Our Offices & Partners Abroad

Simetría Residency 2019

Simetría Residency 2019

Nicole L'Huillier, «El Poema de la Fábrica Cósmica», ALMA (Chile)


Two research centres joined forces to create the Simetría residency, organized by the Chilean Video and Electronic Arts Corporation with the support of:

COINCIDENCIA, the Swiss-South American cultural exchange program of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Chile’s Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage.

There are human disciplines that, from their onset, are destined to inquire into the most fundamental aspects of existence and to uncover the secrets of the origin of the universe – and within that, of life itself. That is the case of art and science, both dedicated to creation and experimentation and, yet, perceived by many as opposite spheres. 

On this premise, in 2018, two of the world’s leading scientific research centres joined forces to create an artistic residency program in Switzerland and Chile, connecting Europe and Latin America. One of these centres is the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN, based in Geneva with the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. The other centre is the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the largest and most ambitious astronomical centre, located in northern Chile.

The Simetría Residency seeks to create and provide spaces for cross-cutting research, creation and dialogue between the associated fields of study and the countries and entities involved.

From millibar to decibel

Nicole L'Huillier

Transdisciplinary artist from Santiago, Chile, currently based in Boston, United States.

She works at the intersection of music, art, architecture, science, and technology to challenge perceptual conventions and to open the possibility of new imaginations. Nicole is part of the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, where she explores the experimental forms and implications of art, expression and culture in outer space. She is also an experimental musician, drummer, synth lover and one-half of the space pop duo Breaking Forms.

-> nicolelhuillier.com

From Chile, the selected artist was Nicole L’Huillier. Her research topics relate to the exploration of sound in space and to how, through the encounter between art, science, technology and music, it is possible to think beyond our terrestrial boundaries.

She spent her time at CERN and Alma rendering audible what usually can’t be heard, using a self developped instrument, called PARACANTORA (Parasito Ambiental Ruidoso Amplificador Canalizador de Agentes Ninguneados Transducidos Ofreciendo Rituales Auditivos). The device contains different environmental sensors (Barometric pressure, altitude, temperature, accelerometer, electromagnetic fields, anemometer, wind turbine, light, proximity, and vibrations) that are mapped in real-time into different sounds to create a musical performance of the place or poems of the cosmic fabric around us.

PARACANTORA has six independent speakers that diffuse sound on-site, a recording system to document the performance of each place, and works during the performance/recording session with battery, allowing it to be an autonomous traveling sculpture that can visit extreme places.

Listen in the two videos below what PARACANTORA picked up deep under the earth at CERN’s hadron collider ALICE and in the wide open space at ALMA.


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Within reach of the light

Alan Bogana (*1979)

Transdisciplinary artist from Geneva, Switzerland

His art practice involves sculpture, computer graphics, electronics, time-based media and holography, and his works are usually presented in the form of installations.

Alan Bogana completed a Fine Arts Diploma with honors at the Geneva University of Art and Design with further specialization in computer graphics and artistic research methodologies at the Zürich University of Art and Design.

-> alanbogana.com

From Switzerland, it was transdiciplinary artist Alan Bogana who was selected for the Simetría residency. During the last years his research has focused on the exploration, real and fictional, of the behavior of light and its interactions with matter. He investigates this broad field of study through various means, such as computer graphics simulations of impossible phenomena or the manipulation of translucent, phosphorescent and holographic materials. Large-scale, installative structures turn exhibition spaces into a universe of their own – somewhere between an experimental laboratory and a chamber of curiosities.

Bogana’s results from the residency are unfinished and there is still a long way to go, he says. For now, what follows is intense research and experimentation. Surely it will be worth the wait.


Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.