Artist selected for Simetría residency program wins MIT visual arts prize
Chilean artist Nicole L’Huillier, a graduate of the MIT “Opera of the Future” Media Lab, has been awarded the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts, an award given each year to three to five MIT students for excellence in their artistic work.
The winning work, “El Poema de la Fábrica Cósmica," was created as part of her artistic residency with the Simetría program at the ALMA and VLT observatories on Cerro Paranal, Chile, and at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, during August 2019.
"This is an exercise of listening to emerge together, stimulate perception, confuse reality, and resonate with the sense that we are as much part of nature as we are part of the culture," said Nicole about her work.
The piece comprises a kinetic, sonic sculpture called PARACANTORA, which features several listening devices and environmental sensors measuring parameters such as barometric pressure, altitude, temperature, acceleration, electromagnetic fields, air currents, and wind, mapping the sites' environmental sounds in real-time and creating a musical interpretation of each site.
"It is always beneficial for artists to have the chance to exchange experiences and knowledge in programs like Simetría, particularly in settings that can at times seem far apart, like art and science, but which are perfectly connected in creations like this one. This is why I must congratulate Nicole, whose work has also won the acclaim of an institution as prestigious as MIT," said Consuelo Valdés, Chile's Minister of Cultures, Heritage, and the Arts.