Adam Nadel’s photographs have often captured the missed by looking closely whether it was the poignant portraits from the Bosnian War, or illustrating the impact of malaria or the New York Times pulitzer prize nominated collection ‘The Face of Sacrifice’ depicting the Iraq war. More recently, he documented politics of water in the everglades.
As the 2018 Artist-in-residence at Fermilab, Nadel has ventured into working with data to look even closer. It is an attempt to capture the people that power the lab as well as ‘subatomic world they are directly or indirectly engaged’ with and, to make accessible the ‘world of particle physics by artistically documenting the lab’s personnel, scientific architecture, and the creative practices’.
Symmetry magazine documented the work’s process that Nadel said showcases “people connecting and networking, and their relationship to that place.”
“What became real to me,” Nadel says, “is both how small the things that are being investigated are—in terms of weight, size, charge, etc.—and the incredibly short duration of time they are being measured for. And it became immediately obvious there was just no way I was going to be able to artistically wrestle with those things with a still camera.”
Nadel’s use of data in his artistic process is particularly interesting. He used data from a Fermilab experiment called ‘MicroBooNE’ that recorded neutrino interactions and transcribed it at 3-microsecond intervals to create a sound ‘visualization’, a 265 note musical score.
The score can be listened to here.
“It’s a conceptual approach, that allows any composer to create a musical score from any MicroBooNE data set,” Nadel says.