How might a concept without visible instance like dark matter be represented for a better understanding? How might my work validate a representation without knowing if dark matter inferences are valid or not?
Invisible dark matter makes up most of the universe, but we can only detect if from its gravitational effects.
As a response to these questions, I have designed Enlightening Dark Matter, a physical installation that uses sensory experience to reveal hidden structures of the universe. The dimensionality of the piece conveys the effect of dark matter warping the structure of the universe to a museum audience.
This multisensorial installation takes place in the context of a bigger museum exhibition explaining the secrets of the Universe.
How can science be more understandable and attractive? Popular Science. Simplify Complexity. Visual Science. Materiality. Senses. Those are the core elements of the project.
Science plays an essential and omnipresent role in society and in our daily lives. In particular, quantum physics is one of the most contemporary topics in mainstream science fiction. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most poorly understood areas of science, creating misconceptions and faux knowledge. These misconceptions are in part because its complexity is a formidable barrier between the scientific community and wider audiences. Using the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle as an example of new theory, there is a need in quantum physics, and generally, for comprehensive visual explanations, to be created to explain scientific breakthroughs to broad audiences. For scientific content to be absorbed readily, its complexity needs to be fragmented into smaller capsules of knowledge.
Many scientific topics are incredibly interesting, but have complicated language, and a lack of good visuals unintentionally restrict access for a general audience. Some people are thirsty for knowledge, curiosity can be awoken in others who don’t know what they like or simply are skeptical, but curiosity can be awakened by evoking a visual experience. Media artists have tools to make science more understandable and attractive, to produce what people don’t expect to see and to call attention to important concepts in science.
“Enlightening Dark Matter” is a physical computing-powered interactive dome. The dome is suspended from the ceiling hanging from a sturdy parachute thread providing a 360 view of the experience. The system is triggered by introducing the head inside the lower aperture where a set of photocell detect the presence of an alien body which starts distorting the geometric mesh.
The dome is made of a laser cut wooden structure painted in black that supports the whole system which includes several layers of materials to create a complete haptic experience.