The Probable Universe

There is no concrete reality, only the potential for an infinite number of outcomes, but nothing is ever decided until someone observes it.

The Probable Universe is an interactive audio-visual installation generating an infinite combination of projected worlds in a physical environment using an industrial robotic arm. In order to present the concept we have scripted 4 films using the generative visual and audio components.

The Probable Universe is born from the insight that ‘all the matter of the universe is made up of atoms and subatomic particles that are ruled by probability and not certainty.’ (Brian Greene)
The concept study has been inspired and driven by the strange and fascinating principles of quantum mechanics and string theory, a potential theory of everything. String theory predicts the existence of a multiverse, the idea that an infinite number of universes exist parallel to ours. With The Probable Universe convivial is looking to uncover the different layers and hidden dimensions of these alternate worlds.

A projector is mounted on a robot that autonomously moves through the space, focusing its gaze on different areas and objects, revealing and superimposing content with a mapping application. The textures created are generative and allow for an infinite number of possible worlds and stories you can see within the space. The robot, acting from a point in our observable universe, uncovers the ways other, hidden universes may differ from ours. All matter is in a constant state of flux and particles are observable to the bare eye, making visible the underlying forces of the different worlds and referencing the building blocks of our quantum world.

According to the Copenhagen interpretation, particles exist in all possible states at once in a blur of probability. Only when observed a particle is forced to choose its state. The installation reflects this concept as the physical space is overlaid with a potential digital world. This layer is in a perpetual change until the robot looks at it through the magical lens of projection, which is when the final state is revealed within the limit of the projector lens.

What we witness is an uncanny scene from a future exploration of The Probable Universe where ‘everything that can happen does happen.’ (Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw)

See more about the project at Universe


Photography : Robert Klebenow
Model : Jana Sachse from No Toys
Make-up Artist : Anna Borho from Nicola Weidemann
Sound design : Omri Azaria
Kuka robot expert and help : Massimiliano Fago and Davide Rosa
3D modelling and set construction support: Anne-May Abel
Project Assistants : Isabel Webb and Eli Block
Robot, location and support : Dipl.-Ing. Siegfried Müller Druckgießerei


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