Radiant Matter

2015 - 2017: Individual Research

Wandering stars have occupied the human mind across centuries and millennia, along with the quest to explore and colonize cosmic space. Is there something in us that refuses to believe that we are alone in the universe? Does our longing for the stars conceal something different? To what extent can fiction shape future realities?

The construction of such inquiries is at the center of the research project Radiant Matter, which pivots around humankind’s fascination for cosmic space, the position of our planet in the universe, and human subjectivity in relation to celestial bodies. Radiant Matter comprises a series of recent artworks that desire to analyze and reflect on the nature of scientific inquiry, the role of speculation, fiction, and spiritualism.

Scientific and technological inventions allow us to perceive more stars in the sky than the naked human eye can, yet looking up at the night sky never ceases to affect the imagination. Light arriving from faraway stars long extinct and passing comets and star constellations provide a limitless source of myth and legend, and the rare event of a sun eclipse still mobilizes millions of people.

The horizon of human imagination has always been larger than planetary in scale; just think of astrology: at least since 2000 BC, it has been supposed that the movement and position of celestial bodies influence life on Earth. Fast forward a few thousand years to when the effects of the first images of Earth from space have settled in, and space settlement and the possibility of finding inhabitable planets no longer sound like a science-fiction scenario; space programs and the whirlwind of technological development are moving imagination. Yet are we ready to face ourselves in this ‘large outside’?

Radiant Matter comprises a body of works and research that is tied together by its quest to interlink science, technology, speculation, art, and spiritualism. They touch upon questions prevalent in Dijkman’s practice: the role of fiction in scientific inquiry, the vital questions of humanity, such as if we are alone in the universe, and the pressing need to know, discover, and conquer space.

Radiant Matter

Supported by: 11th Shanghai Biennale; Onomatopee (NL); LAC, Drenthe, NL
Project Grant: Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam, NL

Radiant Matter – Marjolijn Dijkman
Onomatopee 146
ISBN: 978-94-91677-76-2
Edited by Marjolijn Dijkman and Kris Dittel

Contributing authors: Marjolijn Dijkman, Kris Dittel, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Ken Hollings and Raqs Media Collective

Radiant Matter, Marjolijn Dijkman, edited by Marjolijn Dijkman and Kris Dittel, published by Onomatopee, 2017