The Great Silence by Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla (Screening)
Through an expansive exploration of sound, The Great Silence (2014) examines the irreducible relationships between the living and non-living, human and animal, and terrestrial and cosmic. The film focuses on the world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope, which transmits and captures radio waves to and from the edges of the universe. Located at the Arecibo Observatory in Esperanza (literally: Hope), Puerto Rico, the site is surrounded by the Rio Abajo forest, home to the last wild population of critically endangered Amazona vittata parrots. Allora and Calzadilla collaborated with science fiction author Ted Chiang to create a subtitle script from the parrots’ perspective, chronicling humankind’s determined quest to find other intelligent life.