Embolismo por soleá, Paula Bruna
Paula Bruna / City and Science Biennial

Embolism por soleá

From 21 February to 26 March 2023

When a tree begins to suffer from drought stress, long before the effects become visible to us, it emits sounds like dull thuds. These noises are caused by air bubbles that form in the tree’s xylem (water and nutrient transport tissue) and so block it, thereby potentially causing the tree to die from an embolia. Scientists use these sounds to study how forests are being affected by climate change.

The embolism sounds like dull clapping that demands to be answered. A transdisciplinary group of environmentalists, flamenco artists and visual artists have listened to what the trees have to say about the climate conditions altered by humankind. Taking flamenco as a shared language, they have established dialogues of interspecies companionship in this situation of global change.

From her dual perspective as an environmentalist and an artist, Paula Bruna uses artistic inquiry as a form of knowledge in which different disciplines are hybridised. By means of a combination of science, fiction and art, she researches from various non-human points of view the interaction between our society and the ecological system in which it is situated. Her hypothesis is that exploring points of view other than present-day anthropocentrism has an impact on environmental awareness and expands the range of possible forms of cohabitation. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut Botànic de Barcelona ­– CSIC.


With the participation of: Jordi Martínez-Vilalta, Ana Lorente, Acciones Flamenco Empírico (Carmen Muñoz, Juan Carlos Lérida, Salvador S. Sánchez, Karen Mora, Bernat Jiménez de Cisneros), and the collaboration of Laboratorio de Investigación desde el Flamenco (Institut del Teatre).


The City and Science Biennial is a project run by Barcelona City Council through Barcelona Ciència i Universitats that is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport and organised as one of the events to mark Barcelona’s status as Cultural and Science Capital. In this year’s edition, the City and Science Biennial invites us to reflect on life in a time full of challenges of every kind and on every level, and on how we can, through science, address the crises we face every day.

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