Kristin: During November & early December I was a participant in the ANAT Synapse e-list discussion on nanotechnology and art. For me, there seems to be three main categories at the nexus between nanotechnology and art.
The first is where the study of nanoscience produces striking images that might be considered artistic. A good example of this strand is Peter Liddicoat’s winning work titled ‘Fluidic Evolution of Nano-Particles’ (pictured) in the ‘Prize for Scientists’ in the 2007 NanoVic Nano & Art competition.
The second is where the process of nanotechnology and nanoscience techniques are used to generate art. Blue Morph by Victoria Vesna and James Gimzewski uses nanoscale images and sounds from a butterfly merging from a chrysalis to produce an interactive installation. This installation was exhibited in 2007, so I’m sure there must be more recent examples.
The third category is where the outcomes of nanotechnology (ie applications) are used in creative ways. Leah Heiss’s work at NanoVic on desigining jewellery to administer drugs through transdermal delivery is an example, as is our sponsorship of the Graffiti Research Lab at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 2008.
Where nanotechnology and art is at its most exciting is where the arts/science activity is a true collaboration that produces an outcome that neither the field of art nor the field of science could have dreamed up by itself.