We love the beautiful photography by Copenhagen-based Englishman Alastair Philip Wiper. Over the last six years he has been the house photographer for designer and artist Henrik Vibskov, traveling, building and photographing all the different disciplines Vibskov moves between. Overall Wiper focusses with his photography on the weird and wonderful subjects of industry, science, architecture, and the things that go on behind the scenes. The things that human beings create, seen with an anthropological approach is how Wiper observes the world. A great series from this same sharp angle is his second visit to The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN in Geneva.
The laboratories of CERN are located in a suburb of Geneva, straddling the border between Switzerland and France. CERN was established in 1954, and since then thousands of scientists from all over the world have been working there at any one point. Philip Wiper was granted a unique visit into the offices that have been home to some of those scientists over the years: “there was a desk, a blackboard with some complicated equations on it, and usually a scientist looking contemplatively out of the window.”
Scientists throughout history have spent their careers working on minute details of incredibly complicated theories and experiments and few of them ever have a world-changing breakthrough, or become the next Einstein. But knowing that they are contributing towards something bigger, and the thirst for knowledge and truth, is enough to keep them going. It’s just human instinct, like sex, and war.
This year the photographer returned to CERN. At the moment the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is shut down for maintenance and upgrade, which meant the photographer was allowed to go underground, to photograph the ATLAS detector, one of the experiments that is analysing particle collisions, and one of the experiments involved in detecting the Higgs Boson particle. Located at 45m long, 25m in diameter, and weighing about 7000 tonnes the photographer calls it: “a beast.”