CERN Wants Artists To Live At LHC Full Time – Merging Science & Art

Fact checked
Shiva "Symmetry", CERN's "video opera" depicting the "Dance of Destruction"

In yet another addition to the long, long list of bizarre things happening at CERN and it’s Large Hadron Collider facility in Switzerland, where scientists are in search of things like the “God particle”, the researchers at the facility are producing “small” black holes in order to find their elusive particles.

This is the same thing that Stephen Hawking famously said could wipe out our planet forever. A 2014 report on Hawking and his thoughts about the Higgs Boson particle’s discovery stated: “[Hawking] is warning that the particle could one day be responsible for the destruction of the known universe.

Hawking is not the only scientist who thinks so. The theory of a Higgs boson doomsday, where a quantum fluctuation creates a vacuum ‘bubble’ that expands through space and wipes out the universe, has existed for a while.”

Even more scary than this is CERNs very strange “art” – specifically a massive statue of Nataraja depicting the Hindu god Shiva that was installed in 2004 when the facility was first built.

CERN Shiva "Dance of Destruction" statue
Nothing to see here, folks. Just a huge statue of the Goddess Shiva dancing the “Dance of Destruction”…

Some people thought it was odd that CERN would choose to dedicate a statue symbolising the destruction of the world in a place that may one day end up destroying the world via a new particle discovery. Coincidence?

CERN Shiva statue
A definitely NOT creepy photo of Shiva at the CERN headquarters at night.

CERN scientists and experts have laughed off the ‘conspiracy theory’ of any nefarious agenda . The problem is, about a year ago, you know, those same CERN scientists and experts released an “operatic ballet” FILM that was shot INSIDE CERN depicting…you guessed it: the dance of destruction (I’m not even kidding, check out the video below this article)!

"Symmetry", CERN's "video opera" depicting the "Dance of Destruction"
In CERN’s film, “Symmetry “, these scientists dance the “Dance of Destruction” – which is totally normal, right?

Sure, the world hasn’t imploded yet and the CERN researchers haven’t accidentally ripped a hole in the time-space continuum that is pulling dinosaurs into our backyards yet, but their definition of “art” has always been suspect.

"Symmetry", CERN's "video opera" depicting the "Dance of Destruction"
Another still from CERN’s movie…SERIOUSLY WHAT is going on here? Who is that creepy black figure?!

Which leads us to CERN’s latest announcement. The Smithsonian’s online headline released this month reads: “CERN Seeks International Artists For Full-Time Residency

Oh, OK, there is nothing weird about a nuclear particle research facility wanting a group of “international artists” to LIVE at the CERN campus full time for a few months…I’m being sarcastic.

Arts@CERN’s director, Monica Bello (yes, there is really something called Arts@CERN, sigh..) said in her statement:

“CERN, the renowned European Organisation for Nuclear Research, has partnered with FACT, the UK’s leading media arts centre, for the ambitious residency programme COLLIDE International Award, created to challenge and transform the way art and science encounters are understood.”

Monica Bello doesn’t really explain how they plan to “challenge and transform” how art and science encounters will be understood. Why does everything that comes from CERN seem to be some sort of thinly-veiled reference at destroying the Earth or finding something alien?

"Symmetry", CERN's "video opera" depicting the "Dance of Destruction"
Again, another still from CERN’s last foray into “art”…and again…WHO IS THAT CREEPY GUY IN ALL BLACK? Also, WHY ARE WE IN THE DESERT NOW?

The release goes on to say:

COLLIDE International Award grants an artist a fully funded residency, where the artist will spend the first two months at Arts@CERN, Geneva, followed by a one-month stay at FACT in Liverpool.

As the cradle of the World Wide Web and home of the Large Hadron Collider, CERN sees the world’s leading physicists and engineers investigate the fundamental mysteries of our universe. COLLIDE offers the winning artist a highly regarded opportunity to spend time in one of the most important laboratories in the world, providing an inspirational place to explore and extend their research in order to find new artistic approaches.

I’m sorry, “As the cradle of the World Wide Web“? Have we all missed something? Since when was anywhere the “cradle of the World Wide Web”?

Anyway, if you “win” you get to live above a machine capable of destroying mankind and the universe. In the daytime, you get to live underground with a bunch of scientists who open small black holes in our Universe for fun. Sounds great. Where do we sign up?

Monica Bello goes on to say:

“Our desire is to connect the worlds of leading scientists with international artists through ‘creative collisions’, encouraging both fields to inspire and challenge each other, and pushing the boundaries of their traditional roles and methodologies.”

It sounds like the poor artist will be forced to churn out every type of art possible, but with one requirement: it has to all depict Shiva dancing the “Dance of Destruction”. Maybe the lucky winner will get to perform occult spells and bring Shiva through the portal CERN opens?

"Symmetry", CERN's "video opera" depicting the "Dance of Destruction"
From CERN’s “art” film – where CERN looks like it is exploding near the end of the film….not creepy at all.

Who knows, I kid, of course…anyway, if you are still interested, check out all the rules and guidelines on the official page. If you happen to get selected, let us here at know – we’d live to hear all about your experience!

"Symmetry", CERN's "video opera" depicting the "Dance of Destruction"
If you get chosen for the art residency, maybe, as in CERN’s “Symmetry” film pictured above, the campus will explode and make you turn into four people dancing in the blank void of non-space, since CERN seems to have sucked up the entire universe into itself by the end of the film (see photo below).
"Symmetry", CERN's "video opera" depicting the "Dance of Destruction"
The last still from CERN’s last foray into “Art”, where I’m pretty sure that the last image shown to us is CERN’s Large Hadron Collider now having destroyed the world, sucking in the last universe, as can be seen in the upper left.

Oh, and, finally, here is the creepy video CERN produced last year (for those of you who have seen this before, why does it continue to get creepier with every viewing?)

SYMMETRY – CERN dance-opera film (official trailer) from TRUTH.IO on Vimeo.

*Author’s note: this is an opinion piece regarding facts about CERN – all jokes, opinions expressed, and conjecture in this article are mine and mine alone.

Royce Christyn

Royce Christyn

Journalist at News Punch
Documentarian, Writer, Producer, Director, Author.
Royce Christyn


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