Since 2014 CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, and Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council have worked together to foster experimentation through the arts in connection with fundamental science. In 2021 CERN and Pro Helvetia are launching Connect, a new collaboration framework that marks the extension of their joint efforts on supporting and promoting the dialogues between artists and scientists.
Connect South Africa is part of the Connect collaboration. Connect serves as a global platform for interactions and dialogue between artistic and scientific communities across Switzerland, Chile, South Africa and India, which will be realised during the course of 2021-2024.
Connect South Africa supports artistic residencies in Switzerland and in South Africa that germinate new projects, which in turn feed into and animate an ongoing programme of professional exchange between artists and scientists across this international network. Each country is host to some of the most singular scientific facilities and minds in the world, dedicated to advancing our understanding of the origins and the evolution of the universe. Each context provides different and unique opportunities for artists to be confronted with the scale and reach and implications of cutting-edge experimentation in the scientific field.
Connect South Africa will grant a funded residency to one artist from Switzerland and one artist from Southern, East or West Africa. Connect South Africa invites submissions from artists with a distinct interest in an interdisciplinary approach, and a keen engagement with scientific thinking and fundamental science.
The two selected artists will participate in a dual residency split between CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, home of the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); and in the array of optical and radio astronomy observatories across rural and urban South Africa, concentrated particularly in the vast semi desert expanses of the Northern Cape. These include SARAO’s MeerKAT radio telescope near the town of Carnarvon, as the precursor to the South African component of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope, as well as the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest of a number of telescopes operated by SAAO near the town of Sutherland.
The programme provides:
- A production stipend of 6000 CHF / $6500 USD.
- Living expenses in Switzerland and in South Africa.
- International travel costs and local travel, when required, and accommodation at CERN, Geneva, and across various locations in South Africa – principally Cape Town, Johannesburg, the Northern Cape.