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Herman Kolgen: Isotopp, photo by Paperlyte, installation view at Kay Bailey Convention Center Dallas


Performance &  Installation

Isotopp (2018) is primarily influenced by the notions of energy transfer and equilibrium that result from collisions at the atomic level. During two years of collaboration with  Jean-Charles Thomas and Thomas Roger of the nuclear physics research center GANIL (Grand Accélérateur National d’Ions Lourds, or “Large Heavy Ion National Accelerator”), Herman Kolgen conceptualized a device to visually and audibly translate the findings of GANIL, located in Caën in the north of France.

In the form of a performance and installation of nearly 1,766 cubic feet, Isotopp acts as a huge propellant of audio-luminous energy. Powered  remotely and in real-time by a radioactive source at GANIL, three dynamically sensitive matrices emit light pulses, immediately focused by a beam and rematerialized at the center of a levitating projection surface.

Through Isotopp, the bombardment of matter and magnetic tensions become accessible and poetically understandable.


An acclaimed multidisciplinary artist with more than three decades of experience in media arts, Herman Kolgen lives and works in Montreal. The impact of territories on human life lies at the heart of his conceptual pursuits. His multifaceted work is characterized by a radiographic approach which allows the invisible to be seen. Kogen’s works have been presented at the Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, Centre Pompidou, International Digital Arts Montreal and Paris, Transmediale, Elektra, Mutek, Sonar, ISEA, Taipei Digital Arts and Shanghai E-Arts.