Entanglement (working title) is a collaboration between STAGE and Assistant Professor Tian Zhong to develop a new theatre project about quantum entanglement. STAGE has been working with physicists, game designers, motion capture and mixed reality experts, martial and performing artists, along with UChicago faculty, postdocs, grad students, and undergrads to activate their quantum imaginations.
STAGE is investigating whether cooperative and competitive game play can help provide the imagination with an understanding of the core principles of quantum physics. Led by Professor Kawalek, Dr. Russell Ceballos (Chicago Quantum Exhange) and Chemistry and Game Design student Ahit Kaan Tarhan, the quantum games research group is an interdisciplinary team playing and analyzing existing games as well as inventing, prototyping and playtesting adaptations and original game ideas.
STAGE has also developed exhibits for the Field Museum’s Night of Ideas: Alive! event hosted by the Consulate General of France in Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry's Columbian Ball which have helped STAGE test interactive play and the concepts of superposition, entanglement and teleportation with general audiences.
In summer 2020, STAGE tested its work process via Zoom for the first time with a team of professional artists, scientists and students pictured below from left to right starting with the top row: Giau Truong, Sunanda Prabhu-Gaunkar, Professor Nancy Kawalek, Livia Guttieres, Mark Habert, Myra Su, Kimberly Dixon-Mays, Irene Hsiao, Sophia Hororwicz, Ellen Askey, Christopher Knowlton, Dr. Supratik Guha and Dr. Tian Zhong.
The Entanglement project began in 2019 when the STAGE team traveled to The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Complex and The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong to work with media artist Jefrey Shaw, Chair Professor at the City University of Hong Kong, martial artist Oscar Lam, visual artist Victor Wong and Hing Chao who founded the Hong Kong Martial Arts Living Archive. The initial inspiration for the project came from Professor Shaw’s museum exhibit Kung Fu Motion and Professor Zhong’s scientific research.
- In Kung Fu Motion, Professor Shaw employed motion capture and other cutting-edge technologies to bring a long-deceased kung fu master, and his singular techniques, back to life on film. The digital wizardry of Shaw and his team enabled the culture and traditions of martial arts and of Hong Kong to be preserved, communicated, and passed down to future generations.
- In its meaning, “kung fu” (功夫) conveys the notions of energy and time. Energy and time are two fundamental concepts in science, and in Zhong’s research on quantum entanglement. These ideas of quantum entanglement, kung fu, energy and time hold tremendous potential for a dynamic theatre piece about science, technology, memory, and heritage. The science of quantum entanglement affords rich material about inexplicable links to the future, while the intangible cultural heritage of kung fu renders inextricable links to the past.
PME Assistant Professor of Molecular Engineering
Chair Professor of Media Art
School of Creative Media
City University of Hong Kong
Entanglement is made possible by: