Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Completion date: 2011
Artwork budget: $80,000
Amy McBrine Kristofoletti
This mural was commissioned as part of a public communication initiative related to the research and discovery of the Higgs Boson a fundamental particle, at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is a scientific research lab that is the largest international collaboration in history. The fundamental physics research being done there deals with scales that are hard to comprehend, and this work was commissioned to celebrate this incredible achievement.
The goal of the artwork was to show the magnitude of scales and power required to do high energy particle physics and to commemorate this technological feat in human history. The amount of data and energy required to carry out this experiment is unprecedented, the purpose of this research is to better understand the origin of the Universe.
The extensive collaborative process that was required to undertake this project began as a conversation between the artist and some of the physicists at CERN. The discussion centered around the challenges of making an image of something that is so small that it is vastly beyond anything visible, and the large equipment required to detect it; hardware with a 17 mile circumference. The collaboration consists of 21 member countries, and seven observer member nations. The project had to have approval from all members with the consideration of the international audience that CERN attracts. The design period was approximately one year, from initial meetings to a final design.