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Exhibition: ‘QUANTUM’ at CCCB in Barcelona

Text by CLOT Magazine

Cascade, Yunchul Kim (2018)

Since its first discovery in the early 20th century, quantum mechanics has become a fundamental theory onto which all modern science builds, imperative not only to the scientific world but to our everyday lives too. Concealed from human view, it describes the peculiar way nature behaves on subatomic scales, challenging all traditional laws of physics. The theory reveals that the laws that govern the microscopic world are starkly different from the ones we are all familiar with that govern the macroscopic world. Without quantum mechanics, we wouldn’t have computers, smartphones, lasers, and GPS among many other things.

The aim of the exhibition Quantum, running until September 24, 2019, at CCCB in Barcelona, is to introduce the key principles and the future possibilities of quantum physics to the public in an accessible and engaging way. Artists and scientists have come together to contribute to the programme that consists of artistic and scientific itineraries resulting in a multidimensional view encouraging the visitors to explore their curiosity and partake in the conversation. 

Quantum was first launched at Collide International, the flagship arts programme at CERN. A group of artists was invited to stay at CERN for three years to initiate a dialogue between the artists and the scientists. The ten creative works conceived from this exchange are now presented at CCCB and demonstrate how the influence of quantum mechanics transcends all areas of our lives. Semiconductor and Yunchul Kim are two of the CERN artists-in-residence that have spoken to CLOT Magazine about their projects. 

The scientific itinerary comprises nine windows that reveal laboratory research work and introduce the fundamental theories of physics, their successes and failures, as well as the methodologies of scientific experiments. The visitors are urged to reflect on such questions as: Does complete randomness exist?; Where does quantum physics come into play?; What are quantum computers?

The ultimate goal of Quantum is to call attention to and engage the general public, with the help of creative outlets, in the discussion about the philosophical implications of science, humankind’s continual exploitation of it, and what kind of a future we hope the advancements in science bring.

(Media courtesy of Yunchul Kim)
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