Sunday, 24 July 2016

Week 8: Nanotechnology + Art

The topic of nanotechnology emerged in the late 1950s, when the renowned physicist Richard Feynman discussed the possibilities of manipulating properties at an atomic level. The term was coined by Japanese scientist Norio Tariguchi. The idea of modifying substances at a molecular level introduced brand new industries and bred new technologies with amazing applications, such as tissue engineering, which created synthetic materials capable of mimicking and supporting biological organs.

Tissue engineering helps support bone regeneration

When first introduced to the topic of nanotechnology and art, I was immediately reminded of another type of art that is arguable performed at a similar, but less microscopic level - micro-sculptures. I first learned of micro-sculptures through the carving of a city on a walnut, and the topic of expressing creativity on such a intricate level fascinated me.

Microsculpture: carving of the colosseum on a human tooth
However, the concept of nanoart is much more complex and involves a much more scientific approach. Professor Vesna and Jim Gimzewski, in their article, suggested that both nanotechnology and media art challenges ordinary perception and tweaks our approach to interpreting reality. This is reflected in many of the art pieces collected on NanoArt21, a website which aims to promote the technological movement and raise awareness for the impact of nanotechnology on our lives. 

An example which provokes this shift in perception is the work by Elena Lucia Constantinescu, a microscopist who was "fascinated by the spectacular microworld when using the image processing software for my micrographs; [and] was astonished by the countless possibilities offered by digital technology to turn the photos into artistic images." The artworks she created through micrographs showcase the building block of reality - but at a level that's invisible to the human eye, thereby challenging our day-to-day perception of reality with our naked eyes. 

Coral Barrier by Elena Constantinescu
Nanotechnology is a field that will continue to impact and transform our lives in the future. Scientific imaging at a microscopic level is a technique which redefines conventional methods of creating art, and contributes to the "Third Culture" that is the intersection of art and science.

Khadid, Jad. Biomimetics in Industrial Design: Bone Tissue Engineering. Digital image. Khadidjad. Wordpress, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 

Micro Sculpture. Digital image. Webneel. Webneel, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 

"Nano Art Gallery." YouTube. Laboratory Equipment, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 

"NanoArt21 Exhibitions." - Elena Lucia Constantinescu, Romania, 2012/Coral Barrier. NANOARt21, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 

"Nanotechnology." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria, and Jim Gimzewski. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science." (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 22 May 2016. 

"NANOART21." Nanoart21, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 

"Can Art Make Nanotechnology Easier to Understand?" National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. “Intro to NanoTech + Art." UCLA, Los Angeles. Lecture.

No comments:

Post a Comment