When Worlds Collide

Underneath the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland is the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator 27 kilometres in circumference, the largest scientific experiment in the world. There are many ways into this accelerator, indeed there are other accelerators, half-forgotten, buried deep under CERN itself. A discovery I made underneath CERN was not in the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, but in the CERN archives. In mouldering fragments of film and photographs that once won Nobel prizes, I discovered other dimensions to the reductive empirical surface of CERN. Revealed through such ephemera are the trials and tensions of those who first probed the subatomic depths of the universe. As Dadaist and physicist Paul Feyerabend stated, science is full of chance, complexity, and is as colourful as the characters involved in its development. In the chance collisions of cinematic CERN ephemera, different tensions are produced, a new energy is released from the obsolete experiments, and other potential universes emerge for a moment between the frames of discarded documentary footage.