Dark Matter Mobile (2012)
3D printed media, silver-leaf, adjustable hanger.
Dark Matter Mobile presents an updated version of a familiar model of the solar system, though one drawn from data of the currently visible universe.
Johannes Kepler’s attempt at describing the solar system is seen with the Mysterium Cosmographicum (1596): a model that posited an idea of five solids and five worlds beyond Earth, each nested within spherical orbits containing the five Platonic forms (one each for Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). This model has been updated many times since and Dark Matter Mobile is just such a thing.
As a parallel to this attempt at understanding the universe, the updated version looks to the Hubble Space Telescope launched in 1990. Based on an analysis of data captured by the Hubble Space Telescope for the COSMOS project (a 600 frame mosaic for a 2 square degree view of our galaxy), a group of thirty-one scientists are documenting an effect known as ‘weak gravitational lensing’. Not directly visible, dark matter is understood to exist through observations of its effect on what is visible: light. A popular theory is that Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS) cause a slight distortion in this spectrum of electromagnetic radiation through their very weak gravitational pull, effectively revealing itself in the bending of light.
Dark Matter is speculated to constitute about 25% of the universe and accounts for the current shape of the galaxy, though what it is actually made of is still unknown, and that it exists at all remains a theory.
Richard Massey, one of these scientists, has compiled some of this data to produce a model of this effect to trace the distribution of otherwise invisible dark matter and that is where this mobile derives its form.