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Quantum Computing: Art and Entanglements

Light Art Space (LAS) | Libby Heaney, Vlatko Vedral, Jenann Ismael

What can quantum science tell us about our world and how we experience it? Presented by Light Art Space (LAS), artist and researcher Libby Heaney gives an introduction on quantum computing and how she uses quantum science and related technologies to develop her artworks.

What are quantum computers and how do they depend on quantum physics? Why are corporations and governments interested in quantum computing? What can quantum science teach us about the way we make sense of our world? In what way can the discipline impact how we tell stories, build meaning, and create art?

In this lecture, Libby Heaney, an artist, researcher and physicist based in London, will give an insight into the basic elements of quantum computing, and look at the exciting and challenging effects these developments may have for the future of making art. Her talk is followed by discussions with philosopher Prof. Jenann Ismael and quantum scientist Prof. Vlatko Vedral. Together, they will explore the impact quantum physics can have on our day-to-day-reality when transposed from the microscopic to the macro world. Heaney’s multifaceted practice connects quantum physics, machine learning, and our environment. Her work spans performances, Virtual Reality installations, and participatory experiences, making use of new technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Through questioning the machine’s forms of categorisation, Heaney explores ways to expand technology beyond its predominant purpose. This talk delves into the core subject-matters of a new work being developed by the artist, commissioned by Light Art Space (LAS), for which Heaney uses IBM’s cloud-based Q System One quantum computers. By following the main tenets of quantum science, art gains the tools to rupture causality. It also creates a space where entities – human, non-humans, machines – relate, interfere and entangle. More information here.

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Libby Heaney

Artist, Researcher, and Physicist

Libby Heaney has a PhD in Quantum Information Science from the University of Leeds and an MA in Art and Science from Central Saint Martins in London. She has exhibited her artworks widely in galleries and institutions in the UK and internationally, including a solo exhibition as part of the 2017 EU capital of culture in Aarhus and in group shows at Arebyte Gallery (online 2020), LUX with Hervisions (online 2020), Tate Modern (London 2016, 2019), ICA (London 2019), V&A (London 2018), Barbican (London 2019), Somerset House (London 2019), Sheffield Documentary Festival (2018), Science Gallery Dublin (2017, 2018, 2019), Sonar+D (with the British Council, Barcelona 2017), Ars Electronica (Linz 2017), CogX (London 2018), Telefonica Fundacion (with the British Council, Lima 2017).

Vlatko Vedral

University of Oxford

Professor of Quantum Information

Vlatko Vedral (PhD and BSc at Imperial College) is a professor of quantum information at Oxford and professor of physics at the National University of Singapore. He has published over 300 research papers on various topics in quantum physics and quantum computing and is one of the Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers. He has given numerous invited plenary and public talks during his career. These include a specialised talk at a Solvay meeting (2010) and a popular one at the International Safe Scientifique (2007). He was awarded the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2007, the World Scientific Medal and Prize in 2009, the Marko Jaric Award in 2010 and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2017 and a member of the Academia Europaea in 2020. He has held many visiting professorships, among which are those held at the Universities of Vienna and Belo Horizonte, the Perimeter Institute in Canada and the ISI in Turin. He is consulting the World Economic Forum on the Future of Computation. Vedral is the author of 4 textbooks and 2 popular books (“Decoding Reality” and “From Micro to Macro”). He gives regular interviews to the media and is actively engaged in popularization of physics also by writing for New Scientist, Scientific American and major UK and overseas newspapers.

Jenann Ismael

Columbia University

Professor

Jenann Ismael is a professor of philosophy at Columbia University. She earned her Ph.D. at Princeton University, and has taught at Stanford University and the University of Arizona. She has held fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the National Humanities Center, the Templeton Foundation, the Foundational Questions Institute, NEH and others. She is the author of The Situated Self (OUP, 2007) and Essays on Symmetry (2001), and How Physics Makes Us Free (2016).

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