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Exhibition & Talk: ‘Cosmos’ at CID Grand-Hornu, France

Text by CLOT Magazine

Diamon Mountain, Alan Bogana (2013). Still image.

Black holes, dark matter, spiral nebulae, exoplanets, gravitational waves, the big bang, the multiverse… The countless objects and cosmic phenomena that shape our Universe offer as many sources of inspiration for literature, music, visual and live arts… Design is no exception to this same fascination.

Cosmos: Design from here and beyond reveals the work of designers who have conceptually, technically or poetically explored our Universe’s architecture and the hidden physical laws that govern it. From Albert Einstein’s general relativity to quantum theory, from gravity to the nature of space and time, from the micro to macro scales, our modern picture of the cosmos is brought to life through various design or architecture projects that take us well beyond these scientific roots, bearing witness to its mysteries and beauty.

Designer Daura Couto Rosado and artist Alan Bogana both involved in the Arts at CERN, are featured in the programme. On 18 January at 8pm (CET), will include a panel discussion on Arts and Science with the head of Arts at CERN, Mónica Bello, along with Laura Couto Rosado and Thomas Hertog, moderated by Camilla Colombo. The panel will include an introduction to Arts at CERN’s programmes and an overview of the current challenges in physics that will give way to the discussion.

Laura Couto is showing Quantum Nuggets, a project that generates organic forms from real data of particle collisions recorded by the ALICE Experiment, one of the detectors at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. ALICE studies the quark-gluon plasma originated by heavy-ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider, which is thought to have existed shortly after the Big Bang.

In collaboration with CERN particle physicist Jeremi Niedziela, Couto-Rosado transformed ALICE’s data into a series of moving images, which were then 3D printed into organic sculptures. ‘Quantum Nuggets’ aims to reflect on our perpetual questioning about the universe’s origin, materialising the phenomena dating from the Big Bang recreated by physicists at CERN.

While Alan, winner of the Simetría Award in 2019, along with Chilean artist Nicole L’Huillier, is presenting Diamond Mountain, inspired by the discovery of the exoplanet 55 Cancri e. About twice our planet’s size, the planet has been speculated to be partially made of diamond. Through a computer simulation, Bogana explores the refractive properties of a mountain made of this gemstone.

The exhibition aims to reveal to its audience, through a contemporary gaze, how designers have questioned the architecture of the universe and the hidden laws of physics that govern it.

Cosmos: Design from here and beyond at CID Grand-Hornu runs through 27 February 2022.

(Image courtesy of Arts at CERN and the artist)
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