Well, if we’re talking about Schrödinger’s cat—both. In quantum theory, wave-particle duality is a property of elementary particles, meaning they’re both a wave and a particle at the same time. The particle’s behaviour is dictated by its wave function, and the basic idea is that the act of observing the particle actually collapses the wave function and forces the particle into one state or outcome. So, an unobserved particle exists in all possible states simultaneously. To demonstrate how utterly odd and paradoxical this idea is, Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment in 1935 where a cat is locked in a box with a radioactive atom, which is connected to a vial of deadly poison. If the atom decays, the vial smashes and the cat is killed; but if the atom doesn’t decay, the vial stays intact and the cat lives. The cat’s state is tied to the atom’s wave function, and while the box is shut, we can’t see whether the atom has decayed or not, so the wave function hasn’t broken down into one outcome. The unobserved event is therefore both outcomes at once—the cat is simultaneously both dead and alive. This is called the “Copenhagen Interpretation”, but it’s not unanimously accepted. Some physicists suggest that observation causes the universe to split—while you see a live cat, another version of you in another universe will see the dead one. Splitting universes, cats that are both dead and alive, atoms that know when they’re being watched… Quantum theory is weirdly awesome.
When photographer Sandro Miller decided to do a project to honor the photographers who had inspired him and shaped his career, he called on his longtime friend and frequent collaborator John Malkovich to help him. The result is Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, a brilliant series of 35 recreations of iconic portraits, all starring the actor as the subject.