remiQXing still, 16th september – 16th october 2022, Fiumano Clase, London
Featuring two parodic advertising videos, a series of prints, and glass slime sculptures oozing through the space, “remiQXing still” transforms the exhibition space into a showroom for Libby Heaney’s fictional quantum computing company: QX (Quantum eXperience).
In the exhibition, Heaney’s works act as advertisements, promotional products and merchandise of QX, which enables the artist to investigate both the capitalist narratives around quantum computing as well as its currently overlooked radical potentials.
The future impacts of quantum computing are played out across Heaney’s works in a number of ways.
QX Extended Advertisement, (2022), 5m57s single channel vertical video, no sound, Variable Edition of 5 + 1AP & 1EP
QX Product Launch, (2022), 4m30s single channel video with sound. Variable Edition of 5 + 1AP & 1EP
Tentacle Tangle, (2022), Sculptural seating, Suede, velvet, c-type printed satin, each tentacle is 3m, 7 tentacles and a 1m central core, Edition of 3 plus 1AP & 1 EP
The two QX extended advertising videos invite the audience into the world of quantum computing, by referencing text directly from quantum computing companies. As viewers nestle into the arms of a tentacle beanbag, the QX product launch video for their Hieronymus Bosch-inspired quantum immersive experience is overtaken by glitches and various slimy creatures. The slick public face of big tech is here faltering and rather than presenting a façade of hope and endless possibilities the viewer falls into a seemingly dystopian and uncomfortable experience. The promise of beneficial yet strange potentials outside of our usual binary categories are tantalisingly close. Heaney gives us a glimpse of the potentials afforded by quantum computing and entanglements but there are also warnings of possible pitfalls.
Have QX appropriated the slimy radical core at quantum computing’s heart?
Bear twin worm tentacle (quantum hybrid), (2022), C-type print of scanned watercolour painting manipulated by bespoke quantum computer code on clear acrylic with gold aluminium frame, 38 x 38 cm 15 x 15 in
Bat hand blob wing (quantum hybrid), (2022), C-type print of scanned watercolour painting manipulated by bespoke quantum computer code on clear acrylic with gold aluminium frame, 38 x 38 cm, 15 x 15 in
Pink slime mould hand (quantum hybrid), (2022), C-type print of scanned watercolour painting manipulated by bespoke quantum computer code on clear acrylic with gold aluminium frame, 38 x 38 cm 15 x 15 in
A series of watercolour paintings of hybrid creatures are manipulated by Heaney’s self-written quantum code and printed on transparent acrylic. Revealing the invisible inner workings of quantum computers, QX uses these products to promote their tools.
Originally present in QX’s Bosch-inspired immersive installation, Ent-, they are quantum interpretations of Bosch’s medieval monsters – at once both celebrations and condemnations of taxonomies outside the norm. Situated between heaven and hell, they could be considered prophecies about the future of quantum computing waiting to be revealed.
Hard-sculpted Glass, 27 x 12 x 25.5 cm
10 5/8 x 4 3/4 x 10 in
and it oozed out the machine, (2022), Hard-sculpted Glass, 27 x 12 x 25.5 cm, 10 5/8 x 4 3/4 x 10 in
Mucus unfurling, (2022), Hard-sculpted Glass 6.5 x 8.5 x 10 cm, 2 1/2 x 3 3/8 x 4 in
Better luck next slime, (2022), Hard-sculpted Glass, 11 x 9 x 9 cm, 4 3/8 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 in
Slime flies when you’re having fun, (2022) Hard-sculpted Glass, 9 x 9 x 9 cm, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 in
Kin slime, (2022), Hard-sculpted Glass 6.5 x 3.5 x 8 cm, 2 1/2 x 1 3/8 x 3 1/8 in
Cosmic killer slime, (2022), Hard-sculpted Glass, 10 x 7 x 10 cm, 4 x 2 3/4 x 4 in
Jekyll & Slime, 2022 Hard-sculpted glass, 11 x 8.5 x 11 cm, 4 3/8 x 3 3/8 x 4 3/8 in
Slime teetering on the edge between life and death, 2022, Hard-sculpted Glass, Small: 7.5 x 3.5 x 6.5 cm, Large 10 x 21.5 x 15 cm
Omnipresent slime, 2022 Hard-sculpted glass, 15 x 7 x 14 cm, 5 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 5 1/2 in
Slime matters, 2022 Hard-sculpted Glass 14 x 7.5 x 13.5 cm, 5 1/2 x 3 x 5 1/4 in
Primordial slime, 2022 Hard-sculpted Glass Small: 7 x 4 x 7cm, Large: 13 x 9 x 8 cm
The slime has come, 2022 Hard-sculpted Glass, 28 x 20 x 20 cm, 11 x 7 7/8 x 7 7/8 in
Sticky entanglements, 2022 Hard-sculpted Glass, Small: 8 x 5.5 x 8 cm, Large 7 x 6.5 x 8 cm
Jellyfish out of water, 2022 Hard-sculpted Glass, 8 x 8.5 x 12 cm, 3 1/8 x 3 3/8 x 4 3/4 in
Hard sculpted glass interventions are dotted around the exhibition, placed seemingly incidentally and haphazardly. The slime they represent seeps and oozes around the QX showroom. It has been subverted by outside quantum forces. These sculptures are physical realisations of the slime that invades the QX product launch video, an unsettling reminder of the interconnectedness between the quantum, virtual and material worlds.
ENTANGLE!!, (2022), C-type print with glitches created by bespoke quantum computer code on gold coloured Dibond aluminium, 40 x 60 cm, 15 3/4 x 23 5/8 in
Potential – light, 2022, C-type print with glitches created by bespoke quantum computer code on gold coloured Dibond aluminium, 150 x 100 cm, 59 x 39 3/8 in
UNCHARTED, (2022), C-type print with glitches created by bespoke quantum computer code on gold coloured Dibond aluminium, 60 x 40 cm, 23 5/8 x 15 3/4 in
Potential – dark, (2022), C-type print with glitches created by bespoke quantum computer code on gold coloured Dibond aluminium, 150 x 120 cm, 59 x 47 1/4 in
Cephalopod Alien – quantum deconstruction , (2022), c-type print on Fuji gloss, 30 x 30 cm, 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in, Edition of 10 + 2APs
The corrupted QX adverts are quantum manipulations of CGI renders of slime and quantum computers, put together in a process Heaney invented that references the pluralities of quantum physics. Heaney used data from quantum computing to glitch the image, making it partially transparent and plural.
Similar to the video works there is a pulsating potential waiting to disrupt big tech’s modes of marketing. Printed on gold coated aluminium, they reference the use of gold – materially inert yet visually enticing – in the manufacture of quantum computers. The resulting works invite the viewer into the fictionalised and slightly sinister future that companies such as QX promote.
The glitches may be dystopian to big tech, however from an anti-capitalist point of view they could be seen as positive; prompting us the individual to question what is real, what is imagined, and how will the technologies being explored affect our lives?