Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nanotech and Art

Depiction of how small a nanometer is
It’s funny how science attempts to answer the universe’s most complicated questions, but often time ends up raising many more than it answers. At first glace, nanotechnology doesn’t seem all that daunting, after all it’s just an incredibly small form of scale, but after looking more deeply into it’s applications and how absurdly small the technology gets, it’s impossible to wrap one’s mind around it. One of the most famous Nano scientists Sir Henry Kroto said, “a nanometer would be the size of a human head compared to Earth.” The majority of people haven’t been to space so it’s fairly hard to imagine how big the Earth really is, but it could be understood that a human head is practically infinitely smaller in comparison. As far as unfathomable sciences get in relation to art, Nano science could be one of the best forms to benefit.

Book cover of Crichton's novel
Famous American author Michael Crichton is well known for his works in science fiction. Many of his best selling novels have reached the next level of production, being implemented into movies. This science has benefited greatly by the adoption of art forms by depicting the possibilities of Nano technology in novels the eventually turn into movies, video games, and finally making its way into the collective conscience of the public. What Crichton depicts in his artworks is today’s science fiction, and most science fiction in the past has become today’s reality. If ancient civilizations were introduced to a phone call they would believe the phone to be a conscious being. This thought has led many to believe that what Crichton illustrates in his novels will one day become true. In his cautionary novel Prey, swarms of nanotechnology bots are given artificial intelligence and seek to self-replicate and take over their hosts. In today’s society this seems farfetched, but just like primitive civilizations being amazed with today’s technology, the futures technology will be nothing short of unbelievable by todays measure.

A swarm of people
In Jim Gimzewski and Victoria Vesna’s essay “The nonomeme syndrome” they explain the human race as a swarm within a swarm. That the human body and all of it’s complicated inner parts are made up of swarms of cells, that create humans, which are swarms of pople on Earth, and will eventually explore the universe. In relation to Crichton’s novel depicting a swarm of nanobots attempting to take over the human race, the human race itself has been a swarm of microorganisms taking over the Earth. To comprehend and attempt to explain the scale of nanoparticles to what the human eye can see is a mind-boggling process. The science is fascinatingly hard to imagine, but with the help of art depictions from novels, movies, and video games, it becomes a little easier to comprehend.

"What Is Nanotechnology?" Nano. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2016.
Holt, Jim. "It's the Little Things." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2002. Web. 23 July 2016.
"The Art of Nanotech." Bits The Art of Nanotech Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.
"What Is Nanotechnology?" Nano. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.
Curtin, John. "Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." Art.Base. N.p., 2009. Web. 22 May 2016. <>

"Green CulturED Cannabis College." Medical Marijuana Glossary. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2016.
"Prey." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2016.
"Swarm Intelligence Reveals a Challenge Facing Self-Driving Cars - UNANIMOUS A.I." UNANIMOUS AI. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 July 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brandon! I enjoyed reading your blog post. The part I found most interesting was the analogies you used to describe nanotechnology. The image comparing the nanometer, tennis ball, and Earth made me realize just how small the nanoscale really is. I agree with your statement that it is difficult to understand how incredibly small of a scale nanotechnology is based on! Upon watching the lectures, the first thing that had popped into my mind was "Just how tiny are these things?!" It truly is amazing how nanotechnology can create such effects despite its components being so microscopic!