The IGTP and the Èpica Foundation of the Fura dels Baus present the results of the workshop ‘Complex Systems’

- Research

Last week the preliminary results of a collaboration between the scenic arts and science, or in other words, between the Èpica Foundation of the Fura dels Baus and the IGTP were presented. The workshop and the resulting performance took place last November and now the researchers are processing the data collected from the experience, which will be useful for their respective research projects.

The proposal for 'Complex Systems', brought science, technology and the humanities together in a collective creative performance. All working together and using the knowledge brought by the scientists invited by the Èpica Foundation, the participants used their talent and abilities to explore the limits of the ideas and discover new forms of creation. It is a tandem that the Èpica Foundation has been promoting for a while and for the first time it involved IGTP scientists.

Pep Gatell, Director of the Fura dels Baus and President of the Èpica Foundation, highlighted the wish to hybridize talents and get the humanities, arts, science and technology working together.

"The experience has served to showcase the work of explaining scientific endeavour, as well as the possibilities of adapting scientific fields to the world of performance," explains Gatell. As well as the creative work, the results of the workshop will be useful for the invited experts to delve into their own fields, providing an opportunity to perfect the simulation and to bring science closer to society.

The Councillor for Health from the Badalona Town Council, Teresa González and the Scientific Director of the IGTP, Dr Julia Garcia-Prado attended the presentation. A short video was shown, with images from the performance and some interviews with participants from the workshop. The scientific results were presented by Dr Gisela Nogales, Leader of the Neuromuscular and Neuropediatric Diseases Research Group and Dr Miguel Ángel Peinado, leader of the Epigenetics of Cell Differentiation and Cancer Research Group, both at the IGTP and Dr Lluís Fuentemilla, leader of the Cognition and Cerebral Plasticity Group at the Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge and the Institute of Neuroscience of the University of Barcelona. The Managing Director of the Èpica Foundation, Fran Iglesias raised the question of opening new doors to collaborations and creating more stable links between the two institutions to promote these experiences.

This workshop has allowed us to obtain scientific information in a much more direct manner than we could have done in the laboratory," explains Dr Nogales. The team proposed that half of our team experienced some of the symptoms of neuromuscular diseases first hand, while the other half acted as carers. "We rate the experience and the insights collected very highly: art needs to respond to questions of science and this way we can also bring neuromuscular diseases closer to society through Furaesque experiments," she adds.

The Epigenetics of Cell Differentiation and Cancer Research Group suggested studying the dynamics of the cancer process, using activities in which the normal processes of cells were simulated by people. Dr Peinado explained how their suggestions of ideas had developed.

"All through experimenting and getting ideas," he says. "Cancer is very heterogeneous and you need to understand the disease as a process: we scientists make models of its behaviour and to then act out these models is very useful for us to see," he concludes.

In his turn, Dr Fuentemilla of the Cognition and Cerebral Plasticity Group at the Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge and the Institute of Neuroscience of the University of Barcelona mentioned the interest within the group he leads in analysing the mechanisms of knowledge and qualified the experience of this initiative as requiring "a necessary intellectual effort".

The Fura dels Baus

The Fura dels Baus is a world-renowned theatre company. Founded in 1979, it became famous for high-energy anarchic participative theatre. Since the 1990s they have diversified their creative efforts into written drama, digital theatre and street theatre performing contemporary theatre and opera. They also produce corporate events. Music, sound and technology have always been an important component of their performances.