Media release

Connect»: at the intersection of art and science

Wednesday, 14 April 2020

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Arts at CERN are launching «Connect», a residency programme at the intersection of science and artistic research with a focus on cultural exchange. «Connect» is hosted in cooperation with science organisations and experimental facilities in Switzerland and worldwide. As part of Pro Helvetia’s «Art, Science and Technology» focus (Federal cultural policy statement 2021-2024) «Connect» supports networking and collaboration models combining these three fields.

Pro Helvetia and Arts at CERN, the official arts programme of CERN, have been organising residencies for artists and cultural practitioners since 2014. Building on this common experience, the two institutions are taking a further step towards strengthening the dialogue between arts and science by providing it with an international framework. The new residency programme offers two formats, one national and the other international, both open to arts practitioners from all disciplines supported by Pro Helvetia.

  • Starting in 2021 and occurring on a biennial basis, the «Connect» national format offers a Swiss artist or collective a residency at CERN in Geneva, during which they will benefit from a curated residency, dedicated time and space within the CERN’s community. They will also be matched with a scientist.
  • The «Connect» international residency enables a tandem consisting of one artist from Switzerland and one from abroad to be in residency together at CERN Geneva then at an equivalent international scientific institution. For the second part of the programme, the regions rotate between the areas covered by Pro Helvetia’s offices abroad. The format will be launched in 2021 with «Connect South Africa», to be followed in 2022 by «Connect Chile», «Connect India» and others. Artists will thus be able to stay in South Africa at the South African Astronomical Observatory  (SAAO) as well as at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), or in Chile at the astronomical observatories nestled on the high Andean plateau.

In the long-term, «Connect» aims to create a global network for artists, scientists and partners, fostering dialogue and the sharing of experiences.

“We are thrilled to deepen our long-standing partnership with Pro Helvetia to explore new ways in which science can engage with arts. «Connect» will provide unique opportunities for artists and scientists to enrich each other’s thinking and work in a global setting, to enable fresh perspectives on the evolution of our universe and on the role of science in society today,” says Charlotte Lindberg Warakaulle, CERN’s Director for International Relations.

Philippe Bischof, Director of Pro Helvetia, says: “As part of Pro Helvetia’s «Art, Science and Technology» focus, «Connect» is an important first step in recognizing the artistic expertise at the forefront of exploring processes of societal transformation and innovation. To this end, we share with Arts at CERN a common vision of exploring the great potential of new models of transdisciplinary collaboration by fostering the further development of a global arts, science and technology community for dialogue and networking between artists and scientists.”

«Connect» and «Connect South Africa»: calls are now open for applications until 26 May 2021. The application should be written in English and submitted via online forms:

Images for downloading

For more information contact

SARAO

Simphiwe Madlanga

Coordinator: Science Engagement

+27 11 268 3406

smadlanga@sarao.ac.za