Hacking the Universe

3D prints of quantum fluctuations and quantum vacuum noise, 2015

Frederik de Wilde (BE)

07.08.15 – 01.11.15

Hacking the Universe

What happens when we explore the creative potential of hacking the substrate of our Universe? In quantum field theory (a mechanical model of subatomic particles), the quantum vacuum state is considered as an unlimited source of energy and defined as the lowest energy state of the Universe, yet it is full of ‘life’ like the bubbles in a glass of champagne, with fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop in and out of existence.

Through setting up an innovative lab experiment organised by the Australian National University to measure quantum fluctuations, Frederik de Wilde was able to use the quantum vacuum as a source to generate true random numbers. He extracted quantum vacuum noise from the Universe and rendered the noise as true random numbers and piped these into custommade 3D visualisation software to generate digital 3D models, creating Quantum Foam #1 and Quantum Object #1, the world’s first quantum encrypted 3D printed artworks.


Frederik de Wilde practices on the border area between science, technology and art. The conceptual crux of his artistic processes are the notions of the intangible, inaudible, invisible. It is this interstitial territory that Frederik explores in his various works. Sometimes on the side of the technological, and often in the perceptual and conceptual, Frederik’s art is grounded in the interaction between complex systems, both biological and technological. The indistinct, diffuse, ‘fuzzy’ arena where the biological and the technological overlap and mingle is a productive and favored ground for his projects.


Q and A

What kinds of private information do you think will be valuable in 2050?

Brain activity.

Everyone has a secret. What's yours?

Hack me.

What are the geographic coordinates of your favourite secret place?

Latitude: N 37° 15' 47.0002"
Longitude: W 115° 47' 34.8713"