Like Pearls by Morehshin Allahyari is an animated and interactive mash-up of the Farsi spam Allahyari receives in her mailbox.
The ‘ Quantum Parallelograph ‘, designed by Patrick Stevenson-Keating, is a bizarre medical-looking white device made to translate our invisible inner workings into various languages interpreted by industry experts. The information produced by the machine is related to various invisible and external realities: our possible lives in hypothetical parallel universes. By appointment with Stevenson-Keating everyone can customize their “Parallelograph” so that its output becomes relevant to the user. The start button initiates an online search of data of the user’s possible parallel lives while simultaneously displaying Young’s double slit experiment: a photon of light passing through a double slit, refracting and multiplying itself on the bright display. Some contemporary theories about the existence of parallel realities speculate that the passage through the two slits is a connection between universes, and the photons are interacting with their parallel versions. The device combines this symbolic visual representation with a short textual printout of the information discovered. The texts are probably generated via a selection of sources that mention the name of the user. The artist’s aim is to make certain physical principles come alive that are otherwise difficult to understand, here encouraging the imagination of multiplied lives in inaccessible places. The piece effectively uses personal narratives to make complex physical concepts comprehensible. It makes possible a synthesis of recognizable reality, science and illusion from which comes the awareness that ours may only be one among unimaginable numbers of dimensions.