Yunchul Kim, Chroma VII (2023). Installation view Exploring the Unknown, CERN Science Gateway (2023). Photo: Marina Cavazza.

Unveiling the Universe: Art and Science Summit & 70 years of discoveries at CERN

22 Dec 2023

CERN’s 70th anniversary celebrations kick off on 30 January with an event combining art and science at the CERN Science Gateway

2024 marks CERN’s 70th anniversary, with a packed programme of activities that will connect its rich heritage with its bright future with its unique accelerator complex set to drive 70 more years of research into what the Universe is made of and how it works. Since its foundation, the Laboratory has been a place of inspiration and exploration, welcoming artists to its premises as early as the 1970s. 


On 30 January, the event Unveiling the Universe will be a unique meeting point of art and science, looking at how we have built and will continue to build knowledge and understanding of the big questions about the Universe –  from the first billionth of a second after the Big Bang to the invisible, “dark” Universe –  driven by human curiosity and imagination. 


The day will begin with the inaugural CERN Art and Science Summit. Renowned artists and physicists will delve into the challenges and opportunities of engagement across disciplines. The Summit will highlight the achievements of CERN’s forward-thinking approach to arts and creativity throughout its history, with a particular emphasis on the work of Arts at CERN over more than a decade. 


The agenda promises a thought-provoking experience, weaving together moderated conversations, an exhibition visit, and a live audiovisual performance. In Fundamentals, speakers will examine how art and science pursue fundamental questions about nature. The conversation The Unanswered Questions will explore the uncharted territories that lie at the frontiers of knowledge. Scientific Imaginations will delve into the imaginative processes that drive both artistic expression and scientific breakthroughs. Attendees will also be invited to a visit to Exploring the Unknown, the inaugural art exhibition at the CERN Science Gateway, with the artists Julius von Bismarck, Chloé Delarue, and Yunchul Kim present. 


Extending into the evening, renowned voices in science, such as David Gross, 2004 Nobel Laureate, Djuna Croon, Gian Francesco Giudice, and Tara Shears, will discuss the evolution of particle physics and CERN’s crucial contributions to the field over the last 70 years.


The event will conclude with Enigma, a collaborative work by composer Anna Þorvaldsdóttir and artist Sigurður Guðjónsson, which will be performed live by the string quartet Ensemble Phoenix Basel. Inspired by by the notion of the 'in-between', Þorvaldsdóttir’s enchanting and disorienting sounds intertwine with Guðjónsson’s evocative imagery, inviting profound contemplations of our relationship to the vast expanse of the cosmos.


The event is free to attend, but registration is required to indicate whether you are attending the whole event or specific segments (afternoon or evening). Simultaneous translation into French will be provided. With the generous support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Ville de Genève, and République et Canton de Gèneve.


The event will be live streamed on CERN's YouTube channel. You can join the afternoon session here, and the evening session here.

Schedule: *  

Afternoon segment. Registration opens at 14:30 


Welcome. Charlotte Warakaulle, Director for International Relations.
Introduction to the day by Mónica Bello, Head of Arts at CERN.  


15:15 – 17:55
Panel I: Fundamentals
Moderated by Michael Doser.   
Speakers: Alan Bogana, Julius von Bismarck, Roman Keller, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt), and Tara Shears.   



Panel II. The Unanswered Questions. 
Moderated by José-Carlos Mariátegui.   
Speakers: Chloé Delarue, Elisa Storelli, Rosa Barba, Tamara Vázquez-Schröder and Yunchul Kim.   



Panel III: Scientific Imaginations. 
Moderated by Mónica Bello.   
Speakers: Diego Blas, Chiara Mariotti, Lea Porsager, Patricia Domínguez, and Suzanne Treister.   



18:00 – 18:45
Visit to the exhibition Exploring the Unknown with artists present. 


 Evening segment. Registration opens at 18:30 



19:00 – 20:40
Conversations with Scientists. 70 Years of Discoveries Unveiling the Universe 
Moderated by Clara Nellist  
Speakers: David Gross, Djuna Croon, Gian Francesco Giudice, and Tara Shears.


20:40 – 21:10
Enigma, a work by visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson and composer Anna Þorvaldsdóttir. The music is performed live by the string quartet Ensemble Phoenix Basel.