Nicole L'Huillier, La PARACANTORA at CERN, 2018. Courtesy the artist

Cosmic vibrations: Nicole L’Huillier & Mónica Bello at Galeria Municipal do Porto

09 Jan 2023

On Wednesday, 18 January at 7pm, artist Nicole L’Huillier & Head of Arts at CERN Mónica Bello will be in conversation at the Galeria Municipal do Porto to discuss their practices, L’Huillier’s residency at CERN, and how art and science enrich and challenge each other

Chilean artist Nicole L’Huillier works with sounds, vibrations, resonances, and multiple transductions to explore more-than-human performativity and agency to investigate vibrations and sounds as construction materials for spaces and identity. From an antidisciplinary perspective, she navigates the porous and fertile territories between arts and sciences. In 2019, L’Huillier received the Simetría Award – now Connect – and completed, together with Swiss artist Alan Bogana, a joint residency at CERN and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) astronomy facilities in Chile, creating several pieces as a result of her residency. 

One such piece is the travelling sonic sculpture La PARACANTORA. Through environmental sensors mapped in real-time into different sounds, La PARACANTORA guides us through a sonic poem in a specific moment in space and time, unveiling the performativity of non-human agents on the environment and their expressive capacities. Resulting from experiments with La PARACANTORA, the piece Escucha para Acelerador de Partículas, Parancatadora y voz was released on Buh Records’ Objetos Musicais, an album dedicated to Swiss composer and instrument builder Walter Smetak. Premiered by Radio Amnion in 2022, her sonic essay Plasmática Fantástica embarks us on a journey to the very first sound vibrations of the universe through plasma, combining sounds from electromagnetic activity recorded at CERN’s caves, a South Andean collective flute procession, and hidden vibrations of the Atacama Desert.

Conceiving art as a knowledge-driven practice that, alongside science, contributes to society and is a pillar of contemporary culture, Arts at CERN fosters research, production and sharing of creative disciplines to address how fundamental science explores the big questions about our universe. Since 2015, Mónica Bello has been Head of Arts at CERN, where she curates research-led art residencies, new art commissions and exhibitions that reflect on the conversations and exchanges between artists, physicists, engineers and staff of the laboratory.

Cosmic vibrations is a free event with limited capacity at Auditório Biblioteca Municipal Almeida Garrett.

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Main image: Nicole L'Huillier, La PARACANTORA at the ALICE Experiment facilities at CERN, 2019. Courtesy the artist