WINNER of IBM x Parsons' Quantum Design Jam 2022
Exhibited in Microscope Gallery, March 2023
In this project, my team, consisting of Julia Daser and Theingi Thann created an immersive installation that uses music, oscillation, water waves and projections to artistically represent the uncertainty and probability present in quantum systems.
This project was submitted to the IBM x The New School's Quantum Design Jam 2022. We are thrilled to have won the prize of the Most Creative Use of Quantum Technology!
A second iteration of our project was also featured in Quantum Art Exhibition, curated by IBM x Innovation Center of The New School in Microscope Gallery in 2023!
We experimented with IBM's Quantum Composer to create a quantum circuit composed of two qubits in superposition. However, because today's quantum computers are not perfect, we soon realized that while superposition allows two qubits to be reliant on each other, random noise disrupts the perfect symmetry. This leads us to the question: What happens to a complex system when one part falls out of order?
Initial Prototype: IBM x Parsons Hackathon 2022
With our quantum gate-configuration, we found that the qubits exist mainly in 2 states: 48.5% of them exist as state (0, 0), 45% of them exist as state (1,1). Some qubits also existed as noise, with states (0,1) or (1, 0).
State (0, 0) is represented by our first medium- the visual projections.
State (1, 1) is represnted by our second medium, sound.
By overlapping the two mediums, we show the "in between" states of the qubits- the uncertainty of their states, and prove that one cannot know their states until one measures them.
Projections representing state (0,0)
Each projection (created in p5.js) represents one qubit in state 0
If both qubits are in state 0, the projection is a symmetrical pattern because the qubits are entangled.
Every now and then, the pattern on either projection glitches.
This disruption of the perfect symmetry is caused by noise- when the qubits are in state [0,1] or [1,0]
Projections representing state [0,0] and the noise that occurs
Sound representing state (1,1)
Each speaker represents one qubit in state 1.
The Quantum Music Composer enabled us to create a bass audio with state [1,1].
The bass audio is played through the two speakers, which create sound saves of different amplitudes and frequencies.
This sound energy is then converted into kinetic energy in the water, creating interesting waveforms in the petri dishes.
Bass audio with quantum state [1,1] created with Quantum Music Composer
Sound energy from the speakers under the petri dishes converted to kinetic energy in the water.
Integrating sound + projections
Due to the water movement caused by the oscillation from the speakers, the p5.js projection in each petri dish is warped according to the [1,1] state of the quantum circuit.
As a result, the final projection on the ceiling is influenced by the [0,0], [1,1] and noise states.
Final projection influenced by [0,0] and [1,1] states.
Watch our video explanation here:
Second Iteration: Exhibition
As we could not play music out loud in the exhibition space, we had to resort to making the user wear headphones to listen to the changes in frequency/ oscillations.
However, because we could not play music out loud, we had to find another way to make the water in the petri dish vibrate so that the projected image in the petri dish can be warped as well.
At the same time, we had to figure out a way to allow the user to hear the changes in frequency/ oscillations.
We came up with this configuration:
Behind the scenes
Attaching the vibrating discs to our custom 3D-printed petri dish
Following Noto The Talking Ball's tutorial
to create this looping animation in Touch Designer:
Receiving the Ableton Push VJ board!
Getting Touch Designer to communicate with Arduino and Ableton Push:
Setting up for exhibition:
Special thanks to:
Brian Ingmanson from IBM who gave us a lot of guidance on Ableton Push + Quantum Music Playground
James Weaver's Quantum Music Playground
IBM for giving us this opportunity to participate in the hackathon + exhibit our work
Microscope Gallery for lending us the space
Maya Georgieva for curating the exhibition + being our biggest hypewoman, cheerleader and supporter ❤️!