CERN is one of the largest and most prestigious scientific laboratories in the world.
Based in Geneva, its vocation is fundamental physics, the discovery of the constituents and laws of the Universe.
Launched in 2011, the Arts at CERN programme creates new ways of exchanging ideas between artists and scientists, questions the links between art and science and encourages artistic creativity and curiosity directed to the world of fundamental science.
In 2018, the Odonata Philanthropic Fund and Arts at CERN launched a new series of artistic commissions in the field of “Arts, Science and Nature”.
The initiative aims to reward the production of art works which emerged from the dialogue between artists in residence as part of the Arts at CERN programme and CERN scientists and which are emblematic of a reflection on Nature.
“Nature” is understood here in its common sense and includes: the biophysical environment, habitats and natural environments on land, water or sea; landscapes; the “forces” and physical, geological, tectonic, meteorological, biological and evolutionary principles that make up the universe and those that govern ecosystems and the biosphere on Earth; water, sea, soil and mineral environments; species groups, individuals and environments that support them: plants, forests, animals, including human species, and other trophic levels including fungi, bacteria and fungi. Also included are episodic phenomena of nature (crises, glacial cycles / global warming, geological cycles, etc…)
The partnership aims to reward the production of artworks around the theme of Nature resulting from the dialogue between CERN’s artists in residence and scientists.
In 2018, the work of artist Mariele Neudecker was hailed as particularly emblematic of the dialogue between “Arts, Science and Nature” and was awarded a prize aimed at enabling the production of a work inspired by her residency within the CLOUD scientific experiment.
Due to restrictions related to the corona virus pandemic, the work thus produced could not be shown at CERN as initially planned and will finally be exhibited at the KUMU Museum in Tallinn, Estonia, as part of the Quantum exhibition at the end of 2020.
In 2020, the renowned photographer Richard Mosse was named as the second laureate.
Production and exhibition at CERN and within its network of the commissioned art pieces emblematic of a reflection on Nature in its broadest sense and aiming to stimulate public reflection.
The CERN & Society Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation, organised under Swiss law, and pursuing public benefit.
The purpose of the Foundation is to support and promote the dissemination, for the broadest public interest, of the benefits of the mission of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, through education & outreach, innovation & knowledge exchange, and culture & the arts; and to support and promote the operation of the Globe of Science and Innovation, notably through its use as a venue for scientific exhibitions, conferences, meetings and debates open to the general public.
The Foundation operates nationally and internationally to pursue this mission.