Postcards from the quantum edge

Before I write more (soon), let me express gratitude for visiting the website by sending those sound postcards taken in a mysterious city on the Equator.

I grew up listening to small format analogue records called pocztówki dźwiękowe – singles or extended play records with images imprinted in them – here’s my tribute to this ingenious (and slightly forgotten) invention.

Those tiny bits of footage, taken from my b-roll Singaporean archives, were used to promote an experiment we run this May with Jacek Mazurkiewicz during the one and only Copernicus Festival in Cracow.

We screened Artur Ekert: A Model Kit (the latest installment of the Pioneers series) with dialogue and ambient sounds tracks only – with Jacek creating unearthly music with his double bass and electronic machinery – live! Just like in the old days of silent cinema.

Since our little experiment went way better than we expected, we’ll be thinking of doing it again.

And, perhaps,  even more than once.

This last one, above, we shot with Artur Ekert in Bali. The footage has been never used – awaits its moment.

Pleasures of staring at birds in the post-truth world

My introduction to the world of birdwatching (many thanks to Jędrzej Winiecki, a real pro). Damn cold and windy March morning, but the whole experience – thoroughly addictive!

Myriads of European golden plovers, thousands of Taiga bean geese, some cackling geese, some ruffs, a dozen of black-tailed godwits, one white-tailed eagle, plus twenty or thirty other species. Most of them migratory, in transit to their summer habitats. 

Simple pleasures of staring at birds (Look, there they are!) in the world of post-truths.

Time to buy a pair of wellingtons.

Sound and science hooligans on board

Here it is. Trailer of the latest, seventh installment of the Pioneers series. Artur Ekert DIY. 

Let me quote the synopsis: In 1992 Artur Ekert (b. 1961), a young maverick mathematician and physicist, invented a unique kind of quantum cryptography. Being a recipe for the perfect cipher, it also questioned some common truths about the nature of free will and randomness. Despite being intensively researched the idea remains remarkably challenging and elusive – as does its inventor. This rare movie presents Artur Ekert in his ad hoc habitat, in Singapore.

I hope you’ll enjoy the trailer (and a bonus, below) – the movie premiere soon.

Images – well you’ve seen some of them. Artur, you might know him as well, from our other projects (The Mechanics, Reality Lost, etc.). He’s a famously elusive master of quantum Zen.

The novel element, the killer element indeed, is the original music composed and performed by Jacek Mazurkiewicz, contrabassist, composer, and sound hooligan – the rising star of European jazz and improvisational scene. Just listen to this excerpt.

Jacek and Artur, honor and pleasure to have you both on board in this project. Thanks a million, guys!

PS Yes, we filmed at Rochor Centre, one of those haunting places in Singapore that are silently giving way to so called modernity.

Unfamiliarization of the city of Warsaw

Making familiar unfamiliar. Unfamiliarization. The first step in research of a given culture, they say. It happens so naturally, instinctively easily when we travel, usually providing us with an illusion of understanding. And it is so difficult to achieve when we try to defamiliarize the place we are used to. Here are some attempts of making Warsaw alien again.   

Terraforming planet Earth

Terraforming (literally, “Earth-shaping”) of a planet, moon, or other body is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to the environment of Earth to make it habitable by Earth-like life. (Wikipedia)

The land of overlapping IDs

Niederschlesien, Niederschläsing, Dolní Slezsko, Dolny Ślůnsk, Silesia Inferior, aka Dolny Śląsk. The quintessential Europe. The region which has as many names as identities. Or go back – its identity is something fluent, overlapping, ever changing, and emergent. It doesn’t conform to the framework of national identities, it does not conform to the scheme of borderlines.

Every single square meter of this region changed hands countless number of times.  Last time it happened in 1945, after the WWII, when it became a part of Poland.

Or go back again – last time it happened in 1989, right after the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. The region was abandoned by the state, became a subject of the bold experiment of liberal capitalism – and it is not entirely clear whether it will recover anytime soon.

It was my first visit there – going back in summer.

This is a personal website of Karol Jalochowski, a science journalist, reporter, and documentary film maker of POLITYKA weekly (supported by CQT/NUS).