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The art-sci collective “Quantum Travelers” presents the artist duo of Mark Chavez and Ina Conradi, based in Los Angeles and Singapore, who showcase “Quantum Logos” at this year's 40th-anniversary Ars Electronica Festival. The artwork aims to make the universe’s underlying quantum reality accessible to the public. During the so-called “Interlude” after the screening, Mark Chavez will interact with audience members, letting them create visual and acoustic metaphors themselves.

“Quantum Logos” is an immersive, reactive audio-visual experience that explores the basics of quantum theory as expressed through cultural archetypes. Using state-of-the-art, real-time animation techniques, it attempts to shed new insight on fundamental natural phenomena. Whether it's the so-called heart of the quantum theory, the double-slit experiment, or phenomena such as entanglement or superposition, all are abstract physical concepts that are difficult to grasp. “Quantum Logos” aims to ease access to the counterintuitive phenomena of quantum reality. They all underlie the universe’s natural structures, from the waves of inanimate matter to the vivid systemic photosynthesis in plants to the human brain and consciousness, which seem to produce the results of quantum physical measurements. “We transform scientific results and our natural environment into the language of art,” states Ina Conradi. The “Quantum Logos” artwork leads visitors using visual and acoustic approaches to these phenomena deep into a continuum of possible expressions of matter and energy touched at its innermost core. They enter a world of the smallest physical units of all: the quanta.

The so-called first quantum revolution resulted in technologies such as transistors and lasers. Without them, today’s computers, mobile phones, and the internet would be unthinkable. The second quantum revolution is a paradigm change. In this race, “quantum” replaces the “digital.” To communicate quantum technology, Quantum Travelers enhance the visual, verbal, and sonic narratives of the scientific basis of quantum mechanics. The collective examines how to communicate the upcoming applications in quantum computing, such as simulations, cryptography, and the “Quantum Internet.” These revolutionary technologies will shape the future of society. The public needs to grasp its counterintuitive and paradoxical logic to discuss quantum research and the chances and risks of quantum technological applications.

The “Quantum Travelers” art-sci collective aims to set up a fluid network of artists, scientists, science communicators, and business partners to excite the public about the consequences of quantum technology to move it into the mainstream. Media artists Mark Chavez and Ina Conradi teamed up in 2018 with sci-art producer and developer Bianka Hofmann (Germany) and science communicator Bob Kastner (Austria) to form the art-sci collective. It aims to use cultural metaphors to artistically describe ambitious and crucial scientific concepts. The core team invites scientists and artists to discuss and co-create, such as the quantum physicist Prof. Rupert Ursin from the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) in Vienna.

“Quantum Logos” premieres at this year’s Ars Electronica Festival in the Deep Space 8K theater. The festival is one of the most important media art events worldwide. This year’s theme is “Out of the Box: The Midlife Crises of the Digital Revolution.” The Deep Space 8K theater provides both artists and scientists an expanded view of the world, with the ability to construct new realities and new forms of communication. It is staged simultaneously as an open art studio and science laboratory. At its core, Deep Space is taking advantage of modern audio-visual technologies to effectively communicate the unique and attractively complex discoveries of today. “It’s fairly easy to make amazing visual effects these days, the challenge comes when using these toolsets that are strong in replicating realistic visuals, make artworks that sufficiently describe our subject matter in a way that the public can understand,” says Chavez. “Technically, the artwork employs a powerful virtual real-time rendering customized pallet completely powered by code. An audio-reactive visualization was created using the Derivative TouchDesigner program.”


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