Nature of the Apparatus

'Nature of the Apparatus' is a media artwork that uses as source material video and sound I have recorded in the Large Hadron Collider experiment (LHC) at CERN. Informed by working with my collaborators in using the LHC data, the work explores the nature of experiments undertaken at CERN. Inspired by pioneer physicist Niels Bohr’s epistemological insights into particle physics experiments, I created an experimental intertwining of matter and energy, apparatus and phenomena, using the video footage of the apparatuses and energy produced by the accelerator. The footage is algorithmically manipulated in a way that allows the “sound” of the beam energy to control the flow of the video. This sound is actually the electromagnetic wave that is vibrating transversely along the energy beam in the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS), which feeds particles into the LHC. In a sense, the work itself is an experiment. The manipulation process involved variables which were algorithmically controlled by the data. The output – what would happen to the footage – was unknown before the experiment was undertaken; the video had to be processed and rendered to see what would manifest, what sort of collisions of footage and folding of forms would actually occur. By embedding the sound of the energy within the footage of the apparatus that produces it, I sought to audiovisually manifest the essence of Bohr’s coalescence of phenomena and apparatus.