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James Burke, Connections, 1978.

2.3.2014 à 16:00 Discovery Zone, Luxembourg City Film Festival

Connections (episode 1 & 4)

artiste(s): James Burke

A documentary series by James Burke.
1978, UK. 50 min.

Connections explores an Alternative View of Change (the subtitle of the series) that rejects the conventional linear and teleological view of historical progress. British broadcaster, science historian, author, and television producer James Burke contends that one cannot consider the development of any particular piece of the modern world in isolation.

Rather, the entire gestalt of the modern world is the result of a web of interconnected events, each one consisting of a person or group acting for reasons of their own (e.g., profit, curiosity, religious) motivations with no concept of the final, modern result of what either their or their contemporaries' actions finally led to. The interplay of the results of these isolated events is what drives history and innovation, and is also the main focus of the series and its sequels.

To demonstrate this view, Burke begins each episode with a particular event or innovation in the past (usually Ancient or Medieval times) and traces the path from that event through a series of seemingly unrelated connections to a fundamental and essential aspect of the modern world. For example, The Long Chain episode traces the invention of plastics from the development of the fluyt, a type of Dutch cargo ship.

Episodes 1 & 4

1 - The Trigger Effect
details the world's present dependence on complex technological networks through a detailed narrative of New York City and the power blackout of 1965.

4 - Faith in Numbers examines the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance from the perspective of how commercialism, climate change and the Black Death influenced cultural development.

Entrée 5 €. Gratuit avec le Discovery Zone Pass.


James Burke, Connections, 1978.