Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 5: NanoTech + Art

At first, I thought the concept of nanotechnology would be foreign to me since I have never taken any classes or read any books that directly addresses "nanotechnology". After watching the lectures of this week, I realized that I have dealt with concepts in nanotechnology as it is a subject area that spans many scientific fields like physics, chemistry, biology and material science. 

To me, nanotechnology feels like a whole new level of reality that became visible and accessible to the human race since the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope. It no doubt has revolutionized science. As a chemistry students, we usually visualize molecules as sticks and beads, but nanotechnology allows us to actually "see" the molecule. It plays a huge role in visualization of nanoparticles. 

Olympic gold
Five interlocking benzene rings
Nanotechnology offered artists a whole new level of platform to work on. Nano Mandala is a piece of artwork created by Professor Vesna and James Gimszewkski. It features images projected on a disk of sand that can be touched by viewers. The image is of a single grain of sand that get zoomed into the nano scale and back. In this week’s reading, it was pointed out that our minds would cut short while dealing with the nano scale simply because it is too abstract from our everyday experience. Vesna and Gimsewkski’s work combines the visual and tactile sense in order to put the experience of diving into the nano scale into perspective that can be understood by most of the audience. 

Nanotechnology also shed new light into some of the principle components of art like colors. In the lecture, one example is an ancient cup that appear to have different colors when illuminated from the outside and the inside. Furthermore, the lecture mentioned that black materials are not black at the nanoscale. The color of the particle can be tuned at the nanoscale according to their size and only their size. So it is possible for identical materials to have different color. Apparently nanotechnology is also able to revolutionize the way we perceive art. 
Absorption spectrum of gold nanoparticles
Nanotechnology has a wide variety of applications in our lives now, offering us with new materials and new ways to deliver drugs. It is important that we proceed cautiously while dealing with nanotechnology in the context of both art and science since we are not clear what harmful effects certain nanoparticles may contain. Either way, art has become a great platform for the public to understand nanotechnology. 

  1. "Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." Art.Base. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. <>
  2. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science." N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.<>
  3. Vesna, Victoria. "Nanotech for Artists Part 2 - Dr. Gimzewski" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. <>.
  4. Vesna, Victoria. "Nanotech for Artists Part 4 - Dr. Gimzewski" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. <>.<>
  5. Vesna, Victoria. "Nanotech for Artists Part 6 - Dr. Gimzewski" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. <>

  1. "Color Engineering." NanoComposix. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.<>
  2. ”Molecules Revealed in All Their Glory by Microscope." N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. <
  3. Vesna, Victoria. “Nano Mandala" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. <>

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