Audemars Piguet Unveils ‘HALO,’ Semiconductor’s New Immersive Installation
As a part of its annual tradition of collaborating with a selected curator and emerging or mid-career artist to release a new artwork for Art Basel’s three international shows, watchmaker Audemars Piguet (with the help of Monica Bello) has picked Semiconductor this year.
The aim is to amplify the artist’s unique vision, while using the complexity and precision inherent in watchmaking as the artist’s stimuli. Their work reflects the continuing exploration of these themes, celebrating a dialogue between contemporary art, science, and technology.
Titled “HALO,” the large-scale, site-specific artwork will present visitors with an artistic interpretation of the ATLAS experiment at CERN. The large-scale, immersive experience will allow viewers to better understand subatomic nature and the complex phenomena taking place at the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Artists-in-residence at CERN for two months in 2015, Semiconductor have used raw data from the ATLAS experiment in their work. HALO takes the form of a ten-metre-wide cylinder-shaped structure that is entirely surrounded by vertical piano wires. Standing four metres tall, the interior of the installation is encircled by a 360-degree screen on which visitors can observe kaleidoscopic data projections generated by a series of slowed-down subatomic particle collisions that ordinarily occur almost at the speed of light. As they hit the screen, the animated data points also trigger small hammers to hit the surrounding piano wires, emitting an all-encompassing vibration that resonates throughout the artwork, to be experienced both acoustically and physically by visitors.
The installation marks the first time an artist has received permission to work directly with raw data generated by the ATLAS experiment, thanks to the involvement of Audemars Piguet and CERN.
Audemars Piguet quoted Semiconductor, “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.”