The Perfect Asymmetry

Multimedia work on the theme of asymmetry, projected on the surface of the Kloe particle detector at the Frascati National Laboratories, in collaboration with the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (2021) – Duration: 6′38′′ Dimensions 10×6 meters

The Kloe detector was built in 1999 to investigate the laws of asymmetry and was in operation for about twenty years. The National Institute of Nuclear Physics, after decommissioning it, decided to make it available to the public through the artistic intervention of Paolo Scoppola, who transformed one of the two front sides of the detector into a large projection surface. The theme of the video installation, which he created specifically for this facility, starts from the notion of asymmetry to pose a reflection on the concepts of "perfection" and "equality."

In common parlance we often associate these two words with each other: perfect symmetry is what occurs when two parts mirror each other in every minute detail. Aesthetic perfection is often traced back to the equality between a physical form and its abstract model such as the perfect circle in the visual arts or architecture.

Yet we ourselves bear on our bodies the unmistakable evidence of a lack of perfection. The right side is almost the same as the left side but not identical. So it is in a snowflake, in the wings of a butterfly and in many living forms. This imperceptible difference recalls, in the artist's mind, that between matter and antimatter that allowed the existence of planets, life and ourselves. An infinitesimal imperfection made possible the wonder of all that exists, and this fact seems almost to suggest that "perfection," if it existed, should be sought, perhaps, in the concept of "different" rather than "equal."

the video work is a journey through images that evoke imperfect symmetry in nature. Scenes are interspersed with flashes of light that illuminate different parts of the detector, the machine that has enabled man to study asymmetry from the perspective of Physics. The soundtrack was created by making use of synthesizers, samplers, noises and piano phrasing and plays a key role. The images, in fact, are created by generative algorithms that interact with the sound signal, creating a strongly organic-looking visual scene to echo the theme of the genesis of the Universe, whose first moments of life Kloe studied.


Concept, software, images and music: Paolo Scoppola
Scientfic supervisors: Danilo Domenici e Emiliano Dané
Production management: Danilo Domenici


RE-OpenLabs 2022, Frascati (Rome) 28.05.2022

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