(art)n Artists: 

Ellen Sandor, Chris Kemp, and Diana Torres

Collaborative Artists: 

Jennifer Raaf, Sam Zeller, Thomas Junk and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Special Thanks Georgia Schwender, Kurt Riesselmann, and Anne Mary Teichert


Virtual Photograph


Duratrans, Kodalth, Plexiglas


Neutrinos in a New Light: Selected Works of Art & Science, Fermilab Art Gallery, Batavia, IL, December 2, 2016-March 17, 2017: Exhibition Catalogue




NOvA is a large above-ground neutrino detector made mostly out of plastic PVC pipes lled with mineral oil, which is the material with which the neutrinos interact. Neutrinos are constantly being red into the NOvA detector, and on the rare occasion that a neutrino interacts with the mineral oil, the collision releases protons, neutrons, and other types of particles. As these outgoing particles travel through the oil, they leave energy in the form of a very tiny bit of light. Photosensitive optical bers that are installed inside the PVC pipes detect the tiny amounts of light, marking the locations of the particles’ paths as they travel through the oil. Because the precision of the location of each particle path is limited by the size of the PVC pipes, the path can only be pinpointed to that extent within the full grid of pipes.

(art)n depicts this through both projection mapping and a PHSCologram work, using the grid-like design to transcend the data into a Victor Vasarely inspired artwork. Vasarely’s work tends to use repeating shapes and different colors, and was an obvious t for an artful analogy.

Victor Vasarely was a Hungarian born artist widely considered the “grandfather of Op-Art art.” With training as a graphic designer, Vasarely believed the correct use of color geometric shapes could lead to enhanced ways of perceiving space, matter, and energy in art. This form of geometric abstraction became known as Op-Art.

(art)n uses Vasarely’s Op-Art geometric abstraction to artistically demonstrate the both the inner workings and produced data of the NOvA detector. The geometric layout of the PVC piping inside the NOvA detector can create geometric data graphs with color indicating places of neutrino collision. (art)n
expands on this and elevates it to Vasarely’s colorful and energized Op-Art level.