The HALO experience installation was presented for first time at this year’s Art Basel in Basel. It has been created by the British artist-duo Semiconductor, who were selected for the 4th Audemars Piguet Art Commission by the fine watchmaking company and guest curator Mónica Bello. Taking more than ten days of intense activity to build, this immersive work of art was installed in Hall 4.U at the Congress Center Basel (CCB) during the Art Basel fair. From 13 to 17June 2018, HALO attracted thousands of visitors, including eminent artists, international VIPs and art-loving members of the public.
Semiconductor created this large-scale work of art to immerse observers in a virtual representation of the natural world at subatomic scale. The experience started upon entering the blacked-out Hall 4.U with HALO discernible in the distance as a luminous structure, which visitors approached down an escalator. They then entered a large cylindrical structure, ten metres in diameter, housing a 360-degree screen with projected images filling the entire space. At that point, they were met with a shower of particles emanating in rhythmic waves from a central point. The raw data used for the installation comes from the ATLAS particle detector experiment at CERN in Geneva.
Framed by authentic technology and scientific equipment, HALO evokes an emotional response of awe and amazement by recreating the experience of the formation of matter in the universe.
Commenting on the artwork, Christine Stauffer, Head Project Management at the CCB said, "We are extremely proud to have been able to present an installation of this type on our premises for the very first time. It linked us strongly to Art Basel and the level of interest was simply staggering!"