Nathan Witt in conversation with experimental physicist Edda Gschwendtner

Nathan Witt: exploring contemporary ideas about archaeology at CERN

25 Jan 2023
Guest Artists

This week, we welcome British artist Nathan Witt for an exploratory stay to engage with CERN's research and community as part of our Guest Artists programme

Nathan Witt works primarily with A4 text-as-image, supported by drawing, writing, performance, making artists’ books, installation and sculpture. Producing text-as-image, what he calls ‘counter-images’, Witt focuses on challenging metaphysical and representational ways of working, focusing solely on the idea and the text. Over the past decade, he has worked between Palestine and Lebanon, examining contested ideas of history and the complex obsession with time.

In 2019, Nathan received an Honorary Mention of the Collide Award, Arts at CERN’s international residency programme, in partnership with the Barcelona City Council (2019-2022). Following his remote residency in 2021, has started his research-led residency on-site at CERN, supported by Victoria & Albert Museum’s Culture in Crisis programme.

During his residency, Nathan will be exploring contemporary notions of archaeology around the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, envisioning an independent archaeologist who is mobile, able to defend themself and able to carbon date in situ, equipped with a compact laboratory. At CERN, he will explore how CERN compact particle accelerators like Linac4 and the Plasma Wakefield AWAKE experiment can be used in this context.


The Guest Artists programme invites artists from around the world for a short stay at CERN to explore further ideas around art and physics.


Main image: Nathan Witt in conversation with experimental physicist and AWAKE Project Leader Edda Gschwendtner