Andrew Stones’ new installation for Chisenhale Gallery is based on video and audio material recorded at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) in France. This vast organisation houses some of the world’s largest machines that are deployed in the search for matter’s smallest particles. Using seven projection screens and multi-channel sound, Atlas depicts three zones of the CERN nuclear research complex: the underground 'Atlas' detector chamber, an underground particle accelerator (the ‘Super Positron Synchrotron’) and the offices of two CERN-based physicists.
CERN’s Atlas detector chamber is a large collective civil engineering project, revealed in Stones’ installation as a frieze-like triptych whose images crawl continuously across three large screens. For Stones, this gargantuan concrete chamber is reminiscent of other historically fabulous building projects, such as Noah's Ark or the Tower of Babel, which scholars and artists of earlier centuries attempted to re-imagine and re-engineer.
Atlas explores how we can be seduced and awed by aspects of science while simultaneously excluded from its processes. Stones’ video and audio projects are concerned with how scientific knowledge appears to offer deep understandings which often challenge the value of subjective experience, leaving the individual in an unsettled 'insider/outsider' state.
Andrew Stones was born in Sheffield, England, and completed his BA in Fine Art at Sheffield City Polytechnic, 1983. He was a NESTA Fellow from 2001-04. Stones writes on subjects related to the core concerns of his work: the untidy collisions of art, science, nature and technology which occur in everyday life.
Publication: Outside Inside - Andrew Stones is a full colour monograph representing the artist's large scale installations from the late 1980s to the present day. Published by Film and Video Umbrella, London 2004.
Atlas is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Chisenhale Gallery, supported by Arts Council England. Project research has been supported by a Fellowship from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, UK).
Click Here for the monograph Outside Inside in the shop
Published by Film and Video Umbrella, London, 2004
Paperback, colour illustrations, pp147
Texts by Steven Bode, Sean Cubitt, Shirley MacWilliam.
Twenty kilometres outside Geneva, in an enclave of neutral Switzerland that has grown to become on of the main intellectual stamping grounds of the international scientific community, are the laboratories of the Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire, also known as CERN. Although the organisation’s boundary-breaking activites have attracted increased attention in recnt years, the nature and extent of what goes on there is still largely unkown or unfathomable to the majority of people. Noth that the buidings themselves give much of a clue. Set in its green0field site in an otherwise anonymous suburban hinterland, the exterior of the complex offers scant indication of either its purpose or its scope. But, as advanced-level science so often reminds us, appearances can be deceptive. Like a metaphor for the mysterious world of sub-atomic particle physics, CERN’s distinguishing features are not to be found on the surface but remain to be encountered deep within.
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