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Creative Collisions: CERN’s Artist-in-Residency Program

Creative Collisions: CERN’s Artist-in-Residency Program

Co-presented by swissnex San Francisco and the Exploratorium Center for Art & Inquiry

Monday, March 3, 2014 • 7:00–8:30 p.m.

Location:  Exploratorium Pier 15, Kanbar Forum

Note: Tickets are available through swissnex San Francisco. For more information and to register, click here. Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

Admission:  $15 general, $10 Exploratorium members {Members use member code "explore"}

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Featuring Ariane Koek, Director of Collide@CERN, San Francisco–based sound artist Bill Fontana, and CERN cosmologist Subodh Patil.

“Together science and the arts form culture—our expression of what it is to be human in our universe. Our work is in science, but when we engage with the arts, we want to ensure we approach the same level of quality.”

—Rolf Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)

What happens when the world’s largest particle physics laboratory collides with internationally renowned artists?

Join Ariane Koek, Director of Collide@CERN, as she introduces and moderates a conversation between sound sculptor Bill Fontana and CERN cosmologist Subodh Patil. They’ll discuss their impact on each other’s work, and share audio and video segments from Fontana’s explorations.

By bringing world-class artists and scientists together in a free exchange of ideas, the Collide@CERN artist-in-residency program explores elements even more elusive than the Higgs boson: human ingenuity, creativity, and the imagination.


American composer and artist Bill Fontana has developed an international reputation for his pioneering experiments in sound. Since the early 1970s, Fontana has used sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural spaces. Fontana began his residency at CERN in July 2013.



Ariane Koek leads the International Arts program at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), the world’s largest particle physics laboratory based outside Geneva, Switzerland. She initiated and directs the laboratory's first arts policy, Great Arts for Great Science, and leads its flagship arts program, the annual Collide@CERN artist-in-residency. Koek recently introduced Accelerate@CERN, a one-month, country-specific artist research program.




Subodh Patil is a theoretical physicist specializing in early universe cosmology and its interface with particle physics at the highest energies. His work at CERN focuses on trying to uncover the fundamental physics that gave rise to the Big Bang and whether it really was the beginning of the universe.



swissnex San Francisco is a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas in science, education, art, and innovation. Through their public events and study tours, swissnex San Francisco highlights the best of Swiss and North American ingenuity and creates opportunities for networking among its professional contacts in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and beyond.