freed from censorship. It is a story of renewal and growth born from the process of mourning.