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A shot in the dark: Dark matter in a museum

A look through the CRESST experiment that inspired Diogo da Cruz to propose the installation "A shot in the dark", now on display at Serralves Museum, Porto. (Photo: CRESST)

A look through the CRESST experiment that inspired Diogo da Cruz for the installation "A shot in the dark". (Photo: CRESST)

The installation "A shot in the dark" in the Serralves Museum, Porto

The installation "A shot in the dark" at the Serralves Museum, Porto (Photo: Diogo da Cruz)

The scientific proof of dark matter in the universe is one of the most exciting research fields in physics. The CRESST experiment in the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy is one of the institutions looking for particles that could form the “substance” for this type of matter.

For artist Diogo da Cruz, the highly sensitive CRESST detector was the inspiration for his work “A shot in the dark”. The installation will be on display at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto until 22 March 2020.

CRESST is backed by an international team including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Physics. This collaboration resulted in the most sensitive and accurate detector currently available, able to register particles that have not yet been discovered.

With his work, da Cruz wants to indicate that current research on dark matter could produce new photographic instruments and forms of expression. The installation stages the detector as a photographic camera and places scientific experience in the context of photography. Diogo da Cruz intends not only to show the literal universality of this subject to be discovered, but also to comment on the present difficulty of detecting absolute truths in the socio-cultural context.

Diogo da Cruz is an assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. With his work, he was one of the finalists of the renowned Novo Banca Revelacao Award 2019.