DARK MATTERS, open call artwork


08 Jul 2022

Science Gallery Melbourne is inviting proposals for their 2023 exhibition DARK MATTERS, which will be developed in collaboration with Arts at CERN

Arts at CERN has partnered with Science Gallery Melbourne to develop their 2023 exhibition DARK MATTERS. In the year of its 10th anniversary, the arts programme at CERN continues forging international collaborations that allow it to extend the reach of its work to global communities. 

DARK MATTERS will explore the fundamental essence of life and the universe and how so much of it remains a mystery to us. We don’t know what makes up about 95% of our universe – which we believe is dark energy (70%) and dark matter (25%). Dark matter consists of a mysterious substance that does not present an interaction with electromagnetic forces, which means it does not absorb, reflect, or emit light.

In an era defined by the power of modelling data, technology and simulations, the search for dark matter can be seen as a symbol of the limits of our cognitive experience - will we ever fully understand it? What other unseen or unspoken materiality and forces are at play in our lives? How can the search for dark matter help us imagine new possibilities for life and our relationship with non-human entities and systems? How can we build creative technologies and tools that help us access new environments and understandings that are undefinable, unmeasurable, and unsettling? We want to consider how the hypothesis of dark matter changes how we think about ourselves, both on an individual level and on a planetary and universal scale.

This open call invites you to propose projects, tools, scenarios, and relational experiences that enable a deeper exploration of this extraordinary experience we call life and nature and all the dark matter that flows under it, runs through it and collides with it. This open call is extended to everyone from every level of experience, discipline, and culture. First Peoples, Queer, CALD, BIPOC, Neuro-diverse, Disabled People and people from the Deaf community are encouraged to apply.

Potential subthemes:

·      Speculations about dark matter and the unknowns and mysteries of our universe

·      The future of science, technology, and life on Earth

·      How we envisage the future and whether we imagine a better world or not

·      The elementary nature of things and our understanding of them

·      The disappearance of time and our subjective experiences of this

·      How we view things in our image and the limits of this

·      Unseen, unspoken or taboo ideas or forces

·      The continuously expanding universe, a curved spacetime born 14 billion years ago

·      Dart matter as a social metaphor for urgent conversations around critical race theory, social justice, the climate emergency and the underlying forces that make these things an issue

·      Family, ancestry, community, and the invisible bonds that tie us together through space and time

·      First Peoples knowledges and cultural practices and their contributions to our understanding of the universe, Indigenous and Afrofuturism.


DARK MATTERS will be developed in collaboration with Arts at CERN and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics with the support of an expert panel. The exhibition will be curated in collaboration with Mónica Bello, Head of Arts at CERN and a curatorial panel of young people.


Deadline: 5 August 2022 at 23:59 AEST

Submit your proposal here