Audemars Piguet Unveils HALO By Semiconductor At Art Basel 2018

Dana Mortada   |   24 - 05 - 2018

Audemars Piguet announces their unveil details of its 4th Art Commission, HALO to be exhibited during Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, from 13-17 June 2018. This time around, the Audemars Piguet Art Commission has been executed by British artist-duo Semiconductor, Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, in collaboration with guest curator Mónica Bello, Spanish curator and head of Arts at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva.


The artist-duo Semiconductor, Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt


Titled HALO, it is an artwork site will display an artistic interpretation of the ATLAS experiment at CERN. The large-scale vanue will also allow art fanatics to experience and fully understand the complex world of subatomic nature and the phenomena taking place at the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Artists-in-residence at CERN spent two months in 2015, Semiconductor using raw data from the ATLAS experiment in their work.


The HALO project takes the form of a ten-metre-wide cylinder-shaped structure surrounded by vertical piano wires. The inside of the installation is encircled by a 360-degree screen where the audience can observe kaleidoscopic data projections produced by a series of slowed-down subatomic particle collisions that usually occur almost at the speed of light. As the subatomic particles hit the screen, the animated data triggers small hammers to hit the piano wires, releasing vibrations that resonates across the site, allowing the visitors to experience the artwork both acoustically and physically.


Olivier Audemars, Vice President of the Board of Directors proudly notes, “It amazes and excites me to see how Semiconductor explore how we see and experience the natural world. They help us to see things differently. And they bring to life the precision and complexity of particle physics and art. As a company, it is fundamental for Audemars Piguet to continue supporting innovative artists like Semiconductor, so we can better understand our own world and our own work.”



All thanks to the involvement of Audemars Piguet and CERN, this artwork installation would be the artist’s first time to receive permission to work directly with raw data generated by the ATLAS experiment.


“We are interested in the unknown and finding out about who we are as humans through what we don’t know. Science just happens to be the medium through which we do that. We hope visitors to HALO will be humbled by the immersive environment, transcending the scientific aims of the data.”- said the Semiconductor. 


For the annual Art Commission, the artists were invited to Audemars Piguet’s home in Le Brassus, Switzerland, during the artwork’s development to spend time with the Manufacture’s watchmakers and begin to understand the concept behind the artwork. During their visit, Semiconductor notes:


“They’re both operating at the limits of what is physically and humanly possible; the watches on a minuscule scale, where aids are needed to see the parts required, and at CERN, at the other end of the spectrum, where the limitations become how to manoeuvre, install and run experiments at such a large scale.”


Mónica Bello, guest curator also says, “I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to realise HALO, and to be working with Semiconductor once again after their residency. This is the first time CERN is featured in an exhibition at Art Basel and I am grateful to Audemars Piguet for the invitation to work together. Ruth and Joe have created an immersive installation that conveys fundamental research with innovative ideas and artistic creativity in an extraordinary artwork. HALO is an opportunity for visitors to see how scientists and artists work together, inspiring each other and bringing to life unique visions of our world.”



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