Astronomers look through telescopes and see that the universe has a structure — it’s shaped like a web. Slime mold researchers look through microscopes and see that the tiny organisms form similar patterns. In their quest of discovering the nature of things, they both show the beauty of curiosity.
Director: Andris Gauja
Cinematographer: Toms Šķēle
Producer: Margus Õunapuu
Co-producer: Andris Gauja
Production companies: Film Tower with Riverbed
Countries: Estonia, Latvia
Shots from the field (photographers: Henry Griin, Kiur Kaasik and Silver Gutmann)
Andris Gauja about the film…
What is this film about?
‘The Art of Looking’ tells us the story of two seemingly different groups of people — the astronomers who try to understand the world by looking through their telescopes, and the slime mold researchers who zoom into the micro world of the tiniest organisms. Both of them come to similar conclusions about the way things are, and both show that our natural curiosity is probably our main driving force.
Where did you get the inspiration for this topic?
I was lucky to have had a chance to do a research residency for this upcoming film idea. This was one of the rare cases when I already had an idea in my mind and I mainly went to dig deeper and check whether my concept has a fertile ground in Southern Estonia. The findings I had there exceeded all expectations.
What does the concept of “Arts of Survival” mean for you?
I, personally, see the human mind as something that has neither a beginning nor an end. I guess that it’s not our body that has a mind, but it’s rather our mind that has a body. So, to me, surviving means being aware, being awake — and here I agree with our protagonists that it is our curiosity that helps us to survive.