Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 8: NanoTech + Art

This week Professor Vesna discussed the potential of nanotechnology and how it is making rapid progress in our constant boundary-pushing society. It also brings an economic and scientific value that could also have tremendous potential in the art world. This unique form of technology has influence everywhere in the fields of art and science.


Within nanotechnology, nanoparticles are one of the more popular areas. They are commonly found in commercial business and in the field of medicine. They are able to change physical properties of objects such as flammable to non-flammable, liquids to solids, and can create self-cleaning products. They can be found in a number of things these days. As for medicine, nanoparticles are able to accurately select what area of the body absorbs the medicine in order to treat the problem in the best way possible. It is possible that they can reduce the use of chemical treatments on skin and in cosmetics. With this preciseness of attacking, it may allow for them to reduce the use of chemotherapy in the future. Chemotherapy is know for causing damage to the entire body rather than just the small area needed.

Types of nanoparticles

As a form of art, nanotechnology is introducing possibilities that used to be unfathomable. In a project called "Transjuicer", artist Boo Chapple was able to study the make up of bones and transform them into an audio speaker. He learned that by using a specialized voltage, the piezoelectric material(bones) were able to oscillate and make an audible sound. This is a perfect example of how nanotechnology is opening up a whole new world to art that used to not be possible. 


1. Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vesna. The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. N.p., n.d. Web.

2. “Introduction to Nanotechnology.” Introduction to Nanotechnology RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 

3. Ostman, Charles. “Aesthetic Exploration in the ‘Virtual Nature’ of Synthetic Environments and Artificial Ecologies”. Nanotechnology Now. n.p., n.d. Web

4. “Visceral: Interview with Boo Chapple.” N.p., n.d. Web.

5. “When Nanotechnology Meets Art”. Science and n.p., 20 Apr 2011. Web


  1. The project involving Boo Chapple is an interesting look at nanoparticles. His ability to use these nanoparticles to create a cool, functional, and modern use of technology is fascinating. One question I do have is does this process of the "Transjuicer" work on living people or does he use the bones of deceased bodies? Also your insight in how nanoparticles can effect cancer treatment is eye-opening because it allows us to see how much progress has been made towards curing it and how nanoparticles play a large part of that process.

  2. I thought it was interesting how you talked a lot about how nanotechnology has improved society. I thought you made it easy to understand the role that nanotechnology plays in medicine and even entertainment. It is a complicated topic that has made a number of advancements over the years as seen by its applications. Although many don't realize it, it is present in many objects involved in everyday life.