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Mark Blower 180919 Yunchul Kim Kcc 0035

Broken Symmetries

Uncover the hidden aspects of our world in this international exhibition that combines art and physics.

Part of the Winter 2018 season

Explore the exhibition online

Take a look at the virtual tour of Broken Symmetries at FACT. Gallery 1 includes works by Yunchul Kim, Juan Cortés, Semiconductor, James Bridle, Yu-Chen Wang and Lea Porsager. 

Broken Symmetries brings together artists who aim to understand and question the physical world by navigating the shifting realities of modern science.

The underlying nature of the universe remains ever-elusive. But now, thanks to the technological and scientific breakthroughs of the last hundred years, we are more able than ever to understand the nature of this hidden realm, revealing and interpreting the symmetries which govern our existence.

This inquiry into existence has long served as an inspiration to many artists. Through scientific and artistic collaborations, this exhibition brings together ten new commissions by international artists who creatively explore questions and connections that may contribute to the understanding of the hidden world, and the impact it has on our lives.

Go to ARTWORKS to see a full list of works and find out more.

Go to NEWS to read interviews with each of the artists and watch the opening talks which included discussions with the artists, curators and physicists involved.

Gallery 2 includes works by Diann Bauer, hrm199 (Haroon Mirza and Jack Jelfs) and Suzanne Treister.

This exhibition began with Collide International, the flagship programme created in collaboration between Arts at CERN and FACT. Between 2015-2018, a group of artists were invited to CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Geneva) to advance their artistic practice by establishing a dialogue with engineers and particle physicists. The exhibitions brings together the ten works produced by this exchange.

Since premiering at FACT in 2018 as Broken Symmetries, the exhibition has toured to CCCB (Barcelona, Spain) as Quantum, to iMAL (Brussels, Belgium) as Quantica: In Search of the Invisible and to National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan) as Broken Symmetries. It will later travel to Le Lieu Unique (Nantes, Frances) and Kumu (Tallinn, Estonia).

FACT's collaboration with CERN pursues the eternal connection between art and science, and the results are outstanding.

Art in Liverpool, Issue #9 - November 2018

Watch Opening Talks with Artists, Curators and Scientists

To open Broken Symmetries, we partnered with Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendevouz) to bring a series of talks from artists and scientists who are pushing the boundaries of artist research and deepening engagement with science.

This series of Liverpool LASER talks are Introduced by Professor Caroline Wilkinson, Director of the School of Art and Design (LJMU) and Monica Bello, Co-Curator of Broken Symmetries and Curator & Head of Arts at CERN.


What is the Collide International Residency Award and how do artists and scientists meet in the abstract field?

Chaired by Mónica Bello (Arts at CERN).

Panel: Yu-Chen Wang, Lea Porsager and Yunchul Kim (exhibiting artists, Broken Symmetries).


Dive deeper into the artistic and scientific concepts behind Broken Symmetries and question how we can create a space and language through art to enable scientific conversations.

Chaired by Mark Wright (FACT, Liverpool John Moores University).
Panel: Juan Cortés (exhibiting artist, Broken Symmetries), Professor Tara Shears (University of Liverpool), James Bridle (exhibiting artist, Broken Symmetries) and Helga Timko (CERN).


How does abstraction help us to understand the universe, and how can we form new languages where standard forms fail? Can the collision of art and science help us to describe the invisible?

Chaired by Jose-Carlos Mariategui, Curator of Broken Symmetries.
Panel: Monica Bello (Arts at CERN), Seth Ayyaz, Diann Bauer, Jack Jelfs and Haroon Mirza (exhibiting artists and collaborators, Broken Symmetries).

Broken Symmetries is curated by Mónica Bello and José-Carlos Mariátegui, and is co-produced by ScANNER (the Science and Art Network for New Exhibitions and Research), composed of Arts at CERN (the arts program of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Geneva); FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool); CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona); le lieu unique (Center for Contemporary Culture – Nantes) and iMAL (interactive Media Arts Laboratory, Brussels).

Additional support from The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.

ScANNER was initiated through the Collide International residency Award 2016-2018, a partnership programme between Arts at CERN and FACT.

Header image: Yunchul Kim, detail of Cascade (2018), KCCUK. Photo: Mark Blower.

Cascade, 2018

Sculptural elements: Argos (Geiger–Müller tube, glass, aluminium, micro controller (480 x 400 mm)); Impulse (non-pulsating pump, solenoid valve, micro controller, acrylic, aluminium (2300 x 2000 mm)); Tubular (PDMS, micro tube (dimensions variable))

Virtual Tour: Broken Symmetries

Explore a virtual tour of internationally touring exhibition, Broken Symmetries. Created in collaboration with Arts at Cern, this exhibition brings together artists who aim to understand and question the physical world by navigating the shifting realities of modern science.


Broken Symmetries Gallery 1 Photo by Rob Battersby

Broken Symmetries Learning Guide

Broken Symmetries brings together artists who aim to understand and question the physical world by navigating the shifting realities of modern science.


Yunchul Kim 1

Does time travel exist and will solar power save our planet?

The Digital Ambassadors (FACT's creative and digital programme for older adults) have been working closely with physicists from The University of Liverpool to demystify the world of science and find out how it’s occurring in our everyday lives.


Digital Ambassadors FACT Liverpool STEAM Broken Symmetries

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