A print of my painting A Parable of A Physicist And Twin Torsos, with text from myself and Professor Caslav Brukner of the Faculty of Physics at the University of Vienna, will be included in the poster session of a new workshop on quantum biology at The Institute of Advanced Studies at The University of Sussex in the UK titled "Quantum Biology: Current Status and Opportunities" September 17 & 18, 2012.
It's my second invitation to participate at Surrey's IAS this year, and as with their last workshop, the line up of participants exploring this cutting edge subject come from different disciplines and are each extraordinary. I always learn a lot from the papers that cii produce through these international discussions.
Caslav and I have shared correspondences about quantum physics and art since 2006 when I first started making the link with the quantum world and our human gaze. This painting is part of a new series of art which explores the spiritual dimension of our post-human consciousness. How will engineering life come to pass, and how might quantum entanglement influence this conception? Below Caslav explains a little the concepts which inspired some the thoughts, dreams and visions which I put into this painting. Caslav's area of passion is entanglement theory.
"In classical physics and everyday life every object has well-defined properties on its own. Every dice has its well defined faces, and every person has its own individuality. According to quantum theory, however, two or more entangled objects can have perfectly defined joint properties at the expense of losing their individual properties. This is like having two persons with no individual properties, no phenotype, no character, until they are subject to observation, upon which they obtain a random but same face, same character, same gender, i.e. they become identical twins. Likewise two entangled dices have no orientation on its own until they are measured, upon which they show the same random side up." [Assoc Prof. Caslav Brukner, University of Vienna, 2012]
The germ of this series began with a storyline around solar storms and actual replica torsos used by both NASA and European Space Agency called Fred and Matryoshka that reminded me of Romulus and Remus the mythical founders of ancient Rome, used to investigate the effect of this radiation on astronauts.
This opened up other questions for me like how these eruptions might affect our DNA and if the way we conceive of 'human', 'non-human' and 'machine' is all linked at the quantum level. So, that's how The Twins came about and Caslav became those Twins in my painting. The DNA question continued in reference to the gene synthesis company Blue Heron, that also appears as actual birds. I was also drawn, quite inexplicably, to empty warehouses. This inpired a search for warehouses in the US where I discovered the unusual beauty (a sad beauty) of abandoned buildings. A place of beginning where nobody would look. So the warehoouse in the background was the first element to emerge from the canvas.
The rest emerged from my dreams - especially the two red nuclear submarines (Typhoon Class). When I completed it, I noticed there were 2 of everything, like two entangled particles. A lot came out through the back door (my subconscious). And in that sense, I really did channel the Surrealists in the way that the pictorial elements emerged. But the ‘two-of-everything’ also reminded me of Noah's Ark, and so my biblical reference to a parable, where the physicist is performing an unusually spiritual function, so the whole idea of biology and entanglement together gave the painting this feeling of a parable.
Caslav is very generous and inspiring and understood about the lens, because the act of looking (the gaze) is integral to both entanglement theory and to my painting.
Workshop Brochure from University of Surrey below. The abstract by myself and Caslav Brukner are on the final page. This is not actually Caslav, it's a colleague of his attending the workshop.