Correspondence(s) Broadcast

Bruegel and cochlea

The tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the cochlea told by the biologist Jean Claude Ameisen.

An episode of the series "correspondence(s)".

Réalisation : Hervé Nisic

Production : Universcience, Inserm

Année de production : 2016

Durée : 1min22

Bruegel and cochlea

Bruegel and cochlea

Two spirals: the same coiling movement. A spiral in flesh: the cochlea, the part of our inner ear where air from outside rushes into a vortex.

18,000 cells lining the structure react to vibrations in the air, giving rise to electric signals that run through nerves and enter the brain in silence, there to be converted into sound. We collect and filter the brouhaha of the world, assigning meaning to noise.

A spiral in stone: the Tower of Babel, by Bruegel the Elder. Unfinished, abandoned, between earth and the heavens. The Lord, says the Bible, sowed confusion, each builder on the Tower suddenly began to speak a different language and construction ground to a halt.

A same form can provide meaning and order, can create links and make sense of our world, or conversely it can be as a Tower of Babel, that disperses, fragments, renders incomprehensible and divides.

Réalisation : Hervé Nisic

Production : Universcience, Inserm

Année de production : 2016

Durée : 1min22