Radiant Matter

Visual Essay


Still from ‘Radiant Matter’, 2016

Radiant Matter is an edited pictorial essay consisting of over 250 images selected from various disciplines: astronomy, cosmology, medicine, technology, and anthropology. Their color composition is not coincidental; it is based on the gradient seen in scientific observations of cosmic background radiation. The essay freely connects images from different fields like astronomy, cosmology, medicine, technology, anthropology, and space exploration.

Since ancient times, celestial bodies are thought to have influenced the human body, as oftentimes represented in the image of the Zodiac Man. Already in the 1800s, electromagnetic waves had been discovered, and some 100 years ago, cosmic radiation was identified. Radiant Matter reconfigures such moments in history, scientific or spiritual in nature, in order to analyze, manipulate and re-evaluate their significance.

The piece explores the influence of electromagnetic waves and different kinds of cosmic energies on the human body, the Earth, and other celestial bodies. The images make associative links that highlight the influence of cosmic waves and energy as represented throughout time and culture. Radiant Matter includes images of scientific and non-scientific instruments meant to analyze, imitate, capture, or manipulate these specific energies.

Still from ‘Radiant Matter’, 2016

Commissioned by: 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016), Power Station of Art, CN
Curated by: Raqs Media Collective
Specifications: 250 Edited prints on dark background / HD video 7:46 min.
Research assistants: Soline Bredin, Sven Dehens
Supported by: Mondriaan Fund

Onomatopee 146
Radiant Matter Marjolijn Dijkman
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
Specifics: Softcover, 88 pages, 285 x 250mm

‘Radiant Matter’, video essay, 7:46 min., Full HD, 2016
Spread from the publication 'Radiant Matter' published by Onomatopee, 2016
Spread from the publication 'Radiant Matter' published by Onomatopee, 2016
Installation at the 11th Shanghai Biennial, 2016
Installation at the 11th Shanghai Biennial, 2016