Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 8: Nanotech + Art
Before I started learning about this week's lesson on nanotechnology, I did my research on how the study got started. Physicist Richard Feynman gave a talk that coined the term 'nanotechnology.' In his talk, he described a process where scientists would be able to manupulate and control individual atoms and molecules, which is where the exploration into this science began. The reading about the John Curtin Gallery describes nanotechnology as the intersection between art, science and technology. The exhibition comprises a gallery of projects that gives light to a new form of art. This art allows us to see, sense and connect "with matter that's minuscule and abstract." I found Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau invention of the Nano-Scape to be very interesting. Users can touch invisible nano particles through their wireless magnetic force-feedback interface. It creates an invisible sculpture that changes as it is interacted with by users. This innovative technology is something i have never heard of before, and it gives light to another art form through the use of nanotechnology.
Paul Rothemund's TED talk started out discussing the definition of life. He explains how he doesn't know whether life involves reproduction, metabolism or evolution, but what he does know is that life involves computation. He believes in the power of molecular programs. His goal is to write molecular programs in order to build technology. Instead of strictly using cells like most scientists are doing, he is focusing on DNA, RNA and protein to build new languages for building things from the bottom up, using biomolecules. His invention could change technology forever by making things continue to grow. He gives the example of a cell phone continuously innovating through growth. I find his study to be fascinating because it exemplifies how scientists are finding new ways to be innovative and how their findings are influencing art forms such as technology.
Rothemund's determination to innovate is similar to that of Ray Kurzweil, who is bringing his research on information technology to Silicon Valley at the NASA Ames research center. He is creating different programs for graduate students that include nanotechnology. These programs will be applied to energy, ecology, policy law and ethics, showing the importance this technology holds for the bigger picture. Nanotechnology can influence all these different areas that incorporate their own forms of art. 

Anonymous. "Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." Art.Base. N.p., 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 21 May 2016.
Kurzweil, Ray. "A University for the Coming Singularity." A University for the Coming Singularity. TED Conferences, LLC, Feb. 2009. Web. 21 May 2016.
"Making Stuff: Smaller." NOVA. PBS, 26 Jan. 2011. Web. 21 May 2016. 
Rothemund, Paul. "DNA Folding, in Detail." DNA Folding, in Detail. TED Conferences, LLC, Feb. 2008. Web. 21 May 2016.
"What Is Nanotechnology?" Nano., n.d. Web. 21 May 2016.

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