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supersymmetric particles (2019)
europa (2016) 
by Michael Najjar*
Najjar-supersymmetric particles_72dpi.jpg

supersymmetric particles (2019) by Michael Najjar

From the series „outer space“ 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79,5 inches, hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame, Courtesy the artist, © Michael Najjar


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator and the largest machine humans have ever built. It was constructed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and is located at the France- Switzerland border near Geneva. The LHC consists of a 27-kilometer ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of proton particles along the way. Inside the accelerator, two high-energy particle beams travel at close to the speed of light before they are made to collide at four locations around the accelerator ring, corresponding to the positions of four particle detectors.

Scientists hope that the Large Hadron Collider will help answer some of the fundamental open questions in physics. With the experiments conducted at CERN it became possible to recreate the conditions existing in the first seconds after the Big Bang to give us a better understanding of the nature of the Universe. In 2012 the LHC discovered the famous Higgs boson which provided us new insights on the structure of cosmic matter. Scientific research at CERN is about the fundamental question asked by Johannes Kepler in the 16th century: what is the inner structure that holds the world together?


europa (2016) By Michael Najjar

All artworks from the series „outer space“ 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79,5 inches, hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame, Courtesy the artist, © Michael Najjar


The Jupiter moon Europa is one of the most likely places to find life outside the Earth. Europa is a stupendous world of ice; its entire surface is covered by a thick ice shell several kilometers deep. The American Jet Propulsion Laboratory has now for the first time offered solid scientific evidence showing that there is a 100km deep saltwater ocean under the ice shell. It is now supposed that this distant satellite of Jupiter holds more than twice the amount of water than the Earth. There’s also a high probability that Europa has the right preconditions for life. Scientists made this discovery in a region known as a “chaos terrain.” This is a weird looking area scattered with huge mountains of ice at some points of which the subterranean ocean under the ice seems to have found its way to the surface. As there is no atmosphere to Europa, the water turns directly to ice and steam when it hits the vacuum on the surface. The work “europa” visualizes the surface of the Jupiter moon Europa. The visual composition—very much inspired by German painter Caspar David Friedrich—fuses landscape portraits photographed in a glacier region of Iceland with images of the surface of the Europa moon taken by the flyby Galileo space probe. The work also conveys humankind’s irrepressible urge to discover new worlds and learn more about the origins of human life.


In his artwork, Michael Najjar takes a complex critical look at the technological forces shaping and drastically transforming the early 21st century. In his artistic practice, he fuses art, science, and technology into visions of future social structures emerging under the impact of cutting-edge technologies. His „outer space“ series deals with the latest developments in space exploration and the way they will shape our future life on Earth, in Earth’s near orbit and on other planets. The cultural dimension represented by the current transition process towards a larger human presence in space is very much at the center of the series. The intimate experience of “living through” situations, which provide the leitmotifs of his art, is vital to the artist. This will culminate in the artist´s own flight into space. As one of the pioneer astronauts of Virgin Galactic, Michael Najjar will be embarking on SpaceShipTwo on one of its future spaceflights, where he will be the first artist to travel in space. Works by Michael Najjar form part of museum, leading corporate and private collections across the world.

*supersymmetric particles and europa were originally published in the UN 75th anniversary issue of CENTERPOINT NOW "Are we there yet?", the publication and ©2020 of World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, co-produced with Streaming Museum.

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