The Science Museum
“Go see it! You will be amazed and enthralled!”
“Art and science really do collide, with spectacular results.”
Video in the Collider exhibition was used to deliver a theatrical storytelling experience for the visitor and to augment the wider exhibition environment.
The narrative journey of the exhibition took visitors from the lecture hall of CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) right down into the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) and the particle detectors that surround it. The journey began by announcing the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle with a video displayed on a 13m wide, 3m high curved screen. This huge, curved screen enveloped the audience in the experience, filling their peripheral vision with images taken from around CERN.
As visitors moved through the exhibition they met various real-world scientists and engineers who emerged from the walls to speak directly about their work at CERN. This gave the audience real insight into a place it is unlikely any of them would ever be able to visit.
Visitors then came to one of the highlights of the exhibition, the particle collision video. Creating this was our biggest design challenge. We had to create a visual spectacle of something you can’t actually see and which expert scientists use graphs of electromagnetic activity to visualise. After visiting CERN three times, talking to scientists and collaborating with NRS we eventually devised a three minute video-journey. This was presented on a circular screen, seven metres in diameter, with 270 degrees of projection wrapping around the viewer, holding them in the centre, while the action unfolded all around them.
The journey explored in the particle collision video began in one of the cathedral-sized detector caverns. The video took the viewer inside the detector where they joined a flow of protons and witnessed the moment of proton collision, the source of all discovery within the Large Hadron Collider.
The journey ended with a space for reflection on what the visitor has learnt and what may yet come from the work of the LHC. The video created a visual representation of imagination, projecting analogies of the ideas discussed and demonstrating how they grow and evolve. A table sat in the centre of the space, brought to life by video so that animation projected onto the note-pads and bits of paper lying on the table could explain the scientific advances coming out of the work of CERN.
Creative Direction: Finn Ross
Creative Direction: Adam Young
Animation: Adam Young
Curator: Alison Boyle
Creative Director: Pippa Nissen
3D Design: Nissen Richards Studio
Video: Finn Ross & Adam Young
Hand-drawn Animation & Graphic Design - Northover & Brown
Lighting: Zerlina Hughes for Studio ZNA
Sound: Carolyn Downing
The journey begins in one of the cathedral sized detector caverns and moves you inside the detector where you join a flow of protons and witness the proton collision, the source of all discovery within the LHC. You then see the conclusion of the drama that began in the lecture hall in an office, the end wall is video in which our main scientist character is working.
The journey ends in a space for reflection on what you have learned and what may come from the work in the LHC. The video creates a wall for imagination, projecting analogies of the ideas discussed in the space on the end wall, joining lines of print with lines of video and images forming from the lines. A table sits in the centre of the space, brought to life by video so that scientific ideas can be explained by animation projected on to the note pads and bits of paper lying on the table.
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