[May 25] Paul Thomas and Kevin Raxworthy: Quantum Consciousness

: A visual/sonic installation that immerses the viewer in quantum phenomenon.

The project creates an aesthetic experience that places the viewer inside the superposition of an electron used in quantum computing. The work engages the viewer with the novel perception of being immersed within the processing of the quantum spin as analogous to human consciousness. Quantum consciousness is constructed with scientific data, the sound and sight of a subatomic particles are made visible as an aesthetic experience. The question of artistic interpretation of the world, brought about by scientific research and discoveries, is highly significant now. The installation as an immersive aesthetic experience creates an analogous relationship to inside the ‘thinking’ element of the quantum computer; the atom and human consciousness.

The visualization of thought is based on experimental data that explores the spin of the electron in its superposition.
The expression of the scientific research was conducted in collaboration with Assoc. Professor Andrea Morello, whose current research looks at controlling the spin of electrons and nuclei for the development of the processor in quantum computer. The experiment makes visible and audible the spin to the superposition of a phosphorous electron that has been bombarded by microwave signals.

“I am working in collaboration at a nano-scale, to create a physical artwork that reflects a manifestation of the quantum phenomena.”

The atoms driving the new quantum computers are analogous with our own atomic molecular structure. The paradox of the atoms quantum superposition has been demonstrated in physics, as being more than merely a hypothetical state, and exists as an actual physical condition in which an electron occupies multiple positions in space simultaneously. In this context the spin is completely a quantum mechanical property of forces that are sympathetic to the summing the total of what constitutes the classical materiality of the world.  The scientific data for the project is generated from microwave signal transforming a reading of Richard Feynman’s 1982 paper positing the birth of the quantum computer. The link between the quantum computer, consciousness and artistic expression is presented via the installation through the expression of thought. Quantum Consciousness develops an aesthetics experience for representing seemingly impossible and physically immeasurable quantum states.

Opening from May 22 through July 20
Nolan Park Building 5a5b, Governors Island, NY


Dr Paul Thomas, is Associate Professor and Director of the Fine Arts program at, UNSW Art and Design. Thomas initiated and is the co-chair of the Transdisciplinary Imaging Conference series 2010, 2012 and 2014. In 2000 Paul instigated and was the founding Director of the Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth 2002, 2004.

Thomas is a pioneer of transdisciplinary practice. His work takes not only inspiration from nanoscience and quantum theory, but actually operates there. Thomas has been collaborating with Kevin Raxworthy and the current practice quantum consciousness is based on the research being conducted by Associate Professor Andrea Morello, Quantum Nanosystems, UNSW, exploring the electrons superposition. The pervious projects investigated silver, the mirror and quantum theories of light and parallel universes in the work Multiverse. Thomas’s concepts for the  nanoart works ‘Nanoessence’ explored the space between life and death at a nano level and Midas’ was researching what is transferred when skin touched gold.  The Midas and Nanoessence installations were in collaboration with SymbioticA, Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, University of Western Australia and the Nanochemistry Research Institute, (NRI) Curtin University of Technology.


Kevin Raxworthy

Kevin Raxworthy is senior technician in the Studio of Electronic Arts (SEA) at Curtin University of Technology. Kevin has been working in the area of media art since 1983. He was the technical support officer for the Biennale of Electronic Art Perth 2002-07. Raxworthy has been working in collaboration with Paul Thomas on the Midas Project that was exhibited 2007, Nanoessence 2009, Muliverse 2011. In their current project quantum consciousness Kevin’s develops technical support to help look at the nexus between artificial life, code space and art. He is currently completing his masters in electronic Art. Raxworthy has recently completed a Master of Art (Electronic Art)

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