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Quantopia

 
Dj Spooky performing Quantopia

Origins

A celebration of the history of the Internet, QUANTOPIA is a tribute to the depth and high stakes of free speech and creative expression involved in our daily use of media. Teaming up with Internet Archive and data artist Greg Niemeyer, mathematician Roger Antonsen and VR studio Medium Labs, composer/multimedia artist Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky created a multimedia journey exploring the network evolution from 1969 to 2019.

QUANTOPIA, defined as the utopia of quantification —the dream that we can count, measure, and weigh everything and reach a perfect understanding of the world despite its paradoxes— brings new, fresh perspectives on the 50-year evolution of information technology.

Niemeyer and DJ Spooky developed the original concept for the show at a retreat at Stanford University, and proposed it to the Hewlett Foundation for a Hewlett 50 production grant. Together with commissioning agent The Internet Archive, they premiered the project in January 2019 at Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco, to sold-out audiences.

The San Francisco Girls Chorus and the Classical Revolution String Quartet performed the multi-layered score live.

Collaboration

The production of a multi-media event involves many collaborators. The Internet Archive provided the administrative framework for the project, and Andi Fong, an experienced Arts manager, kept the team focused. Sozo Media enabled the production of the event at the Yerba Buena stage.

Roger Antonsen created excellent network simulations and Medium Labs created VR for the second and third movements of the work, which were directed by Greg Niemeyer.

Niemeyer also produced and animated the first movement. He found all the historic video materials of the first movement in the Internet Archive, and he animated the rest of the visuals in Maya, with support from students at UC Berkeley.

The whole event is archived at the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/quantopia

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