The exhibition Quantum gives us the keys to understanding the principles of Quantum physics, and it does so through the joint creative work of scientists and artists. The project invites the public to browse freely, to awaken their curiosity, and to critically evaluate the new paradigms of modern science.

Quantum physics describes the fundamental laws of the world that remain hidden from the senses. It is the human theory that most accurately describes nature today. In many respects, it is a surprising theory, subject to criticism and of great philosophical scope.

First, ten artistic projects show how the impact of quantum physics goes beyond the realm of science. Then, nine windows introduce laboratory research work and present visitors with the intellectual achievement represented by the theories of physics in contact with the scope of advanced experiments.

The union of these two itineraries, the artistic and the scientific, creates a multifaceted scenario that raises new questions and connections, helping us to comprehend an apparently invisible reality and the impact it has on our lives.


Artistic Itinerary

Quantum looks at how the languages and methodologies of transdisciplinary artistic practice can contribute to an understanding of science. To understand the subatomic world, we have to realise that it is an area governed by different properties. These properties are represented as models and experiments that scientists try to understand and fit into a logical scenario. The ultimate aim of the exhibition is to reflect more closely on these models and experiments by means of the participation of people from the field of culture, showing the work being done at CERN, where the world’s largest particle physics experiment is being carried out.

These are the artists-in-residence at CERN and the works they produced during their stay at the Nuclear Research Centre in Geneva.


Scientific Itinerary

The scientific itinerary is an accessible route via nine windows onto the laboratory. These nine windows of knowledge prompt visitors to consider fundamental quantum principles, their philosophical consequences and their all-pervasive technological applications.

  • Scales: Where do we need quantum mechanics?
  • Quantum states: How do we describe nature?
  • Overlap: Can two options overlap?
  • Intertwining: Can two particles depend on one another?
  • Indeterminacy: Can we know with certainty?
  • Randomness: Does chance exist?
  • Open science: Who created quantum mechanics?
  • Everyday quantum: Do we know how much quantum theory there is in our lives?
  • Change-evolution: What can we do with a quantum computer?


Quantum On Our Everyday Lives

Everyday life is surrounded and conditioned by the domain of the quantum world, without us really realising. It allows us to create sensors, atomic clocks, magnetic resonance machines, computers and lasers.

Its future is no less impressive; quantum physics is gradually becoming advanced quantum engineering. Subtler, more refined, more surprising machines will be created. Humankind’s economy is and will continue to be closely linked to the exploitation of the quantum principles that are being investigated at all possible scales.


An International Project

Quantum is a project curated by Mónica Bello and José Carlos Mariátegui, along with the physicist José Ignacio Latorre as the scientific advisor.

Quantum began at Collide International, the flagship programme of Arts at CERN in collaboration with FACT Liverpool. For the last three years, a group of artists was invited to reside at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Geneva) to advance their artistic practice by establishing a dialogue with engineers and particle physicists. The project brings together the ten works produced by this exchange.

The exhibition is coproduced by ScANNER (Science and Art Network for New Exhibitions and Research), CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Geneva), FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool), CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona), IMAL (Interactive Media Arts Laboratory, Brussels) and Le Lieu Unique (Nantes).

The project’s first outing, with the presentation of the pieces produced by commissioning ten international artists, was presented at FACT Liverpool with the title Broken Symmetries.


Third Culture: Science, Art and the Humanities for Understanding the Coming World

So far, the CCCB’s programme addressing the Third Culture has analysed key themes in today’s society such as: the datification of the world, what makes us human, and computational thinking. In this new edition, our goal is to shift the focus to the principles of quantum mechanics, to engage with the challenges it poses, and with the aim of participating in the debate. “Quantica” is the fifth exhibition in the CCCB’s range of activities examining the Third Culture.

Alongside the exhibition, the CCCB is organising a series of activities to submerge the public into the complexity of quantum physics from other viewpoints and in different formats: cycles of lectures, a full education programme, the CCCB’s open-air film programme, Gandules and tjhe Beta Station, a laboratory space within the exhibition space to enable work with communities affected by the issues raised.







In search of the invisible




Photo report of the exhibition


Produced by

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
Arts at Cern
FACT Foundation for Art and Creative Technology
Le lieu unique

With the support of

Fundació Banc Sabadell


SER Catalunya
Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE) - UAB Barcelona
University of Barcelona
Oficina Económica y Cultural de Taipéi
Taiwan Ministry of Culture
Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC)
ICN2 - Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia
ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences
Col·legi Oficial d'Enginyeria Informàtica de Catalunya
Estrella Galicia