The Yale Quantum Institute successfully launched its artist-in-residence program in the summer of 2017. Each year, the institute welcomes an artist for a year-long residency to produce quantum science-based artwork and visuals, participate in a series of public talks to explain their work, and the science behind it across disciplines, and in particular across the humanities-science divide. The artists are rigorously selected by Florian Carle based on the quality and presentation of their work, their background and experiences.
In 2017, we welcomed visual artist Martha Lewis who created several quantum inspired art pieces in collaboration with YQI researchers. The artworks were featured in a series of public talks relating the works to quantum physics, discussing how to better use colors in scientific publications, and how art can offer ways of looking at problems that are wobbly and uncertain, as an alternative to strict scientific guidelines for testing theories about the universe. The highlight of the year was the interactive and immersive installation “I’ll be your qubit!” where the visitor was invited to experience the world within a quantum circuit, artistically transposed to the human scale.
In 2018, we continue exploring art as a medium to increase our understanding and discourse of quantum physics by welcoming Spencer Topel; a musician and artist working with sound installations, and performances. We are proposing an ambitious project: a live concert where Spencer, and two graduate students, Kyle Serniak and Luke Burkhart, will “play” sound generated by the operation of quantum computers prototypes cooled to nearly absolute zero, as if they were instruments in an orchestra. This live performance will be the first of its kind, attracting the interest of scientists in the quantum community for the technical challenge, and of the public for the novel soundscape that will be produced.