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Down the Rabbit Hole

spin

In physicist Vlatko Vedral’s 2010 book Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information, he gives a story about a painter. The painter walks into his garden and decides to paint the garden in all its minute detail. Upon finishing, however, he realizes that he himself is missing from the painting, so he adds himself. Now, he has the painting he wanted

But a second later, he realizes that the painting is incomplete, because the totality of the situation is: a garden, the painter and a painting with a painter painting. So he starts again, but when he finishes he realizes that also the new painting fails to capture the new totality, because the painting should have a garden and a painting with a painter painting a painting with a painter in it. He starts again and again but never manages to paint the garden in all its minute detail.

If reality cannot be accepted as an object-in-itself to be grappled from the outside, what are the ethical and political implications? If the observer is understood to be an inextricable part of reality, how does this affects our definitions of objectivity, truth, neutrality, bias, etc.?

Is the search for reality like an endless sliding-down-and-into the rabbit hole? Or, is it just a temporary tunnel that can lead to a more stable answer? When and how do we make a conscious decision on any given situation? Welcome to the Rabbit Hole!

Curated by Mengxi Wang, who created this programme as part of her internship at Impakt. The programme was developed in relation to the 2018 IMPAKT theme of Post-truth.

Films in this program