CERN names fab five bringing particle physics to art

8 Apr 2017

‘Macro and Micro, Pencil on Canvas’. Image: Cheolwon Chang

CERN’s artists in residence for 2017 have been named, with the lucky quintet to spend several months at the Geneva base.

Physics can be a tough sell, as the earliest form of scientific interest among schoolchildren generally involves things that live and breathe or spark and explode.

But, despite chemistry and biology getting a head start, physics and all its rigid glory tends to attract more and more people into the fold.

Problems remain, however, in trying to appeal to the layperson; how to make the average Joe or Joanna understand, or even care, about the mechanics behind our existence.

CERN has been busy trying to achieve just that, notably through its work with its Large Hadron Collider, smashing particles together at greater speeds under more force, seeking clues to the Big Bang theory.

But it can’t win us all over through pure physics, so engaging with the more creative aspect of science and life is key.

With that, CERN’s arts and science programme is going strong.

This year, Laura Couto Rosado, Cheolwon Chang, Tomo Savić-Gecan and the studio hrm199 (made up of two artists) have been selected by CERN to become artists in residence.

Artist Laura Couto Rosado (left) and Tomo Savic’s ‘Untitled 2016’ (right). Image: CERN

Artist Laura Couto Rosado (left) and Tomo Savić-Gecan’s ‘Untitled 2016’ (right). Images: CERN

Couto Rosado will spend three months at CERN, exploring design principles inspired by fundamental particles and the way these are described by physicists.

Her term is part of a programme called Collide, which project leader Michel Vust calls a “life- and career-changing experience”.

“We are pleased to offer this chance to Laura Couto Rosado, who unanimously convinced the jury with her work at the crossroads between physics, interaction design and poetry,” he said.

The Collide award went to hrm199, with artists Jack Jelfs and Haroon Mirza. Image: CERN

The Collide award went to hrm199, made up of artists Jack Jelfs and Haroon Mirza. Image: CERN

Jack Jelfs and Haroon Mirza will reside at CERN for two months, where they will work in close collaboration with a research scientist.

Afterwards, the artists will spend one month at the Liverpool institution to engage in production.

Seoul-based artist Chang plans to investigate the geometric properties of nature and how mathematics influences further understanding of our universe.

South Korean artists, Cheolwon Chang. Image: CERN

South Korean artist Cheolwon Chang. Image: CERN

Croatian artist Savić-Gecan will stay at CERN for one month to gather inspiration through dialogue with theoretical and experimental physicists to develop a specific project, understanding the implications of time-space research.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic