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The Stupefying Terror of Quantum Physics Gets an Installation

convivial project's 'The Probable Universe' tackles string theory, quantum mechanics, and the multiverse all at once.
Images by photographer Robert Klebenow, courtesy convivial project

Let’s face it, the laws of physics are weird. Advanced theoretical laws bring up questions about the very matter that makes up the universe, the possibility of other dimensions, and whether all this is even real. Scary stuff, indeed. It is difficult for the human brain to wrap itself around notions of infinity and subatomic events, so models are made, some more artistic than others. The Probable Universe by convivial project is one such model. It is an “interactive audio-visual installation generating an infinite combination of projected worlds in a physical environment using an industrial robotic arm” that also features BBC-accented voiceovers discuss string theory, quantum mechanics, and dark energy.


What starts off as a science lesson evolves into a discussion of scientific politics (i.e. the debates between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr) and philosophical quandaries regarding our very reality and the existence of multiple dimensions. The voiceover is complemented by the sound of a bouncing ping pong ball and the eerie movement of the autonomous robotic arm. The projector creates a generative and infinite number of possible worlds that are mapped onto the objects in the room, visualizing what other dimensions might look like. The glitchy projections and inhumanness of the whole installation don’t really help with the unease that arises from the thoughts of multi-dimensional inevitability—but it sure does help explain it.

The Probable Universe - All films from Paul Ferragut on Vimeo.

Click here to visit convivial project's website.


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