Four years after the sensational discovery of the ‘Higgs boson’, the CERN research centre is about to undertake a remarkable new experiment. Ten thousand scientists from around the world will work together, using the largest machine ever built by human beings. The experiment is a journey through the remotest time and on the smallest scale that we can imagine: an exploration of matter about one millionth of a second following the Big Bang that generated our universe.
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Thus the infinitely small and the vast immensity of the universe together open the doors of an invisible domain, where scientists are guided by something they have in common with artists. Among scientists who can no longer picture Nature and artists who have lost the traditional idea of Beauty, through machines that look like works of art and art installations that look like laboratory experiments, there emerges a portrait of both scientific and artistic practice as investigation and imagination, as the genuine exercise of freedom.
At a time when we are torn apart by doubt and disorientation, The Sense of Beauty is a journey in search of new images capable of replacing those we have lost: above all the reassuring picture of Nature which emerged from our religious traditions and from our own five senses; perhaps also the image of Europe itself, where modern science was born and from where, for good or evil, it spread across the Earth.
As the new experiment at CERN proceeds in its exploration of the mysterious energy that animates the universe, scientists and artists guide us towards the shadow line where science and art, in different ways, pursue truth and beauty. Some of these men and women believe in god, while others believe only in experiment and doubt. But in their search for truth they are all alert to an elusive sixth – or seventh – sense… the sense of beauty.
Original title: Il Senso Della Bellezza
A film by Valerio Jalongo
© 2017, Licensed by First Hand Films