Parametres for Understanding Uncertainty Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar


Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty:
An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

(March-June, 2022)

This four-part interdisciplinary seminar series brings creative practice researchers, cultural workers, technologists, media & communications specialists, and theoretical particle physicists into dialogue. Each session is convened thematically to investigate and open debate on overlaps, inconsistencies, and uncertainties encountered within sonically-inflected searches for dark matter, the intersection of the quantum world with everyday realities, artistic processes & practises, and interdisciplinary laboratory conditions.

Where might lending an ear to the Universe and its technical nuances lead us? Can we attune ourselves to quantum mechanics if we listen long and hard enough? If something is out of ear shot that does not mean that it does not exist - what are the limits of the world we can access with our senses and what are the emergent technologies that enable us to investigate the unknown?

The chosen thematics relate to the ongoing research of Dr Rebecca Collins, lecturer in contemporary art theory at the University of Edinburgh, who is currently in residence at the IFT for her Royal Society of Edinburgh Saltire Early Career Fellowship ‘Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty: Creative Practice and Sonic Detection as Strategies for Scientific Outreach’ (2022-2023).

For each session a series of materials are proposed for seminar attendees to further enrich engagement with the session along with a series of questions that aim to foster dialogue amongst across disciplines as the investigation develops.

Part One: Uncertainty and Indeterminacy in Interdisciplinary Settings

Friday 11th March 2022 11:00 - 13:00 La Sala Roja, IFT

This session considers the role of uncertainty and indeterminacy within theoretical particle physics and the work of experimental music composers. If matter, albeit through the use of technology, is audible and silence (after experimental composer John Cage) is sound what might be going on at the microscopic or subatomic level of the Universe? Are there clues to be uncovered in theories of the quantum world? What might the uncertainty principle offer arts and humanities? What can the debunking of fixed points and events do for the imagination? What role does intuition play in scientific processes? Can an understanding of the quantum world teach us something of the instability of how we perceive, classify and interpret our present reality? To what extent might the frameworks of modelling, a term used within theoretical physics to describe the potential position of particles, be fruitful for creative practice?

Period11 Mar 202215 Jan 2023
Event typeSeminar
LocationMadrid, SpainShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • art & science
  • Indeterminacy
  • Practice-based Research
  • music
  • Quantum Computing