GEN Center for Arts & Sciences is an institution designed to produce interdisciplinary projects in order to build bridges between Art, Science and Technology. GEN is a social connector, a cross pollinating platform where scientists, technologists and artists can devise new ways of influencing positive social change. Although it is an independent organization, it works in close collaboration with many governmental agencies, cultural institutions and private companies. It produces films, TV series, documentaries, performing arts and multimedia projects.
One of the main aims of GEN is to stimulate, through widely shared artistic endeavors and large scale media projects, a new social consideration of the possibilities of education, a proactive discussion on how to change and scale traditional ways of producing goods, and an innovative exploration of how technology can be used in combination of scientific research to protect our natural environment. Some of the projects we are developing now are:
Mind the gap: a documentary devoted to the perceptual and cognitive human characteristics that make us prone to be manipulated by political campaigns and gullible when presented with fake news. The film intends to contribute in a non-apocalyptic way to process of self-awareness through which audiences can understand that their own ways of interacting with information are indeed part of the problem. When discourses about a polarized world tend to underline the distance with “the other”, the film proposes a more exploratory approach that involves a better understanding our own nature. This project is in the process of development. Budget: USD $2,085,000
The Trail of Things: a series aimed mostly at teenagers in which everyday objects are being dismantled, their parts taken apart and visualized as the result of a history that involves intellectual, material and social processes. The idea behind the series is to have a less trivial interaction with goods, tools and devices, and to invite the audience to a journey that often entails several distant locations involved in the production of a single object. Along that journey, the viewers will hear the testimony of miners, factory workers, or scientists from many countries getting to know the human cost and the often unimaginable logistics behind each aspect of our everyday lives. The series in currently being developed and the total budget is: USD $2,350,000.
Late Bloomers: As life expectancy keeps growing, soon there will be more mature people than teenagers. This has ushered a new era of creativity, change and empowering choices for people in their golden years. Late Bloomers is a series about mature people that have taken an unexpected turn in their lives at an advanced age. An inspiring quest to make the most of our wisest years, and to apply our experience to regain a sense of meaning. An engaging narrative, full of amazing personal stories and captured with a deep sense of appreciation for life’s unpredictable twists, in which the search for identity is coincidental with social engagement and collectively significant actions. The total budget is: USD $2,100,000.
I’m All Ears: How often do you find a Grammy and Academy Award winner who is also a scientist? While most pop artists experience sound from a cultural or emotional point of view, Jorge Drexler also sees it from the perspective of a whole career as an otorhinolaryngologist. After devoting many years to sound and hearing both on stage and in the operating room, he embarks on a quest to explore all the wonderful feats that we have built around the simple (and very complex) act of listening. A documentary series full of unexpected facts and wonders, told by one of the most contemporary and charismatic global artists. The aim of the series is to introduce a sense of wonder that is rooted in objective, quantifiable and evidence based information, and more scientific curiosity in a section of the audience that is generally more attuned to social media, pseudo information and opinion-based exchanges. The total budget is: USD $3,250,000.
The Many Meanings of Life: Generally, science related content tend to follow a top-down approach. Episodes usually rely on a voice of authority, who knows the subject and handles down the information to the public. This series, contrary to that common approach, is presented by a music pop star with no scientific training, a simple and lovable guy that very frontally declares his embarrassment about having reached the middle age “not knowing much about anything”. The idea, then, is to explore subjects based on the daily experience of an average human being, but presented in a very attractive and compelling way, sharing the journey to get the desired information a whole sensory experience, rather than just a web search. The project will involve the personal opinions of a great variety of people from the whole world, integrating diverse generations, social origins, ethnicities and sensibilities. The total budget is: USD $930,000.
Origins: Brazil has one of the most diverse, influential and recognizable music traditions in the world. It can be found in every record shop in the planet, and has influenced all forms of art, from poetry to filmmaking. Until now, there has not been a TV series that explored its’ rich musical influences by visiting the original sources and talking to the creators, popular interpreters and musicians that keep those traditions alive. This series will revisit villages in Africa, tribal communities in Amazonia, old towns in Portugal and Morocco, Jazz clubs in New Orleans and New York, immigrant neighborhoods in many cities of Brazil and numerous places in the world in which the Brazilian music has acquired a special flavor of its own, like Japan and France. The series uses music as a way of revisiting the many colonial tides behind demographic and cultural exchanges, and opens the sensibilities of audiences to the unavoidable intermixed cultural backdrop of every global expressive manifestation. The total budget is: USD $2,130,000.
The Amazon Tipping Point: a series that brings the case for the interdisciplinary understanding of the Amazon to the forefront of global public discussions. More than 250 scientists from all disciplines, summoned by the Sustainable Development Solutions Networks, a global initiative for the UN, have joined efforts to understand the most urgent steps to conserve the Amazon. An unprecedented effort in size and scope, that approaches all aspects of the Amazonian conservation. These scientist have identified key priorities and established a series of steps to advance conservation and sustainable development in the Amazon. But no amount of Academic information can beat the first-hand experience of being there. So we will bring people from all over the world and all walks of life to meet these scientists in the places where they do their field work.The 8-Episode series will not only explore the material conditions and possible paths to follow regarding the Amazon. It will also tap into some of the symbolic yearnings of all cultures. Budget: USD $2,210,000
The longest thing you do: a cutting-edge, thought-provoking television series that brings the hidden world of sleep into the spotlight. The series weaves together a captivating blend of science, personal narratives, and societal explorations to delve into the essential, yet often overlooked realm of sleep. We spend approximately a third of our lives doing it, yet it’s barely recognized in our fast-paced, always-on society. This series aims to stimulate conversation and encourage viewers to reflect on the importance of good sleep hygiene for overall health and well-being, igniting a societal shift in the perception and understanding of the neglected night hours. We are in deep trouble. Almost no one is sleeping enough hours a day. We are only beginning to understand the extent and the future consequences of the sleep deprivation epidemic that our societies are undergoing. A 2018 study published in the journal “Sleep” found a link between financial stress and poor sleep. Researchers concluded that financial stress could increase the risk of developing sleep disturbances, and suggested that improving financial well-being could enhance sleep health. Economic disparities can also influence sleep. This may be due to a variety of factors, including working multiple jobs, longer commutes, and higher levels of stress. Sleeping has to be addressed not only as an individual choice but also as a problem with social consequences. The series is a mix of docuseries and dramatic narrative, spanning eight 26 minute-long episodes. Each episode focuses on a specific aspect of sleep, interlacing captivating personal stories, expert interviews, and visually stunning dramatizations. Budget: USD $2,030,000