Quantopia: The Evolution of the internet

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 & high stakes of free speech and creative expression involved in our daily use of media. Teaming up with Internet Archive, 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 a fresh perspective to the 50-year evolution of information technology. DJ Spooky creates live loops and layers of sound, immersed in 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.
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DJ Spooky creates 3D visuals and triggers sounds in VR using a custom app designed by MEDIUM Labs, backed by live acoustic musicians and singers, effectively creating a live “internet symphony” onstage.

DJ Spooky creates 3D visuals and triggers sounds in VR using a custom app designed by MEDIUM Labs, backed by live acoustic musicians and singers, effectively creating a live “internet symphony” onstage.

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”. By “remixing" the networks within, the participant architects a multi sensory immersion of our complex interwoven digital world.

Sound Design by DJ Spooky

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Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky is a composer, multimedia artist and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. His written work has been published by The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum, among others, and he is the Editor of Origin Magazine. Miller’s work has appeared in the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture; the Ludwig Museum in Cologne; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries. Miller’s award-winning book “Rhythm Science” was published by MIT Press 2004, and was followed by “Sound Unbound,” an anthology about electronic music and digital media, in 2008. “The Book of Ice”, an experiential visual and acoustic portrait of the Antarctic, was published in 2011 by Random House.

Miller has collaborated with a vast array of recording artists, ranging from Metallica to Chuck D; Steve Reich to Yoko Ono. His large scale, multimedia performance pieces include “Rebirth of a Nation,” “Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica,” which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the Next Wave Festival 2009, and “Seoul Counterpoint”, written during his residency at Seoul Institute of the Arts in 2014. Miller was the first Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he premiered his work “A Civil War Symphony” in 2013. In 2014, Miller was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, an honor recognizing visionaries at the forefront of global problem solving.  Recent projects include “Peace Symphony,” commissioned by UN Peace Boat, “Hidden Code,” a new planetarium show commissioned by Dartmouth College in collaboration with Museum of Science Boston, “Forest Symphony” commissioned by Oregon State University, the CD/DVD of “Rebirth of a Nation” on Cantaloupe Music, and the publication of his fourth book “The Imaginary App” from MIT Press.

Miller is the 2017-2018 recipient of the The Hewlett 50 Arts Commission Award which supported the creation of "Quantopia," a multimedia performance and a VR installation based on the history and evolution of the internet, which premiered in San Francisco in January 2019. Latest album releases include "Phantom Dancehall" with premier reggae label VP Records and his first blockchain album "The Invisible Hand" commissioned by Breaker.io.

For more information about DJ Spooky, please click here.