The first ever video artwork made with IBMs cloud based quantum computing systems, Cephalopod Aliens is a single screen moving image piece and is also Libby’s first work using IBM’s quantum computing systems as her tool. Libby created a series of watercolour paintings on a deliberately wet surface so the paint behaved as a wave and interfered with itself. She then scanned the physical image and parsed it through the quantum algorithm. All of the frames besides the watercolour images are generated through the quantum effects of superposition and entanglement.

The work was due to be presented at the C3 (Cultural Centre of Cience), Buenos Aires with Mutek and the British Council before the pandemic. A still from this video was sold as a limited edition print with Somerset House Studios.

Please contact Libby for a link to the video.

Libby Heaney quantum images

Cephalopod Aliens seeks to question the boundaries of bodies proposing a fluid and formless alternative to the physical boundaries of living creatures, highlighting entanglements across space. Throughout the video the original cephalopod painting always exists, but due to quantum entanglement between the pixels it is delocalised across the entire picture frame, accessing gateways to other universes it reveals previously hidden perspectives of the original image, until eventually recoheres. It would be impossible to generate this effect with out a quantum computer.