Jonathon Keats – June 11, 2013

Jonathon Keats
“The Quantum Bank”

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 6


Unprecedented Quantum Banking System Will Reconcile Economics and Physics… Novel Technology Exploits Famous ‘Schrodinger Cat’ Phenomenon… ATM Prototype Scheduled For June Installation…

A pioneering new banking system in Rockefeller Center promises to fix the world economy by bolstering finance with quantum physics. Fueled by atomic decay, a prototype quantum ATM will be installed in the basement of 20 Rockefeller Plaza on June 11th under the direction of experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats. The public is invited to test the new technology during an exclusive 96-hour trial period.

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 2

“The problem with the economy is that it’s Newtonian,” says Mr. Keats, who has previously applied string theory to real estate development. “Over the past century, physicists have learned that the universe is quantum. It’s about time that money started following the same laws as everything else in the cosmos.”

According to Mr. Keats, the Quantum Bank at 20 Rock will be the first financial institution with the technological means to make money quantum, resulting in a nearly infinite proliferation of wealth. “The principles we’re applying have actually been well-established for decades,” notes Mr. Keats. “A quantum particle doesn’t have a definite location unless it’s measured.  It’s everywhere at once, subsisting in a so-called quantum superposition. At the quantum bank, our idea is to achieve the same thing with cash.”

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 3

Anybody will be able to deposit any sum of money at the Quantum Bank. While the deposit is being processed, a uranium-glass sphere will emit an alpha particle into a custom-built cylinder inscribed with seven billion microscopic boxes, each uniquely identified with a single account. Were this process being monitored, the quantum particle would be observed to pass through only one of the seven billion boxes, crediting the deposit to a single account. However the entire quantum ATM is sheathed in metal, preventing any measurement from taking place. The superpositioned alpha particle will enter all seven billion boxes, crediting all seven billion accounts. Supported by this quantum bookkeeping technique, the cash itself will effectively be in a superposition.

“We have enough accounts available to serve everyone on the planet,” says Mr. Keats. “Anyone who wants one can sign up for free. Once you’re in the ledger, you’ll be eligible to collect a quantum banknote whenever a US dollar or the foreign equivalent is deposited.”

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 4

To service the anticipated demand, the Quantum Bank will print and issue its own currency. A face value of “one quantum” will conveniently be equivalent to one dollar. These banknotes can be used wherever they are accepted, or can be redeposited at the bank to generate even more quantum cash.

“What’s surprising is that nobody’s entered into the quantum banking sector before,” comments Mr. Keats. “Even Bitcoin doesn’t use any new physics.” One bitcoin is one bitcoin, regardless of the technology used to mine it.

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 5

Back in 1935, the physicist Erwin Schrodinger proposed a famous thought experiment in which an unobserved cat was both alive and dead, its fate determined by a particle held in a quantum superposition. “We’re just putting his insight into practice, and making it useful for something more noble than torturing animals,” says Mr. Keats. “With quantum banking, we’re setting the new economy in a quantum-economic superposition so that everyone can thrive simultaneously.”

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 1

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 9

Jonathon Keats Engineers Office Gallery 8

Here’s a video of Jonathon explaining his show

Read some articles about the show!

Bankers Are Both Furious and Perplexed About the Quantum ATM, by Michelle Lhooq (Motherboard, June 17, 2013)

What Happens When You Cross Banking with Physics, by Jillian Steinhauer (Hyperallergic, June 12, 2013)

The quantum ATM: Where self-service meets rocket science (ATM Marketplace, June 11, 2013)

Physics-Inspired ATM Deposits Cash Into Billions Of Accounts At Once,  by Leah Gonzalez (PSFK, June 12, 2013)

Artist Installs Uranium-Fueled “Quantum Bank” ATM in Rockefeller Center Basement, by Sara Roffino (ArtInfo, June 13, 2013)

CNET Video

Scientific American

A Quantum Bank Comes to New York, by Rachel Courtland (IEEE Spectrum, June 5, 2013)

Quantum Banking Comes To New York, by Halleh B. Balch (Physics Central, June 5, 2013)

Rockefeller Center Generates Vast New Wealth With Uranium-Powered Quantum ATM, by Bruce Sterling (, June 4, 2013)

How Does “Quantum Banking” Allow Everyone to Thrive Simultaneously? by Jonathon Keats (Science + Religion Today, May 24, 2013)

Why Banking Needs Quantum Physics, by Jonathon Keats (Big Think, May 22, 2013)

Quantum ATM Multiplies Your Money, by Jesse Emspak (Discovery News, May 8, 2013)

Forgeries, Pheromones and Clones: Ten Questions for Jonathon Keats, by Matthew Rose (The Art Blog, May 13, 2013)

CNET Article

Fast Company’s Co.Exist


One Response to Jonathon Keats – June 11, 2013

  1. Casie says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted
    to say excellent blog!

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