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:: may 8, 2001

               of the

an art exhibition inspired by particle physics




beyond two cultures

"Physics research of the 20th century has a daily impact on all of us, computers, nuclear power, atomic weapons, microchips, television, internet, video. However, the world of art has made little comment or reflection on this colossal change in culture. Perhaps this is because Science has not been seen as culture, but has remained cocooned as a difficult activity reserved for a small group of specialists and the artists have generally ignored it. A paradox has developed, societies are now largely defined by their scientific skill and yet the world of art, a mirror of society, has so far made little comment. The laws of physics are not going to go away. Although these laws are no longer intuitive - relativity, antimatter, quantum mechanics are how Nature works. Sooner or later the artist will have to confront the challenge of representing and commenting on these foundations of human life... *It is already clear that both cultures, the artists and the scientists, are researching and experimenting; using different tools certainly but united by curiosity and passion*. "Signatures of the Invisible" is showing that art and science can have thrilling cross-fertilisation if the necessary networks are set up to facilitate contact between researchers from different cultures." From *Signatures of the Invisible, CERN Press Release*

CPviolation collage diagram



what do modern art and particle physics have in common?

"Perhaps more than you might think. After all, they are both ways in which we attempt to represent and interpret the world around us. Often theories in physics are described as 'elegant' or 'beautiful', as if they are aesthetically pleasing in some way. And many concepts in physics, such as the Big Bang, antimatter or time itself, are so abstract that *to have any understanding of their meaning beyond the strict equations we must rely on metaphor and imagery*. Recent advances in physics have revolutionised our understanding of how the universe works, and perhaps even our place in it, so isn't it about time that the world of art had its say?" From *Physics meets art - the beginning of a beautiful friendship?*





physics meets art

"Giant spinning tops, table tennis, and antimatter on stage have all graced the halls of CERN recently as part of the lab's stepped-up *effort to combat the public's declining interest in physics*. "After the end of World War I, it was clear that physics was the main interesting area. There's much clearer competition between the sciences these days," says Hans Hoffmann, a CERN scientist who is involved in outreach activities. The lab's public outreach is off to a flying start with a physics teaching conference and an art exhibition... The exhibition is about having people realize that there is intellectual value in things they don't understand, says Maurice Jacob, a theoretical physicist at CERN and one of the project's initiators." From *CERN Energetically Probes the Arts by Lynley Hargreaves*

Particles fly from an electron-positron smash



artworks in exhibition

Two years of exchanges and close collaboration between artist and scientists resulted in Signatures of the Invisible exhibition (at http://www.signatures.linst.ac.uk/framesetexp.htm):

Time and Space by Roger Ackling
Three spinning tops by Jerome Basserode
Living Pictures/ The Meditation Room by Sylvie Blocher
Detector 2000 by Richard Deacon
Nature and Culture by Patrick Hughes.
Skin without Skin Crumple work 89, Roman Lead Resurrectionem Mortuorum Triptych, Piranha Particle Mysterium Fidei, Fields of Ash, Dark Time Crumple Work 69, Lumien de Lumine and Signatures Commemorationem by Ken McMullen
Untitled 2001, work in progress by Paola Pivi
Parallel Universe 2001 by Tim OšRiley
Maxwell's Field by Monica Sand
six boxes, mixed media by Bartolomeu Santos

The exhibition will re-open at Geneva's Centre d'Art Contemporain in January 2002 before travelling to venues in Stockholm, Lisbon, Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels, Tokyo, Australia (venue to be announced) and New York.





CERN project brings science and art together
CERN Courier
[ may, 2001 ]

Art And Atomic Physics
BBC Online Network
[ march 6, 2001 ]

Art and science draw together by Edwin Cartlidge
Physics World. Volume 13, Issue 6
[ june, 2000 ]



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:: source

Signatures of the Invisible site

:: references
Signatures of the Invisible. CERN, PR06.00, 29.06.00
Physics meets art - the beginning of a beautiful friendship?
CERN Bulletin 49/99; 6 December 1999
CERN Energetically Probes the Arts by Lynley Hargreaves.
Physics Today, February 2001. American Institute of Physics

:: grafik
CPviolation collage diagram
Particles fly from an electron-positron smash
bg images from CERN PhotoLab
proton_emission_tomograph + pixel_detector_readout_chip



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