Designing Nano-Media Across Disciplines: Circular Genealogies and Collaborative Methodologies at the Optical Frontier

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Smart Materials

Presentation Title:

  • Designing Nano-Media Across Disciplines: Circular Genealogies and Collaborative Methodologies at the Optical Frontier

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • (Long paper)

    Keywords: nano-optics, research-creation, art-science, interdisciplinarity, emerging media, nano-media, iridescence, biomimicry, media history, materiality.

    This paper draws on a collaboration between scientists, an artist, and a media researcher to produce ‘nano-media,’ a media surface designed at the nanoscale, to examine the interdisciplinary methodologies and circular genealogies of emerging media. Based on nano-optical structures and optical variable devices, the scientifically innovative technology uses many analog techniques to construct a new kind of material that can produce striking iridescent images and simultaneously store covert information. The first goal of this research was to use these novel optical nanostructures to create a cover for the periodical PUBLIC. This paper details the project as it moved from conceptual exploration to the prototype and manufacturing stages, considering the specific hurdles of translation between fields, the production challenges, and the points of intersection that brought the team together. By situating nano-media in ‘retro’ techniques of image production – including analog cinema and photography – the paper also provides a point of entry for artists and humanists to engage and participate in the imagination and innovation of media built at the nanoscale. Finally, through the lens of nano research, the paper challenges the ‘art-sci’ moniker to reflect a more fluid and multiple crosspollination of fields as we design the media of the future.

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