Open Call Details

XENON1T, one of the world's most sensitive dark matter detectors. Gran Sasso Laboratory, Italy. Copyright: Enrico Sacchetti. This photo cannot be used without prior permission of the photographer.

95% of the universe is missing

Open from 
13th April 2018, 10:00am IST to 13th May 2018, 11:30pm IST
Results by 
31st August
Provisional Season Dates 
May to August
Dark Matter
Theoretical physics


"In a spiral galaxy, the ratio of dark-to-light matter is about a factor of 10. That’s probably a good number for the ratio of our ignorance-to-knowledge. We’re out of kindergarten, but only in about third grade."

                                                    -- Vera Rubin, cosmologist (1928 - 2016)


In 2019 Science Gallery London will delve into one of the biggest and most profound mysteries in contemporary physics – dark matter.

Scientists have been hunting this elusive matter for nearly a century, but it has never been directly observed. But theories like gravitational lensing persuade us that it exists, and could function as a kind of cosmic scaffold, holding the luminous galaxies that we see in place. 

We know that normal matter accounts for only 5% of the stuff that exists in the universe. In contrast, Dark Matter makes up over a quarter of the cosmos, and is invisible: unlike normal matter it doesn’t reflect or absorb light. And it is everywhere – scientists think that billions of Dark Matter particles are passing through your body every second.

95% of the universe is missing is a scientific and philosophical investigation into the fundamental nature of reality, with the theory of dark matter a starting point for conceptual investigations and experimental forms of inquiry

The season will feature a curated exhibition in Science Gallery London’s 500 sq.m. gallery space, alongside a dynamic event programme taking place in the gallery theatre, outdoor courtyard and studio spaces

We’re interested in for both existing and new artworks for the exhibition, and proposals for workshops, music and performance nights, film screenings and discussions that critically and experimentally engage with some of the following themes and narrative strands:

  • Matter, materiality and immateriality
  • Material traces
  • Invisible networks
  • Undetectability and indivisibility
  • Fundamental physics
  • Cosmic Structures
  • The different forms of matter – normal (baryonic) matter, dark matter, mirror matter and anti-matter
  • Dark Energy
  • Something from nothing
  • Extreme Scales – from the macro scale of the universe to the micro scale of the quantum world.
  • The intrinsic nature of matter - the best theories on the behaviour of matter still reveals very little about what matter actually is.
  • Pursuit of Knowledge and the Truth
  • The role of maths in understanding the universe.
  • The application and implication of AI on scientific research.

Of course other ideas are welcome. If you are a scientist or researcher working in the field of dark matter who is interested in collaborating with Science Gallery London, please feel free to contact our Events and Research Coordinator here

Interesting articles to frame the season theme include:



Science Gallery London welcomes submissions for existing artworks, films, performances etc. as well as projects which are still at a research and development stage.

Selected candidates will be granted an appropriate fee and production costs for the realisation of their project.

Science Gallery London will cover all normal costs associated with exhibition making.

Whenever possible, we would like for candidates to be present at the launch of the season in May 2019.

Check out our tips on what makes a good open call submission here.

For further information about the Science Gallery London building and gallery space please see here



  • Martin Clark – Director at Camden Arts Centre
  • Regine Debatty – Writer, curator and founder of the blog We Make Money Not Art 
  • Prof. Malcolm Fairbairn – Theoretical Physicist, King’s College London
  • Carey Young – Artist 
  • Gary Zhexi Zhang – Artist and writer