The use of technologies like VR, AI, and especially, Quantum Blur (QB) in art is only at an early stage, and thus, in a phase of experimentation and discovery of their potentials, possible outcomes, and consequences. The artworks currently produced by Roman Lipski are instances of an ongoing exploration of these emerging landscapes - in a literal sense, as a landscape painter, and also metaphorically, treading on the new territories that these technologies bring about. For this reason, this exclusive 4-day showcase focuses on the complex and collective process that the creation of these works entails rather than on finished works. The rooms at the Julia Stoschek Collection become a living atelier where the artist and his collaborators will be working on site, as well as a tentative display of artworks that will be worked on during the exhibition. The show is thus an “exhibition about an exhibition to be” – in a yet indeterminate future.
The show is divided into three thematic rooms that displays Lipski’s multifaceted survey of landscape painting through experimental media. The first room or “atelier” is an adapted version of the artist’s studio where he will be working on his current QB project with quantum software engineer Marcel Pfaffhauser and composer Kimin Han. The second room is dedicated to AI, a technology which Lipski, in collaboration with the art collective YQP and the AI company Birds on Mars, used to produce pioneering works collaboratively especially from 2016 to 2021, raising questions about the possible AI- human symbiosis in art production. The third room hosts the artworks that Lipski and his team are producing using QB, VR, and the sound program Max/MSP. Through these transformations, a 2D digitalised landscape painting is extruded through QB, becoming a new 3D landscape that the visitors can travel into through VR. This visual voyage is a sound journey as well, since Han is able to modulate experimental sounds according to the visual parameters of each pixel (hue, saturation, brightness, and height in the QB topography). Is this the first time that landscape painting can be perceived, not from an orthogonal, distant, perspective, but from its inside, in a broad sense? Since this immersive experience unequivocally challenges the Greenbergian flatness of the painting, could it be considered a form of virtual theatre in the terms of Fried?
The questions, quagmires and paradoxes that Lipski encounters approaching these hybrid, digital-physical landscapes belong to a broader discussion that society is facing with the new technological statu quo. To make this discussion public, a series of lectures and open discussions featuring Lipski and his collaborators (scientists, quantum engineers and artists), academics, and students from Berlin universities, will be held. The title of the show is a homage to science fiction legend Philip K. Dick, whose oeuvre often speculated on the nature of reality and its, according to him, multiple, overlapping worlds (or landscapes). In How to Build a Universe that Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978), he refers to the existence of an unchanging, ancient landscape that underlies every other realm a human mind can inhabit. Could that permanent dimension be the event horizon of the current proliferation of electronic world-making?
Roman Lipski: ‘This Permanent Other Landscape’ has generously been homed at the Julia Stoschek Foundation independent
of their official program.
Polish born, Berlin based painter Roman Lipski (b. Nowy Dwór Gdański, Poland, 1969) is a pioneer in the field of quantum art thanks to his collaboration with Quantum scientists Dr. James Wootton and Marcel Pfaffhauser, and the mentorship of scientists Dr. Walter Riess, Dr. Mira Wolf-Bauwens and the late Stephan Schneider. His contemporary works are created using Quantum Blur which encodes paintings into quantum states, and allows their manipulation by interference patterns using quantum operations. His creation with quantum technology led him not only to reinvent his own visual language, but also to approach new themes and experiment with different forms of representation. Lipski is currently exploring ultra large formats in his painting and the uniquely shaped ‘canvases’ and ‘worlds’ (digital, 3D, textural) developed with Quantum Blur.
‘There were two main motivations [for developing quantum blur]. One is that there weren't many qubits to work with at the time. Whether using quantum hardware or simulating, we were stuck with less than 10. So I wanted to find a way to pack as much into as few qubits as possible. So that was one reason for my use of an amplitude encoding (which is the technical term for this genre of shoving information into qubits). Another was that applying simple quantum gates should have an interesting and 'natural seeming' effect, evolving the images through the wave-like nature of quantum mechanics’.
- Dr. James Wootton
Lipski’s technological experiments dissect the interplay between art and science in a way that promises new forms of creativity and inspiration, a tantalising prospect. His book ‘Superpositions’ published by Distanz Verlag presents this new cycle of works as well as a wide-ranging cross section of work from the past 16 years.
Laura López Paniagua
Laura López Paniagua is a writer, curator, and academic. In 2020, she published her first monograph “Mike Kelley: Materialist Aesthetics and Memory Illusions” (Mousse Publishing), and has also written for institutions such as the Venice Biennale (2019, May You Live in Interesting Times) and TATE modern (2024). She has worked at the Schinkel Pavillon, collaborating in exhibitions such as Sun Rise / Sun Set (2021), HR Giger - Hans Bellmer, and some of their upcoming program in 2023. She finished her Ph.D. at the Freie Universität, and has taught at the Art History Concentration at Bard College Berlin since 2019. She currently lectures internationally and is pursuing her Habilitation (2024).
Kimin Han studied (MA) contemporary music composition and computer music in South Korea. He developed a strong interest in acoustic-phenomena, using it as raw material, to be revealed through his work directly, having faith in the modern interpretation of Korean traditional music that he inherited. Han has studied media arts at "Hochschule für Gestaltung - Karlsruhe" since 2019, freely exploring, combining and disassembling various media in order to realise his artistic fantasy, challenging new areas, such as sound visualisation, and sound installation. He is also continuing his musical research with a focus on sound spatialisation.
Marcel Pfaffhauser studied computer science at ETH Zürich. He finished his Master in Theory of Computing in 2011, before doing research in the field of Quantum Information Theory at the USI in Lugano. Afterwards he took additional educational courses and then worked as a Software Engineer using Unity for 5 years with a focus on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Gamification. In 2020 he joined IBM Research in Zurich to work in the Europe Community Team, where he works on a variety of outreach activities. Several of them are focused on quantum games, or making quantum computing more accessible to game developers, artists and hobbyists.
Dr. James Wootton
Dr. James Wootton received his PhD from the University of Leeds in 2010, for work on topologically ordered systems and their use for quantum computing. He then worked on topological quantum error correcting codes at the University of Basel until 2018, when he joined the Quantum Technologies group at IBM Research – Zurich. In 2016 he created a citizen science project aimed at helping the public get involved in quantum error correction research, and also started to use the quantum computers that IBM had just put on the cloud. This led to him joining IBM Research - Zurich in 2018. At IBM he continues working on quantum error correction, with a focus on using it as the basis for benchmarks of near-term hardware. He also looks into how quantum computers might be useful for the task of procedural generation, and is a major contributor to the Qiskit textbook.
23 February 2023
6–9pm, Opening Reception
Registration required: https://forms.gle/CFTACw1mgDpCGo4J6
24 February 2023
Experimental Lecture Series
This Permanent Other Landscape – Challenges of the Emerging Digital-Physical Statu Quo in Art, Science and Society
In this experimental lecture series, the artist, his collaborators, academics in the fields of Art and Science, specialists in art, and university students come together to discuss pressing issues that technologies such as AI, VR, and quantum computation bring about. With the kind support of Bard College Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Registration required (limited seats): https://forms.gle/fTeQUpeB5gMYnVZm9
Programme to be announced shortly: https://www.romanlipski.com/current
25–26 February 2023
12am–6pm, exhibition open to the public
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