As the Quantum Computer Art collaboration draws to a close, we take a quick peek at the final artworks that will be presented in a talk at the V&A next week and in an exhibition later this month.


Alice and Bob – Daria Jelonek – Anna Ridler

“Alice and Bob” is an installation of love letters between two photons. The positioning of different letters across three acts is controlled by data from a quantum computer and inspired by the shape of a quantum computer chip.  The letters have been created by the artists taking snippets of quantum science papers – including the names which are repeatedly referenced in articles to with entanglement – which have been repurposed to create the stories of Alice falling in love with Bob, Bob falling in love with Alice, Alice not in love with Bob, Eve falling for Bob and more.

anna ridler


Measured  Matter – Louis Schreyer – Thibaut Evrard – Taeyoung Choi – Marcela Uribe

Measured Matter questions the world of objects and matter configuration by exploring the encounters of quantum computing and architectural space. The piece builds a hybrid virtual-physical space which materiality is under constant flux and interaction with the environment and its users. Using the column as a symbol of what is certain -and as a structure that holds reality by constantly keeping things up- the work illustrates how quantum physics destroys our classical understanding of the world, translating quantum entanglement into altered physical configurations. Using data extracted by measuring entanglement and working with projected visual simulations as emergent patterns, the work explores the phenomenon of emergence between art, space, audience and quantum technologies.

Measured Matter_Simulation Image


Nibbles – Documentation of an artwork made by a quantum computer – Libby Heaney

Two magazines and a four-screen video installation explore the relationship between quantum computing and meaning by deconstructing the notion of a ‘genuine’ quantum work of art.  Using a four qubit quantum computer, Libby produced a series of genuine quantum artworks – artworks containing superposition and entanglement – which were necessarily unobservable, generally un-copyable and indeed pretty impossible to comprehend.  Hence an artwork made with a quantum computer is beyond representation and the video and magazines are just documentation consisting of traces of multiple practices of engagement (i.e. going into the lab and chatting to the scientists).  

However, it is important to ask: if a quantum artwork is unknowable, might we still create an experience of it via other means?  Drawing on my research exploring the connections between quantum physics and deconstruction theory, the video creates a quantum-like experience bringing together matter and meaning:  A narrative constructed from classical data from the quantum computing labs and instances of identical data from natural-cultural systems.  The four screens present indistinguishable images related to the narrative, which mirrors the process of entangling particles.

Still from tests


Original Simulation – Maria Euler – Ker Siang Yeo

Original Simulations explores the significance of original and copy via the mechanism of quantum teleportation. What does it take for an artwork to be considered an original? What does it imply? This is a complex topic that has been made even more so by digitisation. Mathematical simulations of quantum teleportation principles were used to ‘teleport’ artworks onto their respective forgeries. The outcomes are appropriately exhibited in a virtual gallery, where one can explore and reflect on the implications of quantum technology together with the initial questions we pose on the meaning of originality in art.




The Alien Present – Amanda Baum – Rose Leahy – Rob Walker

The alien present is not what it seems. On its surface, strange forms of growth are thriving, whilst inside, a crystalline landscape of quantum greens emerges and disappears. Looking into the source of this garden it collapses. Looking away, it grows wild again.  An orderly stroll in the classical garden becomes a superpositional wander.

The alien present counteracts the monological instrumentalist language used in quantum computing by replacing it with the caring, nurturing practice of gardening.  At once claustrophobic and endlessly expansive, the material articulation reflects the quantum querying.  Despite our inadequacies when dealing with the invisible, ineffable laws of the quantum universe, we ask the alien present, if quantum computing is a field of potentials, how do we garden it?  And whose garden is it anyway?



The map is not the territory – Georgia Ward Dyer

This moving image work shows the artist in perpetual motion, reperforming all the gestures used by scientists Dr Jake Kennard and Max Wilson when they were communicating their work to her and to each other in group discussions. Symbolic, deictic, motor, lexical, these different kinds of gestures point at different modes of understanding, or rather point at the struggle for understanding when working at a frontier of science, and questions what is possible and what is meaningful in an art/quantum physics collaboration.

We all have internal models of understanding for concepts which are hard to grasp. When these concepts are borderline impossible to communicate – or indeed comprehend – verbally, what do we turn to?