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CERN and the Swiss Arts Council announce the artists selected for the sixth edition of Connect

Arts at CERN, in collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, today announced Robin Meier Wiratunga and Vimala Pons as the artists selected for the sixth edition of Connect

Vimala Pons and Robin Meier Wiratunga are the artists selected for the sixth edition of Connect (image: CERN)

Vimala Pons and Robin Meier Wiratunga are the artists selected for the sixth edition of Connect (image: CERN)

Connect is an art residency programme launched by Arts at CERN and Pro Helvetia in 2021. Dedicated to Swiss-based artists working at the intersection of science and artistic research, this research-led residency invites them to come to CERN to explore ideas and develop new work.

The selected duo is composed of Robin Meier Wiratunga and Vimala Pons. Meier Wiratunga is an artist and composer who seeks to understand how humans, insects and objects think. Collaborating closely with scientific researchers, Meier Wiratunga's work blends machine learning with insights from animal intelligence, creating constellation scores where musical patterns emerge as ‘thinking tools'. Vimala Pons is an actress who has worked in independent and auteur cinema.

Meier Wiratunga and Pons will dedicate their residency at CERN to developing their proposal titled Guided Meditations for the End of the Universe. This project aims to delve into cosmological theories about the end of the Universe to transform them into meditative and embodied experiences. Employing an anthropological approach to engage with science, the artists intend to employ spoken voice recordings, electronic music, light environments and sonified data from particle events.

Now in its sixth edition, Connect has become a pivotal platform for Swiss-based artists to expand their artistic practice in dialogue with the field of physics and science at CERN. This collaboration framework between Arts at CERN and Pro Helvetia will continue through the next year with an iteration in Chile and India, sustaining its mission to foster interactions and dialogue between artistic and scientific communities.

“We find ourselves in a challenging yet exciting time, as we witness the emergence of a strong and vibrant infrastructure devoted to the integration of artistic activity within the sciences,” says Mónica Bello, Curator and Head of Arts at CERN. “This is a transformational and promising development that presents unprecedented opportunities for cultural innovation. Connect is evidence of these dynamics, and I am proud to see that our partnership with Pro Helvetia is advancing further, bringing in new residents with different perspectives and backgrounds and strengthening the confluence of art and science in Switzerland.”

“This sixth edition of Connect continues to reaffirm the significance of the interface between art, science and technology. The quality and diversity of applications received illustrate the rich interdisciplinarity inherent in this dynamic field, and the extent to which it is part of current artistic practice. We are happy to foster dialogue and innovation at this remarkable intersection and are very pleased about the ongoing collaboration with Arts at CERN,” explains Philippe Bischof, Director of Pro Helvetia.

The jury of Connect was formed by Mónica Bello, Curator and Head of Arts at CERN; Giulia Bini, Head of Program and Curator of “Enter the Hyper-Scientific” at EPFL Lausanne; and Federica Martini, Head of the CCC - Critical Curatorial Cybermedia Master at HEAD Genève.