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Nanoart - Invisible Nanotechnology Abstract Art

Updated on February 29, 2012

An Example Of Nanoart

photo by cambridgeuniversity-engineering on Flickr
photo by cambridgeuniversity-engineering on Flickr

Far below the visible spectrum lies a world of atoms and molecules that cannot be discerned by the naked eye of mere humans. Nanoart is pushing the boundary of artistic expression in order to create small masterpieces of nanotechnology art on a scale that is unprecedented in its compression. If the Whos of Whoville had art in their living rooms then it would probably be nanoart. Dr. Suess was far out on the cutting edge of scientific and literary thought when he wrote Horton Hears A Who about a society of Whos who existed on the nanoscale. Nowadays, nanotechnology is being realized as a reality as scientists of varying specialties continue to research the seemingly infinite number of applications. With improvements in nanotechnology microscopy equipment, such as the scanning electron microscope and the atomic force microscope, it is now possible to more accurately position and manipulate nanometre-scale building blocks, leading to such creations as molecular motors and nanocars. Nanotechnology can be a destroying force and be turned into nanoviruses and nanoweapons, or, as is the case with nanoart, it can be harnessed to provide a new canvas for artists to develop on into the 21st century. Things are really as beautiful below as they are above, and the emerging galleries of nanoart and microart are revealing just that.

The AFM, or atomic force microscope, has been an important tool in the field of nanotechnology as it has inspired a great number more of scanning probe techniques. These improved imaging devices make it possible to see what has never been seen, and for that reason they are a primary reason for the nanotechnology explosion. Electron beam lithography is the other side of the coin, which allows labs to manipulate and manufacture nanostructures like never before. The scanning probe imaging devices are the camera for the nanoart photographer, and the lithography devices are the chisels and paintbrushes. n Feynman's lecture "There is Plenty of Room At The Bottom," he discussed writing volumes of text on nanotechnology levels. Modern nanoart can now be produced that is small enough that museums of it could be etched onto the surface of a sewing pin. One of the most talked about nanoart/microart pieces might be the "nanobama" which is a collage of about 150 million carbon nanotubes that together produced the world's smallest presidential portrait. Professor John Hart, at the University of Michigan's Mechanical Engineering Department, created the nanobama during the 2008 presidential election that Barack Obama took. However, at about 500 micrometers across and being only the size of a period in average text, that nanoportrait is now a little on the large size as things are getting smaller daily. With envisioned femtotechnology science, it might be possible that humans one day reach the limit to this atomic manipulation, but at the moment there are infinite horizons to explore in the nano medium.

Things On The Nanoscale Easily Become Art

photo by d- on Flickr
photo by d- on Flickr

Nanoart Often Not For Sale

Nanoart is becoming increasingly popular and is making its way into art galleries and art museums worldwide. There are many online and offline exhibits that one can peruse to get a feel for what is currently being produced in the nanotechnology arena. Any modern art collector must have at least one piece of this breakthrough nanoart in his collection. There are not too many artists producing this type of work so you can be assured that any such work is a rare art piece indeed. Nanoart expresses a collector's exquisite taste in art as well as his intellectual understanding of nanotechnology and the physics behind the world. Nanoart is in.


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    • againsttheodds profile image

      againsttheodds 5 years ago

      Nomascu, thanks for the read. Invisible art does seem to be a misnomer, but it is only invisible to the unaided eye. The time and tools necessary to create some of the nanotechnology nanoart is what adds to the value of a piece. Someone has to spend time using multi-million dollar atomic force microscopy (usually at a rate charged by the hour) or the like to produce the masterpiece. The beauty of even just the most natural nanoscale level materials is amazing.

    • Nomascus concolor profile image

      Nomascus concolor 5 years ago from A Country called Earth

      Did not know about nano art, good interesting hub with a different view on art. Invisible art! It is very paradoxal for art! Thanks for sharing, voted up

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 6 years ago from Northern California

      Voted up and interesting. There's an extraordinary piece of micro-art in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. It was created long before the invention of the AFM. Read about it here.