Nanotech art: the medium modifies the message (Kenneth Hurst)

Digital photo frames are becoming ever more popular, better, and cheaper — and for good reason. They’re great for displaying special photos in an eye-catching and convenient way. And as they get better batteries, higher resolutions, better wireless connectivity, and easier remote management, they’ll become not just a conversation piece, but a staple of the high-tech home.

Now imagine what nanotech can do. Rather than an LCD that rotates images, you could have *actual* physical art rotating around.

Nanomanufacturing is the awesome science of — duh — manufacturing things at the nanotech level. Imagine scanning all the great masterworks of museum galleries around the world and being able to re-create them in astounding detail on a nanotech canvas. This canvas would be composed of ‘nano-pixels’, re-arrangable bits that can become any color or texture and recreate faithfully all of the observable detail of any great painting or sculpture.

Some people would certainly see this as de-valuing the original. If the plans for a Monet can be downloaded and essentially 100% recreated in billions of homes around the world at the same time, what’s the point of a museum? Or an original? As was brought up in the first sessions of the class, would there even be meaning to ‘original’? Digital works have already essentially destroyed the idea of an ‘original’ digital work. Nanomanufacturing has the ability to do this to physical art (or anything else physical).

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