A cube materializes in the curves of the Rolex Learning Center

The Module, a very unusual structure, offers an astonishing experience to visitors to the EPFL library

A dark cube that looks like the monolith in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey seems to have materialized in EPFL’s Rolex Learning Center.

Impenetrable? No, because on one of the sides is a slit through which you can enter. This cube in scintillating bronze is the Module – an artistic object that offers a sensitive, meditative and intellectual experience using images of the beginning of life, emanating from medecine and reproductive biology.

Enigmatic? Yes, because the Module, though it features a movie accompanied by music inspired by medical images, focuses on the mystery of our existence.
Conceived as a result of scientific research, the Module is presented at the RLC in the context of EPFL’s cultural activities.

It encourages reflection on the biotechnologies involved in procreation by situating medical images in an interdisciplinary field. It presents high-quality scientific information in a contemporary artistic, visual and auditory language that brings together the domains of science and art.
Medically assisted procreation is an increasingly important issue in our society. While the solutions offered by advances in medical technology are indeed effective, they also have a strong impact on our imagination. This extends beyond the field of medecine and reaches a much broader existential phenomenon. Therefore, an anthropological and artistic interpretation of these medical images is needed to enable us to better understand the symbolic repercussions of these representations. Whereas images created from reproductive medecine are important in terms of medical practices, they are also new representations of the beginning of life. And even though we are capable of seeing how a body is born biologically, the enigma of our existence remains intact. These breathtaking images take us back to a very distant time.

The Module questions an event at the crossroads of science, medecine, biotechnology and society – the mystery of our origins, a theme that concerns us all.

The Module has been created by the F.A.B.E.R. Foundation (Fondation pour l’andrologie, la biologie et l’endocrinologie de la reproduction, Lausanne – www.fondation-faber.ch). It’s the brainchild of Professor Marc Germond, President of the F.A.B.E.R. Foundation and responsible for the Centre de procréation médicalement assistée (CPMA, Lausanne), of Dr Alfred Senn, responsible for the Laboratoire de Biologie de la reproduction (LBR) and of Professor François Ansermet, head of medicine at the Service de psychiatrie de l’enfant et de l’adolescent at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG).

Rolex Learning Center, admission free, every day from 10:00 to 17:00, from November 17 to January 16.

Author: Véronique Mauron

Source: EPFL