Jol Thoms: 'G24|0vßß' at Haus der Kunst (2018)

Still images from G24|0vßß, Jol Thomson, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and MERU Art*Science Award

In 2016 Jol Thoms received the MERU Art*Science Award and with it spent one week at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy filming the Cryogenic Underground Observatory of Rare Events (CUORE) experiment, a detector in search for the neutrinoless double beta decay. Documenting the plant and animal life of the Gran Sasso mountain as well as the human interventions that turned this place to the world's biggest underground laboratory, Jol Thoms had produced the audio-visual composition G24|0vßß. 'G24' was one of Enrico Fermi's early codenames while working on the world's first nuclear reactor Chicago Pile 1, and the video itself has an elaborate system of codes referring to histories and philosophies of art and science.

G24|0vßß was selected for the Haus der Kunst group exhibition, "Blind Faith: Between the Visceral and Cognitive in Contemporary Art" and was on view in Munich between 2 March and 19 August 2018. Enriching the presentation of the artistic video, a detector element from CUORE and a piece of roman lead were brought from Gran Sasso underground laboratory to Munich organized by Prof. Stefan Schönert and displayed in a glass showcase next to the video screen. Ancient roman lead is part of the CUORE experiment’s radio-pure shielding and depicted in the video (see also video stills above).

In a Walk & Talk event at Haus der Kunst in July 2018, Jol Thoms and Stefan Schönert joined in a presentation. Stefan Schönert explained why the question of how matter can be created without antimatter is of such interest in modern physics - a physics conundrum to be probed by neutrinoless double beta decay experiments. Jol Thoms gave an introduction to the references that are concentrated in his video and, in a tour through the exhibition, introduced the audience to some of his other favorite exhibition pieces.

The unlikely encounter of Jol Thoms and students of the SFB1258 at Lake Baikal has resulted in an ongoing collaboration of the SFB1258 and the artist and researcher Jol Thoms. Among others, Jol acts as inspirer, adviser and supervisor of the projects between physics students from the SFB1258 and art students from the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (AdBK), forming the open project group SFB42.