On the Appreciation of NanoArt

Johnson Gao January 23, 2008 Obviously, NanoArt is still a very new word today (when this article is written). That word may have not yet been collected into most of commonly used English dictionary. The definition of NanoArt has be nicely and accurately claimed by Cris Orfescu as : “A new art discipline related to micro/nanosculptures created by artists/scientists through chemical/physical processes and/or natural micro/nanostructures that are visualized with powerful research tools like Scanning Electron Microscope and Atomic Force Microscope.” Refer to a website below: http://www.crisorfescu.com/nanoart.html As one can see it clearly that NanoArt is a combination word with two parts: Nano and Art. From the quantity point of view, “nano” (that part has four letters) seems a little more important than “art” (that part has three letters). It is true that without “nano”, there will be no such an “art”. What is “Nano” means? My understanding for that part is: nano=nano meter. Here, we can see From Wikipedia, briefly to say, a nanometre or nanometer, symbol nm is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre or one millionth of a millimetre, written in scientific notations as 1×10−9 m or 1/1,000,000,000 metres, or 39.37×10−9 inch, or 10 Ångström. It is also the most common unit used to describe the manufacturing technology used in the semiconductor industry.

Nano may also means Nanotechnology, that refers broadly to a field of applied science and technology whose unifying theme is the control of matter on the atomic and molecular scale, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the fabrication of devices with critical dimensions that lie within that size range. It is a highly multidisciplinary field, drawing from fields such as applied physics, materials science, interface and colloid science, device physics, supramolecular chemistry (which refers to the area of chemistry that focuses on the noncovalent bonding interactions of molecules), self-replicating machines and robotics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, biological engineering, and electrical engineering. Much speculation exists as to what may result from these lines of research. Nanotechnology can be seen as an extension of existing sciences into the nanoscale, or as a recasting of existing sciences using a newer, more modern term. It is pleased to know that the NanoArt 2007 INTERNATIONAL ONLINE COMPETITION artworks showcased for large audiences. 37 nanoartists from 13
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countries and 4 continents sent 121 NanoArt works to this second edition of the international competition. Public online voting is now open through March 31, 2008 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/index.php?cat=9

And a blog of review has been sent to my e-mail box. The reviewer has selected four art pieces of his preference. Refer to a URL below: http://blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=802 From artistic point of view I also like those four images that Roland Piquepaille had picked up. I know very little about the background of that author. Maybe he is an art reviewer, or, high credential amateur art appraiser. However, it seems to me that Roland Piquepaille might have no deep root in nanotechnology, because that, among four pieces he selected from 121 pieces of NanoArt submitted
http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=58&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=55&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=48&pos=1 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=52&pos=0 there are only two pieces contain obvious nanostructure and other two pieces are either have little (diffused) or almost only with rudiment of recognizable nanostructure. So, from NanoArt point of view, if “Nano” should have 50% weight in “NanoArt”, just as what I had said in the beginning of this article (four letters in “Nano” viz. three letters in “Art”) an appraiser of “NanoArt” shall stand higher than a conventional “Art” appraiser. Thus, the new discipline of art requires artists to learn nanotechnology, at least the basic knowledge of nanostructural classification. It also requires nano technologists to study art and to master artistic techniques that may be used to let audiences to know the significance of their nano work better. Unfortunately, when I visited the voting page on the other day, my impression got from those art pieces with higher stars voted was that a large number of voters are still staying at pure art point of view instead of “NanoArt” point of view. Of course, we could not ask too high at present time, since I believe that most of so called 37 “NanoArtists” are still newcomers to this field. They are not as like as the founder of “NanoArt” - Cris Orfescu, who is both a good artist and a good nanostructure researcher. You can see how he had produced many top “NanoArt” pieces with extreme beauty but without sacrifice the original scientific value of nanostructure. “Eye of Science” by Terisa
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selected by Roland Piquepaille has got over 140 votes with average 4 stars show here once more with that link. http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=55&pos=0 To me it is a very nice and peculiar common art piece, thoughtful and beautiful, but it has some distance to be qualified as a top “NanoArt” piece when added the weight of “Nano” to it. On the other hand, to my eyes, Chris Roberson’s images http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=62&pos=2 (20 votes to date, average three stars) and http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=62&pos=0 (23 votes to date, average three stars) and http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=62&pos=4 (18 votes to date, average three stars) their counts are much lower than 140 vote, 4 stars in compared with above mentioned page, can be considered as real “NanoArt”. He is the rare person among others that an artist had joined nano research actively. Furthermore, let me jump out from the circle of contributors of this competition, Johnson Gao’s images: http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=46&pos=1 (Only 8 votes to date, average 2 stars) and http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=46&pos=0 (Only 14 s to date, average 3 stars) are belong to the un-modified (natural status, but structurally enhanced) “NanoArt”. The former one is superficially look like very low quality image, but, it is actually an “antique” “NanoArt” image (produced 25 years ago before the term “Nanotech” was popularly known, and it was far earlier than many advanced graphic softwares were invented.) with super high magnification that careless viewers may even did not pay attention to that while voting it. People know that an antique piece of China recovered from a sunken vessel may look ugly or over simplify, but it may have great historical value.

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So, there is a problem set before us to evaluate any special piece of NanoArt. What are the reasonable criteria? My un-refined suggestions are as follows: 1. What is the percentage containing of nano-image in the “NanoArt”? (similar to 24K gold or not.) 2. What is the difficulty to produce the image through the procedure to produce that nano-image? 3. What is the artistic function in the “NanoArt”? 4. Are those artistic procedures to be used to enhance the value of the original nano-image or only to do the distortion? 5. What is the significance of the whole “NanoArt”? Or, is it only to use fragment of nano-image to decorate a conventional art piece? After viewing the majority pieces in this contest, I feel they can be categorized in five groups: (with some URL pages as samples) Group A: Plain natural nano-image which has artistic value by the beauty pertaining to itself, or, the image was touched with negligible color adjustment, etc. http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=69&pos=1 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=36&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=46&pos=2 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=60&pos=1 Group B: Nano-image with artistic modification to increase the quality or the pleasant visual accessibility of the original image. http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=46&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=46&pos=1 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=60&pos=0 Group C: Nano-image with artistic modification to distort the original image in order to get some artistic flavor or to increase its beauty. http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=45&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=56&pos=1
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http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=58&pos=3 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=58&pos=4 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=42&pos=1 Group D: Only tiny amount of fragmental nano-image was used to decorate a conventional art piece and then call it a ‘NanoArt”. http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=35&pos=2 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=53&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=52&pos=2 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=55&pos=0 Group E: “NanoArt” by name only (without or with almost no realistic or clearly visible nano structures in it). http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=33&pos=1 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=54&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=50&pos=1 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=59&pos=0 http://nanoart21.org/nanoart2006/displayimage.php?album=37&pos=0 Above classification may not be very true to them. That is only my personal opinion. I have referred all of them for you guys to search them for easier. That may help them to consider how to evaluate a “NanoArt” piece based on equality of Nano (50%) and Art (50%). Notice shall be also paid to the difficulty and complexity in obtaining the original nano-image and its scientific meaning in putting stars to a NanoArt. Finally, I should point out the fact that there really has a task in front before us, which asks artists to learn Nano, and nanotechnologists to learn art. Or, make cooperation between those two parties. Only then NanoArt will be more flourished and fairly evaluated. Raise the spontaneous NanoArtists or NanoArtreviuwers to conscious ones. May Mr. Cris Orfescu and his NanoArt be glorious in the near future!

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