ESS Artistic Residency: Axel Straschnoy / Iain Sutton

ESS Artistic Residency: Axel Straschnoy / Iain Sutton

The 6th and final collaborative pair: Finland-based, Axel Straschnoy and ESS Technical Co-ordinator, Iain Sutton.

Axel is a visual artist and filmmaker from Buenos Aires, based in Helsinki. His work deals with the social practices in science and art. His long-term, research-focused projects span planetarium films, performances, film installations, travelling exhibitions, museum collections and VR films. He is interested in expeditions – literal and metaphorical; scientific and artistic. 

The pair will be exploring ways to use the conceptual logic of neutron science to examine ESS and create a depiction of how the research centre itself is organised.

Axel explains: “Our conversations began from Rembrandt’s ‘The Anatomy Lesson’, thinking about what it means today to look at what is inside cells and molecules, and how do we represent the process. However, we soon realised that the most challenging question was who the people portrayed in the painting would be: the guest scientists? The support team? The scientists and engineers who build ESS? The society that finances it and is looking for ways to make a better life for its future?”

Iain explains: “Contrary to most of my colleagues in the ESS Science Directorate, I am not a scientist but an engineer, currently part of the organisation delivering the “scientific end” of the installation to scientists. My principal role is to ensure the technical aspects of this giant jigsaw puzzle come together, meet the needs of the scientific community, and is operated safely and efficiently.”

Photo credits: Axel Straschnoy, photo by Noora Lehtovuori.

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