FOR A RESEARCHER OF THE NATURE, IT IS NOT DIFFICULT TO SIMULATE A PHENOMENON 16mm transferred to HD , 7’, 5.1 sound single channel

“[...]At Pivô, the artist replicated the experiment proposed by the philosopher in one of his essays about the natural disaster in Lisbon. Ramos used boxes lled with soil built according to the following instructions:
‘It is now time to say something about the causes of earthquakes. It is easy for a natural philosopher to reproduce their manifestations. One takes twenty- ve pounds of iron llings, an equal amount of sulphur, and mixes it with ordinary water, buries this paste one or one-and-a-half feet underground and compresses the earth firmly above it. After several hours, a dense vapour is seen rising; the earth trembles, and ames break forth from the soil.’

Taking Kant’s speculation to create a fictional film, Ramos pushes scientific narrative beyond its limits. Today, the ‘natural philosopher’ to which Kant refers is closer to an artist than a scientist. The concept behind the experiment does not explain the origins of earthquakes but it encompasses the con ict between religion andnatural science at a crucial moment in the history of Western thought.

Fernanda Brenner

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