Ressonancies magnetiques is a scientific documentary that looks at the way that our brain creates aesthetic experiences, by scanning it with magnetic resonance imaging. Image and sound are treated functionally. Even the structure of the piece itself resembles that of an inventory of the different analyses being undertaken. The author becomes the main character of the video, as he is the locus of the experiments on the relationship between his lover’s unconscious and aesthetic evocation. Lacuesta’s intimate life is therefore an important part of the piece.
“... the aim is to penetrate, via a magnetic resonance apparatus, the hidden twists and bends of Isa’s brain and, while we’re at it, to try to understand how it works.” (Isaki Lacuesta)
This video is part of a series of scientific studies which Lacuesta has undertaken around the concept of the materiality of images, sound and memory, both physical and mental. Whereas in Microscopías he focuses on the physical deterioration of images by analysing them with an electronic microscope, in this piece he explores the impossibility of scientifically proving how human beings process their own mental images. Because of this incapacity to lay bare the cerebral processes of our sentimental imaginary, the piece demonstrates that there is no other way of knowing when or what we are thinking than through the narration of a story. What we feel and think is therefore always immediately mediated by our own means of expression.
This piece falls within the tradition of auteur and experimental documentary and that of the video essay. Nevertheless, Lacuesta displays a completely different perspective from that of Jacobo Sucari, who deals with a similar subject in REM. Whereas the latter included the aesthetic of both image and sound as central parts of the video, in Lacuesta’s case the piece is structured by a conceptual process and the recording is strictly functional in nature. The different levels of exploration are established in relation to their affective relations to the textual, sound and visual discourse within memories (of restored cities). One of the provisional conclusions that this piece affords is that the unknowns about feelings is what make these more attractive.
This video was made for the conference New frontiers in science and thought (February - March 2003) organised by the Science Museum of Barcelona and the KRTU centre. The piece was included in the seminar on Neurosciences, in relation to the work of Semir Zeki, Professor of Neurobiology at University College London, one of the world’s pioneers in research of the visual cortex, who discovered the cerebral centres which detect colour and movement.