5 Minutes with HALO creators Semiconductor

Interviews, Visual arts
Semiconductor, HALO, 2020

We talk to Brighton based artists Semiconductor about their unique, ‘immersive and sublime’ work HALO.

Described as a multisensory experience of matter formation in the early universe, HALO is a large-scale installation made by artist the duo following a residency at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. 

Where did you get the inspiration for HALO? 

The Initial idea developed during a 3-month artist residency at CERN, Geneva, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics .

We spent time talking to researchers and learning about the experiments they were undertaking. We were taken on a tour of the Large Hadron Collider and were given unique access to the data from by the ATLAS experiment which recreates the conditions thought to have existed shortly after the big bang. It was from looking at this data and spending time at the experiment facility that the idea for HALO came about and was commissioned by Swiss Watch company Audemars Piguet for Art Basel 2018. In collaboration with CERN.  

What is unique about HALO?

Semiconductor are the first artists to access raw data from CERN to create an artwork.

The data used to operate HALO is taken from ATLAS, a particle collision experiment at CERN which creates the conditions thought to have existed shortly after the big bang.

The cylindrical structure of HALO echoes the cylindrical structure of the Large Hadron Collider. And the piano strings that are played by the data are inspired by the devices used to record activity in the experiment.

Are you looking forward to exhibiting in Brighton?

Brighton is where we live and create our work, it is where we love coming back to after long periods away on residencies and installing exhibitions around the world. Our enduring fondness for the city stems from the fact that it is a place that brings together so many different creative communities in a hive of activity, that it has retained an atmosphere of acceptance and non-conformity throughout the 25 years we have lived here.

We’re excited to show HALO in the larger context of the Brighton Festival with the buzz it creates in the city and are looking forward to working with ACCA and being part of their dynamic programme events.

What do you hope people will take away from HALO?

A sense of connection to something vast and intangible, a feeling of wonder about science and nature, that they have experienced something new that triggers a new found questioning and curiosity about the world



HALO at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA)

19 May - 4 Jun 2021

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