Wednesday, May 18, 2016

NanoTech & Art

In it's simplest definition, nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. Professor Vesna describes nanotechnology as something beyond everything we have known, and causes the need to reinvent science. Nanotechnology has the potential to change the world. Dr. Gimzewski, a professor at UCLA, explains that one nanometer is the equivalent of 10^-9, an unimaginably small number. It is difficult to conceptualize or visualize how small one nanometer actually is. 



There were two experimental developments that really put nanotechnology on the map. The first is the development of the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope. Prior to the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope, we had never been able to truly see/image individual atoms, manipulate them. The second experimental discovery was and the discovery of the Bucky Ball. Buckyballs are composed of carbon atoms linked to three other carbon atoms by covalent bonds. This was a form of carbon unknown to man.  



Scientists nowadays use this scale, as nanometer structures are found in nature, specifically in the human body. Physicist Richard Feynman, in his talk "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" suggests that on the atomic scale we have so much room for tiny things, that this could be a new technology that could change the world. Nanotechnology has an impact on energy, agriculture, electronics and countless other scientific fields. 


Art in relation to nanotechnology operates at the intersection of art, science and technology. "Art in the Age of Nanotechnology", an exhibition at the Perth International Arts Festival, consists of unique works that challenge, explore and critique our understanding of the material world. The picture below is called the "transjuicer". This is a project designed to make the bone vibrate to produce audible sound. This is an example of how nanotechnology is used at the intersection of art and science. Nanotechnology brings together artists and scientists from all over the world to better understand and appreciate matter that is minuscule and abstract. 



"Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." John Curtin Gallery. Art.Base. art.base, 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 17 May. 2016. 

"What is Nanotechnology?" Centre for Responsible Nanotechnology. World Care, n.d. Web. 17 May. 2016. 

"What is a Buckyball?" Understanding Nano. Hawks Perch Technical Writing, n.d. Web. 17 May. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Nanotech intro." Uconline. Youtube. Youtube, 17 May. 2012. Web. 17 May. 2016. 

Gimzewski, Dr. "Nanotech Jim pt1" Uconline. Youtube. Youtube, 21 May. 2012. Web. 17 May. 2016. 

Gimzewski, Dr. "Nanotech Jim pt2" Uconline. Youtube. Youtube, 21 May. 2012. Web. 17 May. 2016. 

1 comment:

  1. Great article. I also agree that nano-technology brings science to a new level, and that fuels the development of art as well. In fact, it is quite impress how some artists are trying to get involved in this process in such an early state. But when you look at other disciplines including those mentioned in earlier lectures, artists were able to achieve certain scale of success by doing so.