The basement floor of the former Manne Siegbahn Laboratory, just north of the metro station, has been empty for a few years. In the beginning of 2013, the last parts of the so-called CRYRING facility were removed from the premises. The equipment was transported to Darmstadt in Germany, where it became part of a large accelerator at the GSI research institute.

New meeting point

We now know what the premises of the Manne Siegbahn Laboratory will be used for. The Vice-Chancellor has decided to create the institute Accelerator, with Professor Johan Kleman as acting director. The basic idea of Accelerator’s operations is for people from various disciplines, as well as from the art and media world, to meet for analysis, comparisons and discussions. The impact, role and expression of art in the present are the unifying issues.
“Accelerator is a laboratory to investigate the relationship between art, science and society,” says Vice-Chancellor Astrid Söderbergh Widding.

Expansion of collaboration with Magasin III

The investment into Accelerator signifies an expansion of the established ten-year collaboration between Stockholm University and Magasin III. In the past, the two institutions, together with other representatives of the art world, have created Curating Art, which is an international master’s programme for creating exhibitions. David Neuman, director of Magasin III, and Professor Margaretha Rossholm-Lagerlöf have pushed the idea of creating Accelerator for many years.

Spectacular place

Following reconstruction, the Manne Siegbahn Laboratory will serve as a venue and meeting place for Accelerator. The rooms are spectacular, completely underground, about 1,700 square metres in size, and have a ceiling height of up to eight metres.  The plan is to open Accelerator within a couple of years as a place where the public is welcome to experience art. The name was inspired by the Manne Siegbahn Laboratory’s long history as host to research in accelerator physics.

“I hope and believe that Accelerator will become a place that the people of Stockholm will love,” says Johan Kleman. “In addition to studies on artistic expression, which we are going to carry out in close collaboration with the art world, we are going to organise seminars and exhibitions aimed at the general public. An artistic leader and a permanent director will be recruited in the near future.”