CERN Accelerating science

Geneva, 16 October 2018

Geneva, 16 October 2018.

What happens when scientists and artists collide? Artworks resulting from three years of collaboration between physicists and Collide International artists-in-residence at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, will be exhibited at Broken Symmetries in FACT Liverpool, UK, from 22 November 2018 to 3 March 2019. Broken Symmetries comprises artworks by 10 international artists that delve into scientific fact and challenge our perception of reality by performing or interrogating theories and experiments.

“The process of learning through discovery in arts and science makes them well-suited partners in interdisciplinary work. The art displayed in this exhibition is a result of three years of intense dialogue between the Collide International artists-in-residence and physicists at CERN. It illustrates how scientists and artists can work together to create a culture that explores questions about the universe we live in,” says Monica Bello, Head of Arts at CERN programme.

Among those on display is Yunchul Kim’s Cascade, exploring the potentialities of matter by using the pattern of electrically charged subatomic particles called muons. Kim, a Seoul-based artist, was the recipient of Collide International 2016 artist-in-residence. When muons are detected, the experiments’ tubes flash with light. These beautiful objects visualise not only a kinetic experience, but also a living organism that interacts with its environment.

Muons are among the elementary subatomic particles studied by CERN physicists. The signal they leave as they exit the ATLAS and CMS detectors on the Large Hadron Collider was a key physics signature in the discovery of the Higgs boson.
“We are thrilled to partner on a project which celebrates and showcases international collaborations. The last three years of collaboration between CERN and FACT have seen some of the most exciting artists working with science engage with the programme, creating works in which some of the most urgent questions of our time collide with the forefront of science,” says Lesley Taker, Exhibitions Manager at FACT.

The Arts at CERN programme fosters connection between science and arts by extending artistic practice and creating a space for artists to partner with physicists and engineers. Together, they are given the opportunity to explore different approaches to curiosity and creativity. Collide International, coordinated by Arts at CERN, collaborates with a leading international cultural institution for a three-year period. The artists are invited to further their artistic practice in connection with fundamental research at CERN during their three-month residency. For the period of 2016-2018, Collide International partnered with FACT Liverpool, the result of which is Broken Symmetries. After March 2019, Broken Symmetries, co-produced by the Science-Art Network for New Exhibitions and Research (ScANNER), will tour to ScANNER partner institutions: CCCB in Barcelona, iMAL in Brussels and le lieu unique in Nantes.

Media representatives are invited to a press preview of Broken Symmetries on 22 November, 13:00-16:00 at FACT Liverpool, 88 Wood Street, L1 4DX, UK.