Research Blog.

Listening to Dark Matter at the Science Café IFIC, Cantabría May 2024

Science Café event May 2024

The Sound of Dark Matter in the Universe

This is a text Rebecca Collins wrote with David Cerdeño for the impact platform ‘The Conversation’ (Spanish version). In the short piece we make available our working process and what led us to ask an impossible question: ‘Can we listen to dark matter?’ We discuss the exhibition and give a basic overview of the ongoing mystery that is dark matter which has formed the focus of our discussions. 

To read the piece click here.


Capítulo VI: Galaxias de sonidos (La metáfora astronómica) / Chapter VI: Galaxies of Sound (The astronomy metaphor) 20th September 2023

The piece ‘Black Hole’ I commisioned for the project with Menhir and David Pereñiguez-Rodríguez will be presented as part of a sonorous exploration of the cosmos.

Wednesday 20th September 2023, Cineteca, Matadero, Madrid

Curated by Miguel Álvarez/Fernández

Tickets available here

Esta sexta sesión del ciclo rastrea las evocaciones que los astros y ciertos fenómenos relacionados con el cosmos han suscitado en autores muy diversos. Las obras reunidas bajo este criterio abarcan un arco temporal que encuentra sus primeros hitos en la década de los años setenta del siglo XX —en contextos frecuentemente vinculados a la psicodelia y al rock experimental— y se extiende hasta la actualidad, pues los últimos hallazgos cosmológicos han inspirado nuevas propuestas —o, por lo menos, ciertos títulos— que continúan evocando la vastedad del espacio sideral.

Review of 'Listening to Dark Matter' in Cultura Resuena, 02 July 2023

A review of ‘Listening to Dark Matter’ by Gara Hernández Sánchez in Cultura Resuena, Spanish Cultural Critical Magazine (in Spanish). Read the full piece here ‘The Perceptibility of the Imperceptible in ‘Listening to Dark Matter’ by Rebecca Collins’, 02 July 2023.

Here is a short translated citation from the piece: 

"'Listening to Dark Matter' supposes an approach 
to the non-pre-existence of objects, a sensory
extension and the occupation of a collective place
based on active, attentive and almost
pulverized consciousness."
Listening to Dark Matter Rebecca Collins Exhibition

Co-I David Cerdeño presents 'Listening to Dark Matter' for Trivulgando, June 10 2023

Reproducir vídeo

Exhibition Documentation: Listening to Dark Matter (09 March - 26 April 2023)

Window Vinyl
Window Vinyl

Fourth (and final interdisciplinary seminar) Traces of the Not-Yet-Known

Four people laughing
Painted image of a curtain
Black board with chalk
Traces of the not-yet-known
Traces of the not-yet-known

Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty Podcast March 2023

Rebecca Collins and David Cerdeño at the Case del Radio

David Cerdeño and I had the pleasure of speaking on Spanish National Radio at the invitation of José Luis Carles and Cristina Palomese for La Casa del Sonido their weekly radio program. This was a generous opportunity to dialogue with two experts in sound art and soundscapes. From the conversation that unfolded it was clear there were a number of uncertainties to be shared and, whilst perhaps this led to more questions rather than answers, the chance to share the project in this format was enriching for both David and I. Extracts from the two sound pieces that feature in the exhibition were played. This includes Composing with Dark Matter (2022) by Ode Aseguinolaza and Energies not Forms not Figures (2023) a collaboration between myself and Adam Matschulat. 


The program was recorded in Spanish and is available as a podcast:

Exposición: 'Escuchar la materia oscura' 09 marzo-26 abril 2023


''Escuchar la materia oscura // Listening to Dark Matter' Exhibition 09 March-26 April 2023, Autonomous University, Madrid

dark matter sound art

Listening to Dark Matter

Sala de exposiciones, Plaza Mayor, Calle Einstein 7

Autonomous University, Madrid

 9 march – 26 abril 2023

Reserve a slot to visit:

In Listening to Dark Matter, artist investigator, Rebecca Collins (1982), invites engagement with scientific uncertainty by staging a series of imaginative encounters with dark matter, an invisible yet abundant particle present in our everyday lives.  

Commissioned Artists:

Ode Aseguinolaza, Adam Matschulat, Bricks from the Kiln

Scientific Host: David Cerdeño and the Dark Matter Research Group


Host Institution: Instituto de Fisica Teorica 

Funding: Royal Society of Edinburgh Early Career Saltire Fellowship 


Exhibition realised in collaboration with the Music Laboratory at the Autonoma University: José Luis Carles and Adolfo Nuñez

Part of OAC program ‘Artists in the Campus’

Detectives of the Invisible: Towards a Cosmological Listening Practice or How to Listen to Elusive Particles, 'Duelo Colectivo y Duelo Planetario' Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, 24th January 2023

Dark Matter Detection Group meet Artists
Rebecca Collins and Isabel de Navarran

Fourth (and final) Interdisciplinary Seminar: Traces of the Not-Yet-Known
Friday January 13th 2023 (in person)

Poster P4UU Seminar 4

Parametres for Understanding Uncertainty

Friday, 13 January 2023

11:00 – 13:00 CET (in person)

A series of interdisciplinary seminars in four parts designed to put research into creative practices, cultural work, technology, communications, and particle physics in dialogue.


Part Four: Traces of the Not-Yet Known

Language of the session: English


The fourth (and final) session in the series considers what occurs at the limits of knowledge when the unknown traces of something emerge indicating the presence of that which is more than nothing.


Commonplace within art/science collaborations is the use of representation to communicate scientific findings. Such endeavours offer limited returns to artistic research and tend to occur at the tail end of a scientific enquiry. What happens in the predetermined stages of a research investigation, at the point prior to identification or classification, when what is to-be-known is still emerging? If findings cannot be aligned with current systems and structures, what tools do we have for jumping into the unknown?


This session will operate as a springboard for a dynamic conversation exploring the fundamental characteristics of experimental research.  Each speaker will offer access points, insights, and observations into areas of thought that uphold the complexities at stake when considering the nuances of research processes at the nexus of art and science.


Alberto Casas holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics and is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Institute of Theoretical Physics (CSIC-UAM) in Madrid. His research areas are elementary particle physics and cosmology.


Michael Schwab is an artist, and artist researcher who interrogates post-conceptual uses of technology in a variety of media including photography, drawing, printmaking and installation art. He holds a PhD in photography from the Royal College of Art. He is co-initiator and inaugural Editor-in-Chief of JAR, the Journal for Artistic Research.


Series organised by Rebecca Collins, lecturer of Contemporary Art Theory at the University of Edinburgh and David G Cerdeño, Beatriz Galindo distinguished researcher at the UAM-CSIC Institute of Theoretical Physics. Rebecca Collins is currently an artistic researcher in residence at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Autonomous University of Madrid (2022-2023).


Collective Practices for Understanding Uncertainty: A micro-documentary

Film Screening: Collective Practices of Uncertainty, 13 December 2022

Poster Film Screening

Artistic Research meets Scientific Research, Museum of Science & the Cosmos, Tenerife November 2022 (in English)

Listening to Dark Matter, Museum of Science & the Cosmos, Tenerife November 2022 (in Spanish)

Artistic Investigation & Sound Art, Residencía de Estudiantes, Madrid 10th November 2022

Art Science Talk Rebecca Collins

The Listening Academy, Bergen October 2022

Rebecca Collins Bergen


In October 2022, Rebecca Collins was invited by Brandon Labelle to share her research project ‘Parametres for Understanding Uncertainty’ in the context of ‘The Listening Academy’ in Bergen, Norway. 
In what ways can listening be mobilized as a form of critical intervention, one that can impact onto scenes of personal and political struggle? How is listening utilized or figured within experiences of trauma, supporting acts of domination as well as healing and recuperation?
What forms of knowledge emerge from sonic practices and projects, where listening is taken on as an experimental, relational position? And are there new opportunities for supporting listening as what can aid in reworking current attention economies? Following these lines of questioning, The Listening Academy aims at fostering transdisciplinary discussions on the topic of listening which can contribute to understandings and acts of recognition and repair. This includes nurturing new imaginaries and knowledges around what it means to hear and be heard, to voice and respond, within today’s planetary environment. 
This edition of the Academy brings together an international group of scholars, researchers and practitioners whose creative and critical expertise are supportive for diversifying what an art or science of listening may be. Through individual presentations, discussions and performative works, we’ll engage listening as the basis for storying other narratives and how it may enable thinking alongside and with the complexities of global experience.

Images from Third Interdisciplinary Seminar: Methodologies of the Unknown, September 2022

Third Interdisciplinary Seminar Friday 30th September 2022 (in person)

Video Documentation of Second Interdisciplinary Seminar Music & Particles, September 2022

Workshop & Presentation at the Pedro Pascal Science Research Centre, Benasque September 2022

Field Visito to Canfranc Underground Laboratory & University of Zaragoza

Documentation of 'Detectives of Dark Matter, the Quantum World & Black Holes' by Eve Barlier, August 2022

Drawing of physics researcher describing black holes
David Cerdeño

Detectives of Dark Matter, the Quantum World & Black Holes July 2022, Azala

Workshop Image with Energies
Workshop image Rebecca Collins

Bauhaus University Presentation for Society for Artistic Research (SAR) Annual Conference 'Mend, Blend, Attend' June/July 2022

Video Documentation of Round Table on 'Art, Science, and Technology: From Creation to Exhibition'

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Collective forms for Practicing Uncertainty Open call (closes 15 June 2022)

Images from Second Interdisciplinary seminar

Invited lecture University of Leeds, March 2022

Rebecca Collins invited to lecture with Dr Liz Stainforth for ‘State of the Art Contemporary Perspectives in Art, Science, and Technology (ARTF2054), School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds.

Rebecca Collins invitada - Miércoles 30 de marzo – 18.00h / Sala de prensa. Teatros del Canal MESA 4. ARTE, CIENCIA Y TECNOLOGÍA: DE LA CREACIÓN A LA EXHIBICIÓN Con el apoyo de la Fundación Daniel y Nina Carasso

Rebecca Collins of P4UU invited speaker for round table event on art, science and technology Teatros del Canal as part of their Canal Connect program 29 March 2022 

Científicos, tecnólogos y artistas, exploran y crean de la mano ideas, espacios, experiencias y proyectos que nos permiten acercarnos al mundo y mirarlo desde perspectivas diferentes. Esta unión nos aporta visiones y nuevas formas de entender nuestro entorno, las relaciones y la evolución de la persona.

Y aquí tienen una función fundamental las instituciones, que proveen de herramientas y espacio a los creadores y artistas para que desarrollen sus ideas. En este contexto, ¿cómo se integran estas piezas en espacios de exhibición científico-cultural? ¿Cómo dialogan entre sí en el recorrido de la creación hasta llegar a su exhibición? ¿Cuál es el papel presente y futuro de las instituciones en el desarrollo y la evolución del arte y la ciencia? ¿Cómo integrar a los asistentes en un espacio que puede estar en constante proceso de creación y exhibición? ¿Cómo afectan todas estas interacciones a la transformación social?


Rebecca Collins.  artista e investigadora que explora de forma práctica y teórica el arte sonoro en su intersección con las artes escénicas. Su trabajo se centra en las relaciones que se cultivan entre lo social, lo político y lo cultural. Actualemente es investigadora residente en el Instituto Física Teórica UAM-CSIC (2022-2023)

Blanca Pérez. Comisaria de arte y nuevos medios, responsable de exposiciones y del programa de residencias en Etopia Centro de Arte y Tecnología.

María A. Blasco. Directora Científica del Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO).

Moderador: Miguel Álvarez Fernández. Músico.

Images from field trip to UPV, Gandía, April 2022

Research presentation UPV, Gandía, April 2022

Invited research presentation at UPV, Gandía for acoustic engineers and technologists working on scientific experiments in the deep ocean and students studying psychoacoustics.

Video documentación del ciclo de seminarios interdisciplinares de cuatro partes para poner en diálogo la investigación de prácticas creativas, el trabajo cultural, la tecnología, las comunicaciones y la física de partículas.

La primera sesión considera el papel de la incertidumbre y la indeterminación dentro de la física teórica de partículas y el trabajo de compositores de música experimental. ¿Qué podría ofrecer el principio de incertidumbre a las artes y las humanidades? ¿Qué papel juega la intuición en los procesos científicos? ¿Puede una comprensión del mundo cuántico enseñarnos algo sobre la inestabilidad de cómo percibimos, clasificamos e interpretamos nuestra realidad actual?
David G. Cerdeño delivering course on the history of dark matter, March 2022
Images from: Ashon T. Crawley, The Lonely Letters, 2020

Interdisciplinary Seminar #1 Friday 11 March 2022 (11:00-13:00) In Person

Photo Diary January - February 2022