Tuning Interference: Dark Matter Radio

Aura Satz

Inspired by recent experiments such as the ADMX axion haloscope experiment, described as “a radio that looks for a radio station, but we don’t know its frequency" - the piece invites the audience to physically interact with the artwork, tuning to different frequencies and generating interference patterns in their mind through their physical location in relation to the structure. Satz has collaborated with Malcolm Fairbairn (King's College London), David Marsh (Goettingen University) and David Ronan to create this 10-channel sound installation based on scientific simulations of dark matter's speed and density. Satz has reproduced an accompanying print of the astronomer Vera Rubin, who in the 1970s was the first scientist to provide irrefutable evidence that dark matter exists.

Original image of Vera Rubin, reproduced courtesy of Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science.

About the contributor(s) 

Aura Satz
Aura Satz is Moving Image Tutor and Reader in Fine Art (Sound and Moving Image) on the Contemporary Art Practice programme at the Royal College of Art. Satz's work encompasses film, sound, performance and sculpture. Interested in modes of heightened perception and sensory disorientation such as flicker and psychoacoustics, Her works look at how the physical and sonic properties of such objects tap into ideas of knowledge and communication in their use of notation systems, languages or codes.

Malcolm Fairbairn
Malcolm is Professor of Physics in the Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at King's College London. His research lies at the boundary between cosmology, particle physics and astrophysics. In particular, his interests lie in dark matter, dark energy, cosmological inflation and particle astrophysics. He is an advisor to the DARK MATTER season at Science Gallery London.

David J. E. Marsh
​David currently holds a Sofka Kovaleskaja Award issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Institute for Astrophysics, University of Goettingen. Before that he was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, based at King's College London. David's main interests outside of physics are skateboarding, music, literature and Zen Buddhism.

David Ronan
Currently the head of R&D at London based start-up A.I. Music, David Ronan recently completed his PhD in Electronic Engineering at Queen Mary University of London, where he researched and developed intelligent audio production tools. David's background is in research, digital signal processing, data science, machine learning, audio engineering, music information retrieval and software engineering.