Week 9/ Nanotechnology/ Tammy Le

How can audiences admire an art piece that they cannot see?  Perhaps that is what leaves observers of nanotechnology art more in awe than in the traditional mediums and styles of the craft.  Nanotechnology combines the beauty of imagination with the technicalities of science to create microscopic art work that is appreciated for both its artistic value and astonishing application of science and technology.  It takes a skillful and creative mind and artist to fuse together art and science and to master the manipulation of matter in a way that conveys colossal impact and messages on such a small, atomic and molecular canvas.  Furthermore, not only does nanotech work with actual microscopic materials, but it also incorporates the concept of such small factors, as Dr. Jay Horris Hall showcases on his nanotech piece about different “utility foglets,” microscopic robots small enough to enter your body and perform different maintenance. Upon researching art work involving nanotechnology, I stumbled upon Dr. Hall’s work and was fascinated by the details he had incorporated in his concept, as well as the imagination it required to compose and mold such an idea.  He explains his idea as imagining a “microscopic robot. It has a body about the size of a human cell and 12 arms sticking out in all directions. A bucketfull of such robots might form a ‘robot crystal’ by linking their arms up into a lattice structure. Now take a room, with people, furniture, and other objects in it — it’s still mostly empty air. Fill the air completely full of robots. The robots are called Foglets and the substance they form is Utility Fog, which may have many useful medical applications. And when a number of utility foglets hold hands with their neighbors, they form a reconfigurable array of ’smart matter’”(http://www.nanotech-now.com/utility-fog.htm).  

He is able to reason and use scientific data and background to help support his project, while using his artistic skills to both imagine the concept as well as illustrate in order for the world to be able to visually see and gain a better understanding of his idea.  He ellaborates on the Foglets by specifying the different types, some of which include the Gobblebot, Nanobot, Brainbot, Zaperbot, Makeupbots, and Barberbots.  All the “bots” have different functions that help upkeep our bodies.  The bot I found most interesting was the Barberbot.  He describes them as as microrobots that “scuttle” over your skin in search of hair to trim.  He proposed that the Barberbots be pre-programmed for a pre-set hairstyle and be able to intelligently remember and perform the operations needed to achieve the hairstyle.  

Dr. Hall not only utilizes the fascinating dimensions of nanotechnology which incorporates science and imagination, but demonstrates how nanotechnology can actually contribute to the improvement of life.  It can be used it an array of way to not only create, but give rise to new technology and methods that will ultimately contribute to benefiting the world.  Much like another nanotech art piece I read about by artist J Sha and ARmark Authentication Technologies who developed a way to use “art as anti-counterfeiting technology” through the creation of Fish.  Fish is an image of a fish on a canvas “smaller than a spec of dust and 1/8th the width of a strand of hair” being 40 microns tall with features as small as 250 nanometers. Created using nanoentonography, it is a new way to safeguard products and brands from counterfeiting by incorporating these microscopic pieces in their products.  Since the creation of Fish is so complex using different microscopic layers of covert markers “mere microns wide”, it is impossible to replicate and therefore serves as a effective authentication system (http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=1743.php).

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.