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Adventures in Quantumland


An increasingly diverse community of researchers worldwide is currently tackling the challenges of understanding and finding use cases for the new computational paradigm of Quantum Computing (QC). In this dissertation, the author explores the implications of QC for new modes of artistic creation, with a focus on music composition and performance. Chapter 1, "Looking-Glass House,” provides a conceptual framework for the dissertation, reflecting on the role of the creative artist with respect to the dialogue between science and art. The author offers a brief overview of modern computer music tools as well as a survey of recent work in the field, relating music and visual arts to Quantum Mechanics and QC. Chapters 2 and 3 focus, respectively, on what the author terms Quantum Computing Aided Composition (QAC), and Quantum Computing Aided Design (QAD), including a discussion of what QC can offer to the artist-researcher. This dissertation also introduces "The QAC toolkit" software package that allows musicians and artists to build, simulate, and run quantum circuits using the Max visual programming language. Chapter 4 analyzes the techniques and aesthetic choices, inspired by and making use of QC, present in "The Gedanken Room" film-recital. Through research-based writing, original software, and the production of a film-recital, "Adventures in Quantumland" engages both with the artistic and QC community, exploring avenues for the development of new QC-based tools informed by realtime creative practices.

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