Week 9\Nanotechnology\Amy Chen

Through trying to understand the Art in Nanotechnology I looked up articles in which would better explain what it was.  Of course we’ve learned that the nano size is one billionth of a meter or the human hair is 50,000 nanometers.  One article in particular was done by National Geographic, which became even more surprising when they started mention the University of California…UCLA and then Victoria Vesna.  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/12/1223_031223_nanotechnology.html It’s crazy to see her involvement in this movement.  Even while looking for other articles, her work has been repeatedly documented and is actually quite wide-spread.  I liked this analogy from the article best in describing the shift in reality in understanding matter. 

“The technology marked a paradigm shift in how scientists analyze miniscule matter, allowing them to record shape by tactile sensing instead of viewing it, much like a blind man reading Braille, only on the atomic scale.” 

What seems to bring everything back to beginning was the familiar feeling that I have heard or seen the examples of art in nanotechnology listed by National Geographic.  Sure enough it was Professor Vesna’s pieces that she had shown us in the first week of class.  It was funny reading the descriptions about a mandala and immediately connecting it to Professor Vesna’s work.  Although she has shown us her work and described it, it’s nice to read it’s direct link to nanotechnology.

“Images of a grain of sand are projected in evolving scale from the molecular structure of a single grain to the recognizable image of a pile of sand. In this bottom-up method of visual image building, the mandala slowly emerges.”

Since the article was written in 2003, I looked to see if any new nanotechnology art have been recently created.  

One piece I did enjoy is this piece done by Fanny Beron because as she says, it reminds us that nanoscale research can have unpredicted consequences at a high level. It shows catastrophic scenes through the use of an electron micro-graph.  The idea of an analogy from something so small to linking to a concept that can affect us on such a large scale is interesting yet scary.  

Also, while randomly esearching through more nanotechnology articles I came across this http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science/2008/05/at_the_new_york_times_and_glob.php which is fairly recent, done in 2008.  It states that they have found long nanotubes, “one of the wonder materials of the new age of nanotechnology,” to carry a health risk similar to that of asbestos, a wonder material of an earlier age that turned into a scourge after decades of use when its fibers were found to cause lung disease.”  It is certain types of carbon nanotubes that are used in small but growing number of Space Age applications that if inhaled - could even pose a cancer risk.  Although we are understanding matter through a different lenses through newfound technology of nanotechnology, we have to realize the certain risks that come about.  It’s scary to read this and reminds me of the picture posted above, “nanoscale research can have unpredicted consequences at a high level”

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