art in the age of nanotechnology

A Perth International Arts Festival exhibition

Art Exhibition previously on at John Curtin Gallery in Perth precinct, Western Australia, Australia. Published by anonymous on Thursday 11 March 2010. Friday 05 February 2010 to Friday 30 April 2010.

Transjuicer 2 image Transjuicer image Transjuicer image A Mote Eye image A Mote it is... image Nano-Scape   image Nano-Scape image Nanoessence image Nanoessence image Nanomandala image  Nanomandala image Nanomandala image

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The unique works developed for art in the age of nanotechnology operate at the intersection of art, science and technology, demonstrating innovative examples of contemporary art and scientific collaboration.

The exhibition comprises of a series of collaborative projects designed to challenge, explore and critique our understanding of the material world and has brought together artists and scientists from the around the world to present new ways of seeing, sensing and connecting with matter that’s miniscule and abstract.

art in the age of nanotechnology features internationally-recognised artists and scientists such as Christa Sommerer (Austria) & Laurent Mignonneau (France); Paul Thomas (Aus) & Kevin Raxworthy (Aus); Mike Phillips (UK); Boo Chapple (Aus) and Victoria Vesna (USA) & James Gimzewski (Scotland).

Boo Chapple
Can you hear the Femur Play?
Bone audio speakers at the nano scale.

Over the past three years Boo Chapple has been working on a project to make audio speakers out of bone. The development of this project involved working with the piezoelectric nature of the bone matrix in order to cause bone to vibrate in such a way as to generate audible sound. Ongoing research and the presentation of Transjuicer has been motivated by the artist’s desire to investigate phenomena occurring beyond our human capacity to sense, and to amplify these interactions in such a way that they are able to be effectively experienced at the human scale.

Mike Phillips
“A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.”
These are words spoken by Horartio to describe the ghost of Hamlet’s father. In this Shakespearian play the ghost is seen but not believed and one is left to wonder if it is just the seeing of it that makes it real – its existence totally dependent on the desire of the viewer to see it. The ‘mote’ or speck of dust in the mind of the beholder both creates the illusion and convinces us that what we see is real. Something just out of the corner of our minds eye, those little flecks magnified by our desire to see more clearly. Yet the harder we look the more blurred our vision becomes.

The whirlwind of data projected within the gallery is rendered invisible by the gaze of the viewer. The more we look the more invisible it becomes, look away and it remerges. A ghost of the mote can be seen in your peripheral vision but never head on. The harder we try to see the truth the less we see.

Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau
Nano-Scape tries to make the nano-world accessible through touch. A wireless magnetic force-feedback interface allows users to touch invisible nano particles, creating an ever-changing invisible sculpture, which modifies its shape and properties as users interact with it and with each other.

Users wear magnetic ring interfaces that are made of strong permanent magnets. When users move their hands over the tables of the installation, strong magnetic forces, repulsion, attraction and even slight shock can be felt. As users try to comprehend the structure of this invisible sculpture through touch, its shape changes and varies, as a direct result of the user’s hand positions and frequency of movements.

Paul Thomas & Kevin Raxworthy
Nano_essence is an interactive audio-visual installation where the viewer interfaces with the visual and sonic presentation through his or her own breath. In the context of the project, breath has a strong conceptual and metaphorical link to a Biblical inception of life. The project attempts to maintain a high quality of authentic data to engage the viewer in a sensorial qualitative experience of quantitative data.

In Nano_essence a single skin cell is analysed with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) to explore comparisons between, life and death at a nano level. The humanistic discourse concerning life is now being challenged by nanotechnological research that brings into question the concepts of what constitutes living. The space of the body can be seen at an atomic level as having no defining boundaries. The proposal for nanotechnology to reshape nature atom by atom develops an interesting debate as to the constitution of life. The Nano_essence project aims to construct a physical experience to examine a spatial envelope between the scientific and metaphysical world.

Victoria Vesna and James Gimszewkski.
Nanomandala consists of a 15min video projected onto a disk of sand, 8 feet in diameter. Visitors touch the sand as oscillating images of the molecular structure of a single grain of sand obtained via a scanning electron microscope (SEM). These images are projected to reveal the recognisable image of the complete mandala, and then back again. This coming together of art, science, and technology is a modern interpretation of an ancient tradition that consecrates the planet and its inhabitants to bring about purification and healing.

Inspired by watching the nanoscientist at work, purposefully arranging atoms just as the monk laboriously creates sand images grain by grain, this work brings together the Eastern and Western minds through a shared process centered on patience.

art in the age of nanotechnology is the inaugural program of IFAS (International Festival of Art & Science), presented with the generous support of Navitas and produced in association with Curtin University’s recently opened Resource and Chemistry Precinct, the Nanotechnology Research Institute and Centre for Research into Art, Science & Humanity.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts and advisory body.

art in the age of nanotechnology is presented as a part of the Visual Arts program of the 2010 Perth International Arts Festival.

Visit the PIAF website for more information on the amazing array of visual arts, theatre, music, film and dance events coming up this summer.