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Asymptotic Freedom

The research project ‘Asymptotic Freedom’ addresses the relation between photography and nuclear technology, specifically within the field of particle physics. By undertaking a number of experiments at the European Laboratory of Particle Physics in Geneva (CERN), Dominique Somers will explore the functions photography can play in researching the foundations of life and the way in which the intangible forces of the universe and technical imaging practices interact with one another.

For although radiological media embody the most basic phenomena that have been around since the Big Bang, they are also inextricably linked to a sophisticated technological apparatus and to imaging processes from which human agency is excluded. By examining the creative roles natural forces, coincidence, anticipation and imaging devices play in all this, Somers aims to chart not only their interconnection but also how radioactivity brings to the fore the discursive correlation between the material world and the ideological construction of technical media. She hereby proceeds from the perspective that photography, as a dynamic process, is part of a much larger history of the universe and, together with radiation, one of the image-producing conditions of the universe.