The feature of a quantum system whereby it exists in several separate quantum states at the same time.
SHORTLISTED | Quantum Shorts 2022
Using old-school visual effects techniques, Director Kevin Lucero Less creates a metaphor for the arrow of time in this abstract short film. Through a macroscopic lens, the increase of entropy is observed in real time.
At the microscopic level, the direction of the arrow of time is less obvious. For more about the kind of research being done at the intersection of quantum physics and thermodynamics, read this piece by Quanta Magazine: https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-universal-law-that-aims-times-arrow-20190801/
Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Kevin Lucero Less. I'm a writer, producer, director, actor, cinematographer, editor, music composer, and special effects coordinator. My professional disciplines span equally between: film, theatre, painting and photography.
How did you come up with the idea for your film?
The film was inspired by time and its place within the wonder and beauty of the cosmos of which we are infinitely surrounded. It also relates to entropy – the second law of thermodynamics states that entropy always increases with time. In the film, we observe this in real-time as a minute measurement of pure warm ink is dropped into a magnum body of cold water.
What is the quantum inspiration?
It comes from the question: Why does time pass? In the macroscopic world, the arrow of time advances. But in the microscopic world, when for example, you magnify to the level of one molecule colliding and bouncing off another, the arrow of time disappears. It would not be apparent which way was forwards and which backward. This was something first appreciated by the Austrian physicist-philosopher Ludwig Boltzmann.
What makes you interested in quantum physics?
I have always been interested in quantum physics and the attempt to measure the building blocks of our natural universe. I’m intrigued by the “code” cloaked within energy, how it works, and more mysterious – what is its origin? It’s as if the universe was created by an ingenious hand, where nothing is arbitrary.
Please share with us an interesting detail about you how made the movie.
The film was produced by implementing old-school practical effect techniques, such as the cloud tank shot, made famous by artist Douglas Trumbull. This technique was key on such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Poltergeist (1982). This consists of, in my case, a large aquarium filled with cold tap water, flanked by several lights, some using kinetic actions. Warm ink was applied to the surface of the tank with an eyedropper, creating a composition of positive and negative space. Vintage 1970’s Nikon F lenses were used to film the tank, such as the 50mm f1.4 and the 105mm f2.5, Non-AI.
What reaction do you hope for from viewers?
I hope they enjoy the film and find it beautiful in technique and concept. As it is an abstract art piece, I wish for the viewer to bring their own answers and sensibilities to a satisfying conclusion.
What is your favourite science-inspired or sci-fi movie?
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972), Panos Cosmatos’ Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010), and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin (2013).
What does being a Quantum Shorts finalist mean to you?
Being selected as a Quantum Shorts finalist is a great honour. I’m so very grateful for this opportunity. Honestly, when I submitted my film, I was not expecting a positive response due to the experimental, abstract – non-conventional – presentation of the concept. Thank you so much for the chance at a global audience.
Kevin Lucero Less is a multi-Award-winning artist / actor / filmmaker, whose films have been included in hundreds of international film festivals – including Sundance and Sundance Institute at BAM. His works are included in several Art Museum Permanent Collections – including The Tucson Museum of Art, University of Iowa Museum of Art, and MOCA Tucson. He has been published in dozens of magazines and books – including Travel + Leisure, Studio Visit, and New American Paintings. His films have been exhibited in several International Museums and Art Festivals – including The New Museum of Modern Greek Culture, Museum of Modern Art Buenos Aires, and Burning Man Festival.