THE MESSENGERS OF GRAVITY
Curated by Gianluigi Ricuperati
MEF, Museo Ettore Fico
October 31 – February 28
Via Francesco Cigna 114, Turin
The “The Messengers of Gravity” project is composed of three site specific works conceived for the spaces of the MEF (Museo Ettore Fico) in Turin.
The first one “Wilson Tour Majestic” is installed on the facade of the museum and it is the result of direct collaboration between the artist and the researchers of CMS Experiment – CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) and it consists of a PVC digital print (6 x 25,5 meters) depicting the largest particle detector at the Large Hadron Collider of Geneva, in front of which were “pasted” in digital post-production a series of giant Wilson tennis balls deliberately distorted. The most ambitious machine ever built by humankind – intended for probing the mysteries of the universe by crashing particle beams at creazy energies – becomes a kind of bridge between two dimensional spaces and two disciplines: art and science. Deliberately installed at the MEF facade this giant digital window becomes a kind of “star gate” for the visitor.
The rest of “The Messengers of gravity” project composed by “Detectors, Higgs boson event” and “Wilson Tour Loading” is located in the Bar of the Museum, an unconventional place that reveals a strong relational component:
“Working in collaboration with scientists I discovered that the coffee break is the right moment for best ideas and that bars and waiting rooms are a good place to share informations. That’s why I decided to turn the Museum’s Bar in a site specific installation where the art and the science community can discuss easily.”
“Wilson Tour Loading 1956-2014-2038”, consists of a series of photographs obtained by photographing a tennis ball’s launch in front of the works of Lucio Fontana exhibited at the Museo del Novecento in Milan. “Wilson Tour Loading 1956-2014-2038” is the product of an aesthetic and philosophical relationship between different historical periods, cultures and artistics language and is characterized by a deliberate autorial ambiguity. The issue addressed is the ability to reproduce the works of Lucio Fontana, copyrighted in 1956, before the expiry of copyright that will be free only in 2038. The artist evades the legal hurdle by changing and distorting in digital post-production Fontana’s works make them unrecognizable and increasing the concept of “Loading” until 2038, when the copyright expires.
“Detector, Higgs boson event”, consisting in dodecagonal surface of anodized aluminum containing seventeen elements of the same material curved by hand in order to allow the magnetic suspension of as many couple of ping pong balls. The “Detector, Higgs Boson Event” it has been intended as floating pictorial devices in space and time. It represent, through the allegory of the ping-pong game, the beam particle captured just a moment before a hypothetical collision within one of the four LHC’s detectors.
“The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment is one of two large general-purpose particle physics detectors built on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland and France. The goal of CMS experiment is to investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter.
CMS is 21.6 metres long, 15 metres in diameter, and weighs about 14,000 tonnes. Approximately 3,800 people, representing 199 scientific institutes and 43 countries, form the CMS collaboration who built and now operate the detector. It is located in an underground cavern at Cessy in France, just across the border from Geneva. In July 2012, along with ATLAS, CMS tentatively discovered the Higgs Boson.
Recent collider experiments such as the now-dismantled Large Electron-Positron Collider and the newly-renovated Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, as well as the (as of October 2011) recently closed Tevatronat Fermilab have provided remarkable insights into, and precision tests of, the Standard Model of Particle Physics. A principle achievement of these experiments (specifically of the LHC) is the discovery of a particle consistent with the Standard Model Higgs boson, the particle resulting from the Higgs mechanism, which provides an explanation for the masses of elementary particles.
However, there are still many questions that future collider experiments hope to answer. These include uncertainties in the mathematical behaviour of the Standard Model at high energies, tests of proposed theories of dark matter (including supersymmetry), and the reasons for the imbalance of matter and antimatter observed in the Universe.
The CMS detector is built around a huge solenoid magnet. This takes the form of a cylindrical coil of superconducting cable that generates a magnetic field of 4 teslas, about 100 000 times that of the Earth. The magnetic field is confined by a steel ‘yoke’ that forms the bulk of the detector’s weight of 12 500 tonnes. An unusual feature of the CMS detector is that instead of being built in-situ underground, like the other giant detectors of the LHC experiments, it was constructed on the surface, before being lowered underground in 15 sections and reassembled.
It contains subsystems which are designed to measure the energy and momentum of photons, electrons, muons, and other products of the collisions. The innermost layer is a silicon-based tracker. Surrounding it is a scintillating crystal electromagnetic calorimeter, which is itself surrounded with a sampling calorimeter for hadrons. The tracker and the calorimetry are compact enough to fit inside the CMS Solenoid which generates a powerful magnetic field of 3.8 T. Outside the magnet are the large muon detectors, which are inside the return yoke of the magnet.”