Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 8 - Nanotech + Art

This week's topic was the intersection of nanotechnology and art. The primary point of interest for this topic is in the way that modern science's ability to manipulate matter on a level that is not visible to the naked eye has affected the way we experience the world around us, including artistic pieces. "Nanotechnology" is a very broad term that can essentially refer to anything one so chooses as long as it involves very small components. The prevalence of this kind of technology brings into question whether long-standing human perceptions of reality are truly accurate compared to new found understanding of the makeup of objects on the atomic level.

Gimzewski and Vesna, The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of fact and fiction in the construction of a new science

One thing I found interesting about this week's material is the incorporation of this new understanding of how things around us are composed on a small scale, and the adaptation of this understanding to the creation of new artistic pieces. The pieces in the John Curtin Gallery ("art in the age of nanotechnology") are compelling because they showcase the beauty of the tiny and unseen, and illustrate things that are invisible to the naked eye in a visible manner.

"A Mote it is...1" image
"A Mote it is...1", from the John Curtin Gallery

My personal favorite example of nanotechology in action is superhydrophobicity. Materials are modified on the molecular level to be more hydrophobic (repel water). An example is shown in the video below:


Image 1 - Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vesna. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science." The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016.

Image 2 - "Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." Art.Base. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016.

Video - UltraTech International. "The SECOND Official Ultra-Ever Dry Video - Superhydrophobic Coating - Repels Almost Any Liquid!" YouTube. YouTube, 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 May 2016.

Crichton, M. (2002) World Briefing | Asia: China: Science Nods To Dinosaur Fiction. New York Times, 11th December, p. 8.

Whitfield, J. (2002) New Bug found on bug: Marine microbe sets miniaturization records. Nature, Science Update.

Gao, Zhengxin, Miaolian Ma, Xianglin Zhai, Ming Zhang, Deli Zang, and Chengyu Wang. "Improvement of Chemical Stability and Durability of Superhydrophobic Wood Surface via a Film of TiO 2 Coated CaCO 3 Micro-/nano-composite Particles." RSC Adv. 5.79 (2015): 63978-3984. Web.

Gimzewski, J. (2002) Nanoarchitectonics. IN: The Proceedings of The Second International Symposium on Nanoarchitectonics using Suprainterationcs (NASI2), University of Califonria, Los Angeles, 26-28, March.

1 comment:

  1. I made the same point in my blog this week about how science has gotten to the point where they can actually manipulate the matter itself in order to create new forms of beneficial technology. The technology that they have developed has made its way into the consumer market and the example you talked about with the ability to repel water is something I have actually seen in person and this weeks materials made me realize the technology that went into it!