Schrödinger is an exercise in frustration: the closer you approach the piece, the more difficult it is to see the subject. A box of one way mirrors encompasses a lit cat. Yet, as the observer approaches the cat, the lights lower. With lessening light, the material of the box becomes more mirrored and obscures the cat until, upon close inspection, there is nothing to see.
Schrödinger is the continuation of a piece I first created in late 2008, when I started at ITP. The piece is inspired by a 1935 thought experiment, Schrödinger’s Cat. Erwin Schrödinger was dubious of trending interpretations of quantum mechanics where subatomic particles having interacted, only collapse into a definite state of being upon being measured. He sought to demonstrate the absurdity of this concept by extrapolating this theory to encompass a cat hidden in a box were its life or death is determined by the state of subatomic particles. If current quantum mechanics were true, then the cat’s state of existence would only be definite upon observation by some external awareness (the scientist).
While it was intended to dismiss such shaky theory, the paradox has gained a hold in the popular scientific psyche. It is now a model used in demonstrating more recent quantum mechanical theories of superstates. Thus, when assigned to create a piece demonstrating analog input (variable values from sensors) I thought to create my own observational paradox, an interactive box where, the closer an individual came to observe the subject, the less visible it would be. While the first two iterations of the piece did not feature an actual cat, once given the time to create the piece as intended, it was inevitable that I would place a cat as the point of stymied observation.
Thank you Dana and Schrö!