Oct 2022
David Young

Quantum Drawings

This artistic project is an exploration of quantum computing, and a meditation on “the new” and its eventual obsolescence. It is an effort to develop an intuition of quantum computing from an aesthetic perspective. Using data generated on a quantum computer, this work is a visualization of the quantum noise that is generated during quantum decoherence.

Quantum Drawings
David Young, Q (4a,4,m1-21,6,8,14,7,5), 2021, 2 editions
Quantum Drawings
David Young, Q 227 (5ab,6,m1), 2022, 1 edition
Project details


David Young


October 13, 2022



This noise is the consequence of examining the values of the machine’s quantum-bits, and the randomness that increases as measurements are taken. Then, using custom software that I have developed, I work with the data to create visual works, in an effort to reveal the unique characteristics of quantum processing. The work also alludes to the quantum metaverse, in which, theoretically, the act of interrogating a quantum-bit causes the universe to split and duplicate.

Background: Quantum computing is a fundamental threat to NFTs and the blockchain.

For its security, blockchain makes extensive use of public key cryptography. This cryptography is virtually impossible to break using classical computers. For example, to break a key of 3,072 bits (the current key size used by OpenSSH), using the combined power of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world, would require roughly as much time as the age of the universe.

But to break that key with a quantum computer might take just minutes.

“There are no accurate predictions on when a quantum computer large enough to break current public key cryptosystems will exist, but the closest expectations estimate the 2030 decade for that event.”

When that comes to pass, will all NFTs will be rendered worthless?

Quantum Drawings
David Young, Q (4c,7,m1-21,7,15,46,15), 2021, 1 edition

About the Artist

David Young has spent his entire career at the leading edge of emerging technologies. Throughout all of his work – from projects at the dawn of the web or using early supercomputers, to contemporary global innovation and artistic initiatives – David has been a champion of new forms of creativity and expression enabled by technology. His current work, using artificial intelligence and quantum computing, explores how beauty and aesthetic experiences can give us new intuitions for emerging technologies. The works are also a meditation on “the new” and its inevitable obsolescence.

David has a master’s degree in visual studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has taught at Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) and Parsons School of Design (New York). His work has been exhibited at, amongst others, Kate Vass Galerie (Zürich), Schierke Seinecke Gallery (Frankfurt), Geste (Paris), CADAF (New York, Paris, Miami), Terrain (Delhi), Institut (London), Anteism (Montreal), NeurlPS (Montreal), Asia Culture Center (Gwangju), and Nanjing University. His works are in collections including Kunstmuseum Bonn and GENAP Collection (Erlenbach/Zürich) (both with darktaxa). His work has been featured in numerous publications and on the covers of Espace and IEEE Computer Graphics magazines. David lives and works in New York and Maine.

Project gallery

Take a look at the gallery of the project end result