Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty (P4UU)

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty (P4UU) investigates how methodologies used in creative practice meet those in the physical sciences. The aim is to find innovative approaches to better communicate research processes involving invisible matter. P4UU combines research into existing art/science collaborations with a sonic inflection (e.g., Ars Electronica residencies at CERN, Geneva) with field research at laboratories where physical science experiments use sound technology for dark matter detection (e.g., the Canfranc Underground Laboratory and the Laboratory of Acoustics for the Detection of Astroparticles), to find unconventional research engagement strategies. Situated accounts of the aforementioned laboratories, a disused underground railway tunnel or below sea level, can provide new angles on often impenetrable methods of particle physicists. Field work in the form of site visits, interviews, autoethnographic writing and workshops inform the investigation.
Creative-critical accounts and autoethnographic writing engage with what audio theorist Jonathan Sterne highlights as ‘the (cultural, political, environmental, aesthetic …) stakes of knowledge production’ (2012, 3-4 ellipsis in original) within sound studies research. A central tenet of P4UU is to think through how sound operates in the depths of its presentation, rather than as surface representation. P4UU builds on eco-feminist Donna Haraway’s concept of ‘situated knowledges’ (1988, 581 italics in original) by privileging reflexive engagement to attune to the acts of scientific experiments as experience using creative practice to make accounts of these activities.
For Mend Blend Attend SAR 2022 Conference Collins will share initial findings from the P4UU investigation as a means to consider how artistic research opens up possibilities for creative researchers within scientific industries.
P4UU is funded by a Royal Society Edinburgh Saltire Early Career Fellowship award January 2022-2023.
Period1 Jul 2022
Event title​​Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty (P4UU): Mend, Blend, Attend Society of Artistic Research Annual Conference
Event typeConference
LocationWeimar, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Artistic Research
  • art & science
  • Uncertainty
  • Physics
  • Sound studies