Nanotechnology: Towards New Modes of Display?


Session Title:

  • Nanoart

Presentation Title:

  • Nanotechnology: Towards New Modes of Display?




  • This research project seeks to approach nanotechnology from a new angle and to distance itself from standard treatments of the subject in various forms of discourse such as theory and fiction, where it is more and more commonly broached. Usually, the controversy surrounding nanotechnology is formulated in simple binary terms: either nanotechnology and nanoscience are perceived as capable of speeding up progress, or they are seen as catastrophes waiting to happen. Even though artists such as Albertine Meunier, Victoria Vesna, FElab and Greg Lynn have participated in this debate, its terms are unsatisfactory as each artwork raises specific issues and sheds a unique light on particular aspects of the problem. The point of this project is to look at precise examples in order to examine the strategies and theoretical/methodological tools best suited to an exploration of such works uninfluenced by preconceived ideas and pre-existing discourses. Particular attention will be paid to the exhibition shown in Reims in 2009 as part of the nuit numérique (a night-long event focusing on digital culture and art) at the Centre Saint-Exupéry. This exhibition aimed at making complex installations and artworks more accessible while bearing in mind the audience’s unusal expectations in a venue which is neither a science nor an art museum. The project touches on various issues such as the art/science debate and the relationship between artworks and scientific documents; as a result, it raises questions such as :

    1. What new modes of cultural mediation are called for in this context?
    2. How should such works be displayed?
    3. What critical approaches do they encourage, and what methodological/theoretical innovations are required?
    4. How can these works be understood from the point of view of art history? What place do they occupy in the development of contemporary art?