Atoms & Art

The word nano is Greek for “dwarf.”  A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.  It was only in 1981 that an invention called the Scanning Tunneling Microscope allowed scientists to see the topography of atoms. What has this to do with art?  A lot, if such visuals are used as inspiration.

Today we attended a symposium at Curtin Uni entitled strange futures: collaborations that make nano-art. What an inspiring few hours. (The experience was cut short as we ended up taking it in shifts… Bean didn’t find it quite as enthralling).

For me, the most fascinating thing about these forms of art is the paradigm shift that occurs as the audience recognises that the piece is science-based but oh so pretty.  The exhibits in the gallery where just scintilating.  It’s great that there is no sense of explanation around the works – it’s all about the engagement of the audience.  And suddenly, science is art.


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