Fluidic Data

Fluidic Data. Studio material testing of bubble chamber lens effect


“Fluidic Data” is a floor-to-ceiling installation that will, upon its completion, span the four levels of the stairwell at the CERN Data Center, home to the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. Through the interplay of water and light, the installation will assist visitors in visualizing both real time and archived data from the collider while experiencing the magnitude and flow of information coming from the four major experiments using the collider: ATLAS, ALICE, LHCb, and CMS.

During LHC operation, the visualization is linked in real-time with the detectors, whereas archived data will be used during shut-down periods.

The installation’s kinetic and visually appealing design will allow visitors to have a multi-sensory experience with the data creating an experiential adventure that makes connections between the complexity of data and the complexities found in nature. The design communicates the life and purpose of collected data as one ascends the stairway, with embedded particle visualizations in the form of leaf pods that are activated based on statistical measurements specific to each of the experiments.

A complex pump system designed by CERN engineers visualizes data packets through patterns of colored dye segments, strands of transparent filaments with 36 thermo-molded plastic pods resembling “bio-leaves” light up when particles are traced, and a generative algorithm of LED light patterns cycling through all the pods visualize more nuanced aspects of the data. Materials used in the making of the LHC and experiments are being incorporated such as wavelength shifting fiber or scintillating fibers. They are used to create the mesh which is woven through all the other components like a textile and represents the LHC Computing Grid. This is the world’s largest computing grid comprising over 170 computing facilities in a worldwide network across 42 countries.

A virtual kiosk on the ground level will provide logistical information about how the installation was created, how it visualizes the data, whether the data is in real time or has been archived, and how to best experience the wonder of particle physics.

“Fluidic Data” is designed to be both mesmerizing and meditative, an organic fusion of art and science that mimics natural systems and creates a repose in which visitors may assimilate information in a sensorial way.

“Fluidic Data” is a project of the CERN Data Center made possible with the assistance and expertise from all four experiments at CERN.

The CERN team members are:

Agnes Chavez, Artist
Melissa Gaillard, Project Director
Johan Sebastien Bonilla, Data Visualization Design
Julien Leduc, IT and Data Specialist
Stephane Berry, Pump System Design
Oliver Keller, Electronic Engineer Design
Marco Garlasche, Structural Engineer
Mayank Sharma, Electronic Engineer Design
Harri Toivonen, Architectural Space Design

Leah Buechley
Porto Design Factory
Agnes Chavez, artist

Taos Technical Support:
Jeremiah Buchanan, prototyping
Jake Mingenbach, prototyping
Peter Gilroy, Titanium testing