During this crisis of uncertainty generated by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the election of the next president of the United States I find myself in deep reflection in taking actions to adapt. While the impact of the pandemic for me has been relatively light compared to those in high risk environments I am grateful for the opportunities that these times have established to seek post traumatic growth, to seek enough meaning in all of this as to benefit the future. As an artist this has given me time to review past materials in my video collection to find new meaning in projects that have otherwise laid dormant for years. I have reconstructed these materials and added new supplemental material to create my response to the current level of uncertainty. Simply put, I am trying to put a positive spin on our current situation.
“Quantum Spin” is a hybrid of both camera captures of real events and digital processing these events into forms inspired by quantum mechanics. While scratching the surface of Niels Bohr’s theories I found an interesting connection to Cubism:
“Bohr read the book by Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes on cubist theory, Du Cubisme. It inspired him to postulate that the totality of an electron is both a particle and a wave, but when you observe it you pick out one particular viewpoint.”
Cubism inspired Bohr to create the Complementarity principle, where by an electron is both a particle and a wave. Further, another principle, Quantum entanglement, created a famous debate between Einstein and Bohr, in which Einstein called this “spooky action at a distance”.
“Quantum entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects have to be described with reference to each other, even though the individual objects may be spatially separated. This leads to correlations between observable physical properties of the systems.”
However, over the years since, scientific experimentation has proven however strange, that entanglement exists and more recently scientists are finding that quantum entanglement may be a key ingredient to teleportation. “Beam me up, Scotty!”
“Quantum Spin” is a collection of images of objects spinning in real time and time-lapse from as far back as 2015. A number of objects were placed on a small electro-magnetic levitation device to rotate them for the camera. These included the pin side of an Intel Pentium Pro chip (circa 1995), various virus shaped LED spheres, a rubber model of a dragon, and a tiny bust of Ankhesenamun. Other more recent spin captures include stirring fresh coffee, my neighbor’s rotating antenna, a local kinetic sculpture of a 1930s plane traversing the globe, a coiled wire, a pin wheel, and wind spinners.
The music for this piece which I call “Aurora Bohr-e-Alice” is based on mimicking ancient idioms that rely on circular breathing to articulate sounds such as the Australian Aboriginal didgeridoo and Tuvan throat singing. While composing a voice for these images I wanted to address the spinning motion of the objects shown by echoing the idea of rotation as in circular breathing to the spins of sub atomic matter. Circular breathing embraces a musician’s skill at controlling air to create long sustained tones over extended time frames. I designed two basic voices on my Yamaha synthesizer, one to act as a drone to create a bass line and offers some midrange melodic shifting overtones and the second voice residing in the tenor to alto range that offers colorful modulation of the upper natural harmonics. The design of this scheme is not unlike a bagpipe where there are drone pipes and a chanter or melodic pipe.
Camera, Original Music & Editing by Phil Loarie
Camera: Sony HDR-CX500v and Sony FDR-AX700 camcorders
Editing Suite: Sony Vegas Pro 17 on Dell XPS 8900, Intel i7-6700K 32GB, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 2 GB (Run Time 03:16, Render Time 15:32)
Audio: Yamaha S08 synthesizer and a Zoom G2.1u effects pedal.
Shot on location in the City of San Luis Obispo, California from March through October 2020 with older shots from 2015 through 2017 from both Richmond and San Luis Obispo, California.
Post Production: Chumash Village, San Luis Obispo, California, October 2020.