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Arts at CERN invites the CERN community to meet artist in residence Joan Heemskerk

Arts at CERN
Joan Heemskerk at CERN Science Gateway. (Image: CERN)

Arts at CERN has welcomed Dutch artist Joan Heemskerk for a one-month residency at the Laboratory. Heemskerk is a member of the renowned art collective JODI, which was known for pioneering web-based art during the mid-1990s. Using the media of video, websites, video games, performances and installations, her work explores the norms and challenges of the languages of the internet and computer programs.

Heemskerk's residency is dedicated to artistic research and focuses on her project, Alice & Bob after Clay +=-> Hello, World! Drawing inspiration from Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal at CERN that all scientists should be able to exchange ideas, this project seeks to craft a new universal language through a re-examination of the cryptographic characters Alice and Bob, the material clay and the iconic computer program “Hello, World!”

Throughout her residency, Heemskerk aims to explore the various laboratory facilities and engage in conversations with physicists, engineers and other CERN personnel. Among her lines of research, she is examining how CERN's digital systems transmit and exchange information, and how this compares to the ancient practice of conveying information using materials such as clay tablets. This interest has taken her from the archived computer-coded printouts of experimental physicist Louis Dick to the working processes and the intricacies of the CMS experiment’s trigger and data acquisition systems.

On 31 October at 11 a.m., CERN’s Women in Technology group will host Heemskerk for a conversation about her artistic approach and current research, which will be followed by a Q&A session. More information about the event can be found here.

Arts at CERN invites scientists, engineers and everyone who might be interested in engaging exchanges with Heemskerk to come and meet the artist. These interactions will allow you to delve into discussions about your research, explore common areas of interest and get involved in Heemskerk’s artistic projects. If you're interested in contacting the artist or in taking part in her research in any way, please contact us at info.arts@cern.ch.

As part of her Collide Copenhagen residency award, Heemskerk will travel to Copenhagen next month where she will continue to exchange with scientists and to develop an artwork that will be shown in an exhibition at Copenhagen Contemporary.