New Real Estate Boom Caused By String Theory

By Thomas Herold in Scientific Background on October 25th, 2006 / No Comments

Conceptual Artist Discovers Undeveloped Acreage Through Latest Particle Physics … Plans to Sell Prime California Properties for Under Ten Dollars … Exclusive Public Offering at San Francisco’s Modernism Gallery Scheduled for November 16th …

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ — Reconciling quantum mechanics and general relativity, string theory is seen by the most sophisticated physicists as an emerging theory of everything. Now the most advanced land speculators are looking at the same mathematics — and calculating the greatest real estate opportunity since Columbus arrived in America.

While Columbus was a shrewd businessman, the latest terra incognita has been discovered by a conceptual artist with considerably less financial acumen. “I wasn’t really looking to make money,” confides Jonathon Keats, whose previous art projects have included such commercially dubious ventures as an attempt to genetically engineer God at UC Berkeley. “I’ve always lived month to month, as a renter. I never considered owning land, let alone becoming a developer, until I had a good close look at the nature of spacetime earlier this year.”

According to string theory, spacetime is more extensive than people ordinarily experience. Beyond the customary three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, there are six or seven additional dimensions, accommodating the complex vibrations of miniscule strings. “The strings’ vibrations give rise to matter, but that’s beside the point,” says Mr. Keats. “The important thing is that real estate in cities from San Francisco to New York is selling at a premium, unaffordable to many, and here are half a dozen or more extra dimensions of space, just going to waste.”

Mr. Keats, working in consultation with leading researchers including Shaw Prize-winning cosmologist Saul Perlmutter, realized that rights to develop in these extra dimensions could be bought very inexpensively. “The legal framework was already in place,” he says. “People like Donald Trump buy and sell air rights over city buildings all the time. If the third dimension is negotiable, the higher dimensions must be as well.” Accordingly, the artist/developer bought extra-dimensional rights to his first property, a flat in San Francisco’s exclusive North Beach district, on August 19th. While the lower-dimensional space is valued at approximately $1,027,000, Mr. Keats purchased rights to the extra dimensions, with a legally-binding contract, for a mere $5.00. He has since bought higher-dimensional rights to five other properties in San Francisco and Marin County for between $1.80 and $15.00.

“Nobody really wanted the rights,” Mr. Keats recalls, “and I guess that I can understand why.” The extra dimensions, like the strings vibrating in them, are very small, many orders of magnitude smaller than an atom. “They’re a bit inaccessible by conventional means, but they’re everywhere, so you could build in them quite expansively with fine enough plaster or maybe bricks.” Mr. Keats admits that such materials are currently beyond the reach even of the latest nanotechnology, but he isn’t worried. “Actually, the way to look at the real estate in these extra dimensions is as vacation properties.”

To make up for the inconveniences associated with the scale of the higher dimensions, Mr. Keats proposes that there are more of them than there are lower dimensions. “You can really spread out,” he says, demonstrating the design potential with four-dimensional architecture that he has drafted for these extra-dimensional spaces. Complete blueprints will be on view at Modernism Gallery, where Mr. Keats will offer a portfolio of properties, subdivided into uniform lots, beginning on Thursday, November 16th at 5:30 pm. What will happen after that, the artist won’t predict. “This is a highly speculative market,” he says. “But somebody had to put string theory into practice.”

Jonathon Keats is a conceptual artist, novelist, and critic. For his most recent project, at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, he exhibited extraterrestrial abstract artwork. He has also attempted to genetically engineer God in a petri dish, in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, and petitioned Berkeley to pass a fundamental law of logic — A=A — a work commissioned by the city’s annual Arts Festival. He has been awarded Yaddo, MacDowell, Ucross, and MacNamara fellowships, and his projects have been documented by KQED-TV and the BBC World Service, as well as periodicals ranging from The San Francisco Chronicle to The Boston Globe to New Scientist. He is represented by Modernism Gallery in San Francisco.

For more information visit:

Jonathon Keats

Share/Bookmark this article

Link to this article
Found this article useful? Please consider linking to it. Simply copy and paste the code below into your web site (Ctrl+C to copy).
It will look like this: New Real Estate Boom Caused By String Theory

Add Your Comments: