QUANTOPIA: THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNET

by Paul D. Miller aka DJ SPOOKY

QUANTOPIA premiered in January 2019 to a sold out house at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

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 has created a multimedia journey exploring the network evolution.

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. DJ Spooky creates live loops and layers of sound, enveloped by data visualization, live strings and youth choir singing lines from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The hour-long experience illuminates ever-present issues of inclusion and exclusion, echo chambers and small-world phenomena,

Commissioned by Internet Archive; a Hewlett 50 Arts Commission funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Produced by Sozo Artists with additional support from Sozo Impact, Inc.

“With everything he does, he recombines information so that he can make new points, get across new ideas. He hopes his work entertains — and instructs.”

— CNN

Internet Archive & DJ Spooky’s QUANTOPIA

Internet Archive & DJ Spooky’s QUANTOPIA: The Evolution of the Internet
A Multimedia Hip Hop Concert Experience About the History and Exponential Growth of the Internet
Composed and performed by Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
Visual design by Greg Niemeyer
Additional visual design by MEDIUM Labs and Roger Antonsen
Featuring Classical Revolution and San Francisco Girls Chorus, conducted by Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Artist Statement: An acoustic portrait of the Internet

“All is Number” – Pythagoras

The mathematician, philosopher and philologist Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz famously wrote, “music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting.” It’s a simple and elegant way of summarizing how much we as human beings use numbers to navigate the world that surrounds us. When I came up with the title Quantopia, I wanted to figure a way to show how much numbers influence all aspects of our data driven society – in a song.

DOWNLOAD ARTIST STATEMENT

QUANTOPIA – THE VR EXPERIENCE

Featuring multiple HTC Vive stations, this custom virtual reality experience puts the participant inside the internet’s vast network.  The participant interacts with and controls the nodes, becoming a “virtual reality DJ” in a sense, “remixing” the networks within, creating a multi sensory immersion of the complex interwoven digital world we are part of.

Sound Design by DJ Spooky
VR by MEDIUM Labs