Touch Dark Matter

Stehlikova, T. Forthcoming. Touch Dark Matter.

CreatorsStehlikova, T.

Art science collaboration between myself and Dr Roberto Trotta, astrophysicist based at the Imperial College London.

Much of the (scientific) knowledge is transmitted via intellectual means (based on abstract concepts and gained through reading) and can be hard to engage with on a more emotional level. This is especially true of astrophysics, where we are often dealing with ideas so far removed from the human scale that they are often hard to imagine. Grounding facts and abstract ideas in bodily experience becomes a helpful way of creating meaning and widening participation, especially amongst non-expert and under-served audiences.

For example, the g-ASTRONOMY pilot focused on people with visual impairment as a target audience for whom the usually purely visual way of communicating astronomy was insufficient or irrelevant. This approach creates an emotional engagement, hence generating a more personal and intimate connection. Both science and art are linked by the use of imagination, which is the driving force of scientific discovery, as well as artistic vision – an often misrecognized fact.

Basing our approach on the importance of the whole body in making sense of the world as well as the belief in the transformative power of imagination, we will translate various abstract concepts (using real scientific data and grounded in theoretical models of the cosmos) into an immersive, multi-sensory experience/ for the participants. Cosmological/astrophysical phenomena by their nature are un-experienceable on the human scale, hence normally only accessible by intellectual means. However, this work will aim at making them accessible via a sensorial, immersive and narrative experience. This will enable to lower barriers to participation and support science communication of fundamental concepts from an artistic perspective, and to reach audiences that might normally be overlooked by more traditional approaches.

The project will be process led, meaning that the ideas will be developed through participation of selected audiences, such as secondary school children.

Final outcome might include a small publication, as well as series of transferrable workshops.

Related outputs

Dinner for Deep Sea Divers
Stehlikova, T. Forthcoming. Dinner for Deep Sea Divers.

TRIESTE: In-between states
Stehlikova, T. Forthcoming. TRIESTE: In-between states.

Wormwood Haunts
Stehlikova, T. Forthcoming. Wormwood Haunts.

Blue Hour
Stehlikova, T. Forthcoming. Blue Hour .

4 Generations of Women
Stehlikova, T. Forthcoming. 4 Generations of Women.

Ophelia's Last Supper
Stehlikova, T. 2018. Ophelia's Last Supper.

4 Generations of Women
Stehlikova, T. Forthcoming. 4 Generations of Women.

Journey to the Interior
Stehlikova, T. 2017. Journey to the Interior. Dissenters Chapel and gallery 21 - 21 May 2017

TRIESTE: In-between states
Stehlikova, T. 2016. TRIESTE: In-between states.

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