What do artists and scientists have in common? Is it possible that both ways of interpreting the world can merge into a unique language? Two major scientific institutions – CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and ALMA, the world’s largest astronomical observatory – have asked this question, proposing collaborations between science and art.
Mónica Bello, head of Arts@CERN, will explain why the most important scientific institution in Europe wants technology artists to work together with theoretical and experimental physicists in their facilities. Also, Antonio Hales, Head of Scientific Operations at ALMA and Enrique Rivera, curator and director of the Artes Mediales Biennial of Santiago de Chile, will explain the project ALMA Sounds, intended to capture the sounds of the Orion Nebula.
The talk will be chaired by Fernando Cucchietti, head of the Scientific Visualization Group of the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre.
Arts@CERN is the artist-in-residence program at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research based in Geneva, Switzerland. In these residences, artists and scientists join forces driven to work on issues like imagination and creativity, often as elusive as the most undetectable particles.
The flagship program of this scientific institution’s artist-in-residences is Collide and it takes place at the very same particle collider, a machine where minute fragments of matter are liberated at the speed of light to simulate the creation of the universe and thus to discover how it works. Digital artists such as Semiconductor (UK), Bill Fontana (US), Julius von Bismarck (Germany) or the Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda (who will perform with Cyclo at Sónar 2016) have been awarded the Collide residency. COLLIDE International Award is part of the COLLIDE CERN FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool) Framework Partnership 2016-2018, which aims to support artistic research on fundamental physics and its impact on society.
Located in the Atacama desert in Chile, ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) is the world’s largest astronomical observatory. On January 20th 2012, observations of Orion Nebula were conducted with 16 antennas, and associating a different tonality with each of the spectral lines emitted by the nebula, the ALMA sound database was created. Antonio Hales, PhD in Astrophysics and Head of Scientific Operations at ALMA and Ricardo Finger, PhD in Electronic Science, digitally processed the radio waves received by ALMA to translate them into audible frequencies without losing any of the information contained in the original waves.
These processed signals are now part of the public archive of ALMA, and during the last edition of Sónar+D in Santiago de Chile, they were made available to a series of artists so they could create sound pieces based on them. The sound will be available on MarketLab.