Jonathon Keats

May 12 - July 30, 2011

With five millennia of history, and a plethora of religious and civil ceremonies, marriage is a popular means of producing families. Yet matrimony isn’t the only method of uniting people, nor even is it the most effective technique. Modern science suggests a far more profound alternative, one that does not operate by religious tradition or civil mandate, but rather bonds couples by a law of nature: quantum entanglement.


According to quantum mechanics, when two or more particles are entangled, they behave as if they were one and the same. Any change to one instantaneously and identically changes those entangled with it even if they’re a universe apart. While the phenomenon has been applied to fields such as military encryption, Jonathon Keats has put entanglement to work for the more worthy purpose of fostering human relations.


The technology is straightforward: exposed to solar radiation, a nonlinear crystal entangles photons. Pairs of entangled photons are divided by prisms. The photoelectric effect translates their entangled state to the bodies of a couple who wish to be united, entangling them in a quantum wedding.


There are no restrictions on who may be entangled to whom. The process is unsupervised. No records are kept. Even those who get entangled will have to take their entanglement on faith, as any attempt to measure a quantum system disentangles it: a quantum marriage will literally be broken up by skepticism about it.


The potential of quantum marriage will be fulfilled by those who choose to engage it. After five thousand years of manmade laws, often exclusionary or punitive, science promises to liberate marriage through technology freely offering entanglement to everybody.

Exhibition featured in:


Mother Jones




About the Artist
Acclaimed as a “poet of ideas” by The New Yorker, Jonathon Keats is an experimental philosopher, artist and writer based in the United States and Italy. He has screened travel documentaries for flora, exhibited extraterrestrial abstract artwork, and attempted to genetically engineer God in collaboration with scientists. Exhibited internationally, his projects have been documented by PBS, Reuters, and the BBC World Service, as well as garnered favorable attention in periodicals ranging from The Washington Post to Nature to Flash Art. He has been awarded fellowships by Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation and the MacNamara Foundation. He is represented by Modernism Gallery in San Francisco.


Image courtesy the artist.