Hei! The 5th Dimensional Camera Project Partners:|Superﬂux | QIP IRC | DI, RCA | EPSRC | NESTA @Superﬂux Anab Jain Director, Superﬂux | Twitter:Hei! Good afternoon, hello everyone, thanks a lot to Sabrina for inviting me, to be part of such anexciting event. I have learnt so much this morning.
I was about seven when the world of the popular Indian comics Amar Chitra Katha, sweptme away, from stories of monkey gods to ten-headed monsters sending rockets intoparallel worlds...
who later came back to haunt me through the blaring television box in my teenageyears.
One of my favourite stories was of Vishnu, the supporter of the seven realms of theearth and several other worlds below the land we stand on.. one night.. whilesleeping on a thousand headed serpent dreamt up the universe.. and lo behold,emerged Brahma from his navel... brahma the creator of the universe, sat on thelotus.
Image Credit: http://www.hknet.org.nz/parishad115.htmIn another avatar, Vishnu is seen as the playful child Krishna, killing a venomous serpantwhile the snake princesses of the underworlds applaud.
And in yet story you’ll ﬁnd the same Krishna, all grown up and holding massivemountains on his tiny ﬁnger to save friends and lovers from the angry wrath of the lordsfrom the worlds above.
Images Credit: Chennai Urban Art CollectionAnd when not busy himself, he’d be watching how his friend Arjuna, a brave warrior isbesotted by the serpant princess Uloopi and swept into a parallel world to marry her.
In his lion-man incarnation, Vishnu, he kills the famous demon Hiranyakaśipu - again amerger of multiverses
Image Credit: D. Hatcher Childress, "Ancient Indian Aircraft Technology" In The Anti-Gravity HandbookAnd then there are these drawings of ﬂying machines from those scriptures have left meslack jawed... Multiverses collided with time travel, atomic manipulations hit againstcosmic winds, as the ﬂying machines shoots into space.
“Because You are unlimited, neither the lords of heaven nor even You Yourself can ever reach the end of Your glories. The countless universes, each enveloped in its shell, are compelled by the wheel of time to wander within You, like particles of dust blowing about in the sky.” Bhagavata Purana, Veda Vyasa, 9th / 10th Century CE, 10.87.41And in many ways, these ideas are summed up in the Bhagvata Purana, one of theoldest, most signiﬁcant Hindu scripture...
between the comics, myths and pranks, years ﬂew by, and I found salvation... quitefrankly in the world of storytelling.
We design for Emerging technologies, Societies in ﬂux, The imminently probable... though design and ﬁlm. I now run a London and India based design practice calledSuperﬂux, we design for the imminently probable. That is to say, we explore thepotentials and implications of emerging technologies on society and the environment.Our work takes the form of applications and products, but also stories, ﬁlms, imagesand props.
A public engagement project by QIP IRC, DI RCA, EPSRC, NESTAAnd it was while doing such work, that we were invited last year to participate in theIMPACT! project orchestrated by EPSRC, NESTA, and RCA - which aimed to bringdifferent kinds of cutting edge scientiﬁc research to the public in an exciting andmeaningful manner. We were paired up with material scientists and quantum physicistsfrom Oxford and bristol universities who run a research programme called QIPIRC -quantum information processing interdisciplinary research collaboration.
Dr. John RarityMeet our scientists Dr. John Rarity from Bristol, whose key interests include quantum keydistribution, quantum optics and single photon sources and detectors.
Dr. John Rarity Dr. Andrew BriggsProf. Briggs is working on a series of projects looking into electron spin active dimerscould be used to realize a two-qubit system for quantum computing,
Dr. John Rarity Dr. Andrew Briggs Dr. Simon BenjaminAnd Dr. Simon Benjamin’s interests are theoretical, his work relating to the design,growth and characterization of solid state nanostructures for computation.
Video from Dr. Simon Benjamin, showing animations.Through their research they are attempting to build a Quantum computer that willharness the power of super position to perform massively parallel processing bycomputing simultaneously in many worlds.
Data Encryption: Soon? Fast Factorisation: One Day...This research opened up a whole world of possible applications - ranging from the moreplausible data encryption, nano-world simulations and protein folding, to far futuredystopian scenarios of an information arms race where governments rush to create codebreaking machines that will lay bear the secrets of competing nations. Amazing, scary,confusing, exciting, mindblowing. However, the challenge for us, as designers, was tomake sense of this intangible, speculative world in way that would get members of thepublic excited and enthusiastic about quantum mechanics and computing.
“Will the bizarre quantum world forever exist as the private preserve of mathematicians and experimental physicists, or might ordinary people someday gain access to its fabled realms?”The question that crossed our minds was nicely put by Nick Herbert the author ofQuantum Reality: (read the question)So we put Simon, one of our collaborating scientists in front of their gigantic magnet,pointed a camera at him, and asked him to tell us in a comprehensible manner, theirwork and the possible theories behind it:
FILM: SIMON ON THE SPOTVideo by Superﬂux, showing Dr. Simon Benjamin talk about Quantum Computing: http://www.vimeo.com/10219243Simon Benjamin explains Quantum Computing
Inspired by Hugh Everett’s ‘Many World Interpretation’ The 5th Dimensional PerspectiveSimon mentioned the ‘many worlds theory’ by hugh everett which is sometimes referredto as the 5th Dimension, which sounds very very counter intuitive - yet we werefascinated by it. And thats because we were most interested in presenting a hook intothe science, as a starting point of interest and debate, and hoping that would leadpeople to further interest. (At this point, its important to stress that this was only one ofthe many interpretations of quantum theory.)
“The fact that answers obtained from aquantum computer couldn’t be obtained any otherway will make people take seriously that theprocess that obtained them was objectively real.And then we spoke to David Deutsch, better know as the father of quantum computer -over skype - and he emphasised on this idea that he has written about in his book‘Fabric of Reality’ and in this interview in WIRED -
“The fact that answers obtained from aquantum computer couldn’t be obtained any otherway will make people take seriously that theprocess that obtained them was objectively real.Nothing more than that is needed to lead to theconclusion that there are parallel universes,because that is speciﬁcally how quantumcomputers work.”David Deutsch, WIREDas Dr. Deutsch speaks out about this idea of parallel universes,
Image Credit: http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/proxyindian/the snake people of the underworlds
or large battles viewed by every possible creature in the whole wide world. ofcourse itsall mythology, but these stories are powerful in the way they shape culture and inﬂuenceour collective memories and thoughts. today exploring the world of quantum physics,we as designers, imagineers, storytellers, put on our public engagement hats andasked...
What ifwhat if we could see these parallel worlds... what if...
What if we could see the world from a 5th Dimension?We could see the world from a 5th Dimension? Like how a Quantum computer is meant toaccess the many worlds of binary information ‘within itself’, could we visualise a machinethat could access the many possible worlds that branch from our own timeline?
there we are sketching a device that can see other other dimensions - beyond time -What might that device be like? We sketched away furiously, possibilities of this ﬁctionalcontraption were endless -
Images from divergent timelines are consolidated by the camera Camera timer is started Images are printed Camera fires across divergent timelines Camera now active in timelines that diverge from activation point Camera now active in timelines that diverge from activation point Camera timer is started Camera res across divergent timelinesReﬁning the idea further, we were able to create a scehmatic reprsentation of how thisphotographic device might work: It takes a snapshot of a range possible worlds thatbranch from the moment the camera timer is started, to the moment the camera ﬁres.Its in effect, a metaphorical representation of a quantum computer. our aspiration forthis camera was one of wonder and curiosity - how could one record the ‘unrecordable’quantum properties that make quantum computation possible and make intangible thetangible?
MAKING OF THE 5TH DIMENSIONAL CAMERA, INDIA 2010And not long after that...we were off to build the machine in our workshop, back home inIndia. Ofcourse I’d like to remind the audience that this is a ﬁctional object and it doesnot really work. It is a speculative design prop... and we believe that it is through suchdetailed, beautiful objects that such a complex science can be brought to the public, andhelp people suspend disbelief.
And here it is... the 5th dimensional camera, a ﬁctional device that allows us to thinkwhat it would be like to live in a world where some of these possibilities aroundquantum computing move from the laboratory and start to inﬂuence our everyday lives.
The view of the object from back, showing the viewﬁnder.
The 5th dimensional camera is seen - as both a metaphor for scientiﬁc investigation inthe ﬁeld of quantum computation and also an exploration of the impact this ﬁeld mayhave on our daily lives.
THE CONTROL PANEL 00. 00. 94. 73. 66. 23. 44. 32 " !The control panel represents the main functions of the 5D camera: A timer: that sets theamount of duration (centuries/ decades/years/months/days/dates/minutes/seconds). Aprobability amplitude knob which allows the protagonist to select how wide aprobability spectrum they want the camera to reach out into.
Benedict, Scientist Molly, Administrator Nolan, Crossword solverBut alongwith the prop, what are the evidences from this ﬁctional world that areessential to help people suspend disbelief, explore the possibilities, and ultimately tie itback to their own experiences and realities? we created stories of three people whomight use the camera to photograph their mundane lives. Stories of three people whowere given this camera:
Benedict, Scientist Molly, Administrator Nolan, Crossword solverFirst up, its Molly, the administrator
Molly works for the Housing Department. Most of her days are spent answering callsfrom angry citizens, and planning for the weekend. When a colleague tells her about the5th Dimensional Camera study, she decides to participate "for a laugh". The scientistsbring the camera and set the timer for seven thirty the next evening and instruct her towrite down the most memorable event of her day on the board provided. She must sitfacing the camera when it ﬁres. More out of curiosity than cooperation she follows thestrange instructions and waits.
As the camera ﬁres, it brings back images of what Molly might have done in other worlds.Most of them seem equally mundane... except for something like a ﬁre, or someone else inher place, or her not being there at all.
except for something like a ﬁre, or someone else in her place, or her not being there at all.
close up of Idaa closer look... Each image is time stamped illustrating that they were taken parallelworlds at the same time.
Benedict, Scientist Molly, Administrator Nolan, Retired Civil Servantthen moving on, lets explore the story of Nolan... the retired civil servant
Nolan lives in a small ﬂat by himself in north-west London, spends his time reading andsolving crosswords in the evening paper. One evening a small advert catches hisattention. A group of scientists were looking for participants to live with a 5thDimensional Camera for a few months. He reaches for his phone and soon the camera isstanding awkwardly in his living room.
Nolan starts by taking photographs of the empty corridor outside his ﬂat. And soon hisattention turns from reﬂecting on the world outside his window, to a fascination in theimages of the many worlds revealed outside his door.
close up of Nolana closer view starts exposing a probable dark world...
Apart from the IMPACT! exhibition where the work and stories were shown...
A LEVEL STUDENTS WORKSHOP, LONDON 2010During the exhibition we had a workshop with A level students from York, who camedown to visit the exhibition and drew many scenarios of what it might be like to -groups imagined where scenarios where they might use the 5th dimensional camera
including one idea which was to put it way out in space, looking at the earth, to betterunderstand climatic changes, probabilities for ﬂood, asteroids and even formation ofnew continents.
CHELTENHAM SCIENCE FESTIVAL, CHELTENHAM 2010Cheltenham was a big hit for us - taking the project out of the ‘art exhibition’ context,into new areas, amazing responses from children.
“I quite like the 5th Dimension camera it is cool”
“I quite like the camera exhibition. It was so interesting I forgot to stay with my group.”
SECRET GARDEN PARTY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE 2010We found ourselves in a unique music festival, in the heart of cambridgeshire, with itsown lake, river and landscaped gardens, Amongst the unusually dressed there was anunmatched curiosity and penchant for quantum physics.
LOVEBOX MUSIC FESTIVAL, LONDON 2010The Lovebox music festival too - much bigger - in London, we were surrounded byvisitors less like ourselves.
And ﬁnally, the project will be showcased at the Museum of Modern Art, New Yorkalongwith another one of our projects, in its upcomin exhibition ‘Talk to Me’.
“I think the greatest advance that were going to make is to construct a new way of thinking about how the world operates.” Seth Lloyd, MIT Photo Credit: Henry Yuen, http://cipher3d.wordpress.comI’ll leave you with this nice quote by Seth Llyod
Thank You Jon Ardern John Rarity Fiona Raby Simon Benjamin Anthony Dunne Andrew Briggs Ujjwal Panchal Sabrina Maniscalco Charlie Tims Suzanne McEndoo Ida Karolina Soder K B and Mina Jain Vijay and Meghal Arya www.superﬂux.in | Twitter: @SuperﬂuxFinally there’s the project’s photographs being exhibited outside, do have a look.Big thanks to Jon Ardern, my partner in crime, the QIPIRC scientists and all thosewho helped on the project.