Investigating the borders of quantum physics, classical physics and art
Professor Vlatko Vedral Professor of Quantum
Information at University of Oxford
Dr Libby Heaney Artist/Quantum Physicist
Dr Sheena Calvert Chair
20 Devereux Court
London WC2 3JJ
Vlatko and Libby previously worked together and now pursue very different aspects of quantum physics. Both explore the possibilities in new territories forming between areas of their practice - for Vlatko the new territory is between quantum and classical physics, for Libby the new territory is between quantum physics and art.
Vlatko Vedral is Professor of Physics at University of Oxford and the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore and also a Fellow of Wolfson College. He has published over 200 research papers in quantum mechanics and quantum information and was awarded the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2007. He has held a Professorship at Leeds, visiting professorships in Vienna and Singapore (NUS) and at Perimeter Institute in Canada. There are over 10,000 citations to his research papers. He is also the author of several books including Decoding Reality.
In his talk Vlatko discussed the division between classical and quantum physics, and the exciting practical applications being developed there. These include quantum computing, quantum cryptography - and quantum teleportation.
Libby Heaney recently moved from a successful career researching quantum entanglement to train as an artist on the MA Art and Science program at Central St Martins. She has exhibited work in London and Singapore. Still at an early stage of this transition, she discussed how the two disciplines inform each other, as well as her own conscious journey from scientist to artist, charting the changes in perception and practice this involves.
Prior to the change in direction, Libby spent five years working as a post-doctoral researcher in the field of quantum physics at the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore and has a first class degree in Physics and German from Imperial College. As a scientist, she published numerous papers in international journals, spoke about her research at major conferences and has been interviewed for the Times and Independent newspapers, Physics World and BBC Radio Wales.
Propelled by her previous career as a quantum physicist, she is fascinated with the unrepresentable, the inaccessible and inferred. Working in 2D, 3D and time-based interactive media and frequently drawing on geometrical structures and the counter-intuitive properties of quantum physics, she dissects and fragments space emphasizing its fragility - often allowing the negative spaces to play a dominate role. The macroscopic and microscopic are combined and reality is frozen in a moment of time. She is intrigued by notions of the sublime, the idea of superposition (for instance simultaneous emergence and decay, juxtapositions of the beautiful and disturbing) and also the role of the interaction between the observer and object.
Libby's article on art and quantum science interface is published on The Journal of Wild Culture:
DR SHEENA CALVERT holds a Masters degree in fine art and design from Yale university, and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Greenwich.
She is a typographer, letterpress printmaker and graphic designer, and teaches critical theory and practice of art, design and illustration at Central St Martins and the University of Westminster. Her work looks at the philosophy of language, and the materiality of text and speech as a form of knowledge about language.
Image above: Libby Heaney
Elements of Reality
below: Libby presenting her talk at FutureStates salon