Matter and Darkness

Matter or "any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume" is derived from the Latin word māteria, meaning "wood", or “timber”, in the sense "material", as distinct from "mind" or "form". Matter shares root with māter – “mother”. The linguistic origin of matter, wood and mother thus lies hidden beneath its geological surface – mother earth. Earth to earth, dust to dust... What is dark matter?


Dark matter is a hypothesis for an imaginary form of matter, which does not emit or reflect radiation, and therefore can not be observed in any normal way. The concept of dark matter explains why galaxies rotate much faster than they should. 5% ordinary matter, 26% dark matter and 69% dark energy. That’s the recipe for the universe. Nobody knows what exactly dark matter and dark energy are.

We perceive a dark materiality – a texture of the world including everything and everyone who perceives it, an impossibility to finally tell apart where we end and they begin. The gray pea Timo approaches this dark materiality, something that withdraws from our gaze, is hard to verbalize, and contains only a small amount of visible matter. The dark materiality includes the unwanted, the hidden, the forgotten, and the ambivalent, that which is subject and object interchangeably.

Photo Credit: Parallel program Mörkrets upplysning with Svante Larsson, Sandra Praun, Diana Agunbiade-Kolawole and Timo Menke at Nacka konsthall (Dieselverkstaden), Stockholm, Sweden, 12 – 20 February 2019 © Timo Menke