Sensing Nanos

Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris (Aotearoa/NZ),
Toni Fröhlich (Basel, Switzerland)

Sensing Nanos is an art-science-technology work. Humans fabricate many kinds of nanoscale materials for use in daily life. Imagine if nano-enabled and nano-enhanced creations could enter the human body and converge with one’s inner world. We are exploring the possibility of human beings sensing ultrafine nanotechnologies,in particular cross-sensing them as synesthetic objects that have the potential to react with cells and biomolecules and become lodged in the brain and the central nervous system. We focused our attention on various personal care products used by many people. Certain brands of sunscreen contain nano zinc oxide and nano titanium dioxide. We also found shaving cream that contains nanoscale “Titanium CI 77891.” Mammalian neurons and the potato share a systemic molecular convergence, so we placed shaving cream on two side-by-side potato slices and filmed the interaction in time-lapse video.. We scripted the audio using synaesthetic correspondences to facial expressions. Although titanium nanoparticles are defined in part by their intrinsic properties, their extrinsic properties in turn are determined by relationships. The video was overlaid with excerpts from Plato’s Dialogues

Sensing Nanos

During our investigations we developed a robot to create shaving foam faces by moving a nozzle
connected to shaving foam from a can, over the surface of a slice of potato. The positions of the
motors and the flow of foam were controlled using stepper motors, from drawings converted into G
code. We are interested in being able to relate the character of the face to algorithmic changes in the
line drawings. We found that the ambiguous shapes made by the foam coincidentally stimulated
pareidolia and emotional interpretations.

Foam Robot

Presented at;
VII International Congress “Synaesthesia: Science and Art” October 2022
Leonardo Art Science and Technology MIT press Leonardo, Vol. 54, No. 5 (October 2021).
Art Science presentation VI International Congress Synesthesia, Science & Art., Spain May 2018
SPECTRA Art + Science, Adelaide, Australia 2018