Semiconductor – Halo – June 2018 – Arts Basel, Switzerland

HALO is a large scale immersive artwork which embodies Semiconductor’s ongoing fascination with how we experience the material world through the lens of science and technology.

Back in 2015, Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt undertook a 2-month residency at CERN in Switzerland. While filming the colossal site and interviewing researchers and physicists, they spent some of their time seeing if they could access the data that is produced by the Large Hadron Collider. They’re particularly interested in the scientific data and how it represents the matter it is studying. In this instance, the data was presented by points in 3-D space and is laid out in a circular form, the shape of the experiment, which in turn shaped the installation.

Taking the form of a large cylinder Halo houses a 360-degree projection of scientific data while an array of 384 vertical wires produce the sound. The work draws the viewer into its centre in order to inhabit the results of particle-collisions, produced by experiments taking place at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Millimetre were responsible for the structure build, programming and installing the mechanism that ‘played’ the piano strings. ArtAV installed the 360° edge-blended projection. We used 6 Christie DHD600 projectors, each fitted with warp blend modules. These were installed on top of the structure. By using the warp capabilities of the Christie projectors we reduced the complexity of the install and the cost as the 6 projectors were able to be seamlessly blended without the need for an external warp controller or projection mapping software. Playback was provided by Brightsigns that were controlled by Ableton live software. Ableton live is the brains of the installation controlling all of the mechanical hammers that play the strings as well as triggering video playback, allowing synchronisation.

With its multiple components interacting with each other;  this fantastic immersive installation was amazing to watch, hear and feel.

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