wave function collapse (2019)

video with sound and choreography
Paul Mitchell, video; Mauriah Kraker, choreography; Warren Enström, sound

wave function collapse is a thirteen-minute video work featuring the glitchy, textural spreads of color created by visual artist Paul Mitchell. As the video proceeds, large swaths of color mutate, shift, and transform organically as the textures on screen seem to come alive.

The soundtrack of the video is created live, synthesized from the video's own projection. Using light sensors to capture the brightness of the video, the sounds adapt in real time, being live mixed by a human performer. Two plexiglass sculptures stand facing the projector, wires scraggily outwards like some alien creature.

wave function collapse features choreography from Mauriah Kraker. Just as the video's soundtrack directly emerges from the video itself, Kraker's movements evolve from her listening to the soundtrack during the performance. The result is the three-stage transmission of the content of the video: first into light, then into sound, and finally into movement.

A wave function collapse occurs when a quantum particle is observed. As soon as a quantum particle's speed or position is measured, the wave function describing that particle collapses, providing a solution to the function which is otherwise a dense cloud of probabilities. By attempting to observe the world, we change how it exists in the first place.

Video with audio and photographic stills from the performance are below. Performance documentation is by Paul Mitchell. Photographs of the sculptures are included at the bottom of the page.

Content warning: the videos contain strobing light and rapid light changes.

Mauriah Kraker, back arched and arms raised above her head, bent with sharp angles at each elbow, is projected upon. Yellow-green and gray-blue light and black spots are in the background. Wires from the sculptures are seen on the left of the photo. Mauriah Kraker stands straight, her arms thrust above her head, against the projection screen. Blue, yellow, red, and green are projected on the wall, as well as lines of black and white.

Mauriah Kraker sits on the stage, her knees to her chest, her right arm supporting her posture, the left curled into her chest, hand reaching out towards the camera. Mauriah Kraker is silhouetted against the projection screen, which is impressionistically dappled with reds, blues, greens, and purples.

One of the sculptures of wave function collapse, made out of transparent plexiglass with long wires sticking out the sides and top. Another of the sculptures of wave function collapse, made out of transparent plexiglass with long wires sticking out the sides and top.