semiconductor, Through the AEgIS, 2017. HD single channel installation silent. Courtesy the artists

Through the AEgIS


Through the AEgIS* is a space-time-lapse that explores how we make sense of nature through the language of science. Captured by the AEgIS experiment at CERN, which looks at how antimatter responds to gravity, you see pions, protons and nuclear fragments flying out from ‘annihilation sites’; these particles ionize a photographic plate which when developed reveals their trajectories as varying sized tracks. Using a special microscope with a very shallow depth of field, the photographic image is re-captured in several stages; by shifting the focal plane in 2-micron steps, and by scanning across each layer in 1000’s of sections, this reveals a depth to the emulsion of forty layers and details that would otherwise remain unseen to the naked eye. Working with around 100,000 scans, Semiconductor have re-constructed the photographic image to produce an animation that re-introduces time back into the data, revealing the rhythms and artefacts of the capturing process. It gradually zooms out from one scan, whilst moving through the layers, to reveal all of the data. A large print version of Through the AEgIS shows all of the data, visible at once, with time removed.


Semiconductor were in residency at CERN as part of Collide 2015, and this work was produced through Collide. Special thanks to Dr. Michael Doser, research physicist at CERN.


* Antihydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS)


Text by the artists