ZER01NE, Where Technology and Art Coexist


One of the keywords to approach ZER01NE is “entanglement”, a concept that indicates the interaction between qubits, which hold both zero and one as their values. Entanglement is a form of convergence frequently covered not only in computer engineering but in overall advanced technology. While a bit can only have zero or one as its value, a qubit can be zero or one at the same time and entangles with one another to put on speed.

ZER01NE aims to avoid the common way where one more bit means one more unit of computing power and instead to pursue expansion to the power of N (square) through the entanglement between qubits. The start-ups and creators nesting at ZER01NE, therefore, are not simply defined as experts in machine or manufacturing technology, information technology, or pure art or contemporary art. With an identity like a qubit holding zero and one at the same time, they are working together at ZER01NE, the place of entanglement.

Such concept of entanglement pursued by ZER01NE has been quickly advancing already in foreign countries through the convergence between technology and art. Consisting of technology and art majors gathered together to exchange novel ideas, America’s MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab is famous for having suggested initial forms of new technologies such as touch screen, virtual reality, three-dimensional hologram, e-book, and artificial intelligence. Carnegie Mellon University in America is also focusing on entanglement.

A mix of technology and art starts from recognizing the limitations of the existing way of consumption. Though technology itself is rapidly advancing, it is not easy for such advanced technology to permeate into daily lives. Art uses technology for expression, and such technology used for artistic expression moves into everyday life. The reason that the iPhone launched by Apple could be established as a cultural icon is also based on the artistic imagination that iPod and cell phones are combined into one.

Being developed at the MIT Media Lab, the “TRANSFORM” technology expands to the power of N by meeting with art. TRANSFORM is a technology of moving cubes in response to hand motions; the movement of the cubes is also represented in other places by the remote touch transmission technology. The MIT Media Lab invented the TRANSFORM technology to create a moving furniture; as the cubes became artistic tools that move along human hand motions, the scope of its application was expanded.

The encounter between technology and art is both the breakdown of the walls between the two areas and the start of a new change. Art can adopt advanced technology to cultivate new expressions, while technology can study new approach through art. César Hidalgo, the director of the Collective Learning group at The MIT Media Lab, said that, though he mostly asked questions about science, hearing a view from art majors made him realize a different aspect for understanding the essence of the matters.

In ZER01NE, starts-ups that developing 3D printing materials, haptic solutions, values of the local communities, or AI robot service, or analyzing process or equipment data live together with creators in the same place. The creators study application of technology in art by making images mixed with computer engineering technologies and experimenting on the potential of digital materials.