Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Dance Of Quantum Entanglement?

First of all, a disclaimer. I am not artistically literate. While I love watching dance moves, I can clearly admit that these avant garde dances are way beyond me, and something I don't get. In fact, I feel that way as well with many modern paintings and sculptures, but that's another story.

So when I first heard about this dance performance called "Spooky Action", my first reaction was "Oh no!", and my second reaction was "How are they doing to bastardize QM to show it in a dance performance?" So yes, I already had a huge bias against it and didn't have quite a high expectation, not in terms of the dance performance itself, but in the "message" that they were trying to convey.

It appears that the first performance of such a dance was performed, and I just finished reading a review of it.

Spooky Action begins in a blackout with a disembodied voice proclaiming, “I am a particle.” Seconds later, the voice identifies itself as a physicist. Which is it? Particle or physicist? And who are the dancers? At times, their actions suggest the random movements of particles in an accelerator; at others, the desperate and often unsuccessful attempts of human beings to connect with one another. When Paul Struck demands “Particle or wave?” with increasing vehemence and urgency, he seems to have adopted the persona of the scientist himself.

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!

I often would like to ask those who come up with such concepts as to the actual reason for it. I'm very sincere about this. I'm very curious as to why someone would choose such a difficult topic, and try to present it as a dance form. Is it because he/she thinks that he/she can accurately convey a visual representation of the concept? Was there a goal to "educate"? Or is it simply an "application" of the concept as a metaphor to something else, as what appears to be the case here. In other words, what exactly is the expectation here? Or do they simply throw things up in the air and simply let it fall where ever they may be?

I suppose it is "nice" that physics and physics ideas have permeated into the artistic realm. It exposes it to people who may not have either heard of it, or indifferent about it. However, this can also be a double-edged sword. If you present it in such a way as to bastardize it into ways in which it becomes unrecognizable, then I think that that causes more harm than good. The awful movie "What The Bleep Do We Know" isn't going to be used as a marketing tool to promote physics, no matter how much it exposes the general public to concepts in quantum mechanics.

BTW, if this was done by high school students, or even as a parody, it would have been a stroke of genius! I would love to attend something like that.

I fully expect a dance performance to next present their interpretation of tax accounting.


1 comment:

felly said...

Tax accounting dance sounds fun. Haha.. I bet it's about metaphysical connotations that Quantum Weirdness seem to give.
May be they should do the LHC play instead, going for the shock factor.