Second Prix Ars Electronica Collide@CERN laureate announced

Linz/Geneva, 8 November 2012. The second Prix1 Ars Electronica2 Collide @ CERN3 was today awarded to the 65-year-old American artist, Bill Fontana4.

With an international reputation for pioneering experiments in “sound art” that has featured in some of the world’s leading arts institutions, Fontana continues to push the boundaries of his artistic work.

“We are honoured that an artist of Bill Fontana’s reputation and international standing should think of entering the Prix Ars Electronica Collide @ CERN”, said Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Director of Ars Electronica Linz. “It clearly demonstrates how this experiment in making collisions between arts and science is capturing the zeitgeist and exciting artists from all over the world at every stage of their careers.”

The Prix Ars Electronica Collide @ CERN jury5 said that Fontana impressed them by demonstrating his excitement to challenge himself by engaging with the ideas of science at CERN6.

“The physics of sound has a long tradition of inspiring artists,” said CERN’s Director General Rolf Heuer. “So it will be particularly fascinating to see how the physics and technology of the Large Hadron Collider and CERN will inspire one of the world’s pioneers of sound art.”

Fontana will visit CERN with his mentor from the Ars Electronica Futurelab in 2013, for an initial one-week visit, when he will be matched with his science inspiration partner from CERN. He is expected to start his two-month residency at CERN in June 2013, followed by a one-month residency with the transdisciplinary team at Futurelab at Ars Electronica, Linz, appearing at the Ars Electronica Festival in 2013.

“As an artist I am always looking for situations to expand my horizons”, said Fontana. “This joint residency presents me with a tremendous learning opportunity, so it was irresistible.”

The award to Fontana was made following the jury’s meeting to assess entries from a record 49 countries around the world, including this time entries from Nepal, Uruguay, Paraguay and Jordan. Entries came from diverse artistic domains, spanning from media art, sculpture and painting to choreography, scenography, music, literature and folk music.

“It is fantastic that the Collide @ CERN programme’s latest artist comes from a completely new field – sound art,” said Ariane Koek, CERN’s cultural specialist and the creator of the programme. “It will be fascinating to add this art form to our portfolio of arts activity and see what new dimensions will emerge in making creative collisions between physics and sound, with one of the world’s pioneers in sound art”.

The jury also awarded an Honorary Mention to the Mexican artist, Ale de la Puente7 who often works in film and explores the world of time and space with deceptively tiny, domestic tools provoking deep reflections on a wider scale.


1. The Prix Ars Electronica Collide @ CERN awards international digital artists residency at CERN and Ars Electronica, as well as 10,000 Euros prize money. See

2. Ars Electronica Linz GmbH is part of UNTERNEHMENSGRUPPE STADT LINZ in Austria. See

3. Collide @ CERN is part of CERN’s policy for engagement with the arts, Great Arts for Great Science, initiated and launched by the laboratory in 2011. It is an annual international competition that will run for a period of three years. See:

4. Bill Fontana lives and works in San Francisco, USA. One of the world’s leading sound artists and a pioneer in this field, his career spans 40 years. See:

5. The Prix Ars Electronica Collide @ CERN Jury 2013 comprised Gerfried Stocker – Director, Ars Electronica ; Horst Hoertner – Director Futurelab, Ars Electronica ; Ariane Koek – International Arts, CERN ; Michael Doser – CERN Cultural Board member and physicist ; Programme Coordinator: Matthew Gardiner

6. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Israel and Serbia are associate members in the pre-stage to membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status.

7. Ale de la Puente is an artist, industrial designer, with an MA in naval construction. Her work deals with notions of time, memory and space by combining conceptualism with multimedia supports. She is a member of the National System of Art Makers in Mexico. See

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