Drift: Art and Dark Matter

What do we desire from the imperceptible? Four artists were invited to travel deep underground to SNOLAB to think with dark matter, an invisible matter that is having a gravitational effect on everything. Without this “dark” matter, galaxies would fly apart, according to observational data in astroparticle physics. Given the contours of such a “known unknown,” Nadia Lichtig, Josèfa Ntjam, Anne Riley, and Jol Thoms reflect on the how and why of physics and art as interrelating practices. The artists’ widely varied and challenging responses include expressions of new kinds of sensitivity and poetic freedom, questions about the task of knowledge, and cartographies of entangled social and ecological relations. Thinking across disciplines, they have created works that connect scientific ideas of dark matter with a far-reaching care for that which has not been sensed. Could this work excite stealthy solidarities of curiosity across (and despite) art and science?

Edited by Sunny Kerr