Well - I have just been asked to address some questions in relation to my projects for a publication and thought it might be good to further expand on these ideas in a public forum (ie my blog).
Does engaging with the artistic expression of nano-applications bring you any closer to the technology?
The process of collaborating with nanotechnologists has allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the breadth of applications for nanotechnology. However, I have found that while it is possible to develop artistic projects to house nanotechnologies it is harder to conceive of projects which embody nanotechnologies, particularly within the short term. The next step for my artistic practice would be to try to engage with some of the less tangible nanotechnologies and try to develop projects which utilise or engage with these.
What is the response of the scientific community to your art?
I have found that the response from the scientific community has been very positive. Scientists are generally very busy developing technologies and don’t necessarily have the time to consider the emotional impact of their creations or ways to improve their user accessibility. Through my residency I have been focused on humanising technologies - and this is by and large regarded positively by scientists. Through the process of making, exhibiting, and presenting projects that incorporate nanotechnologies the field is demystified and ungrounded fears allayed.
Could this be a new alliance between scientists and artists to close the gap between technology development and public perception?
My projects are largely based on humanising nanotechnologies which directly addresses the gap between technology development and public perception. While the scientific community is involved in the development of many exciting new technologies, these are often focused on specific health or scientific goals. I am interested in augmenting the value of these technologies through artistic practice to challenge their social and emotional potential. The projects all have a corporeal focus and will share the goal of enhancing the relationship between people and their therapeutic technologies. The humanising of therapeutic technologies allows people to engage with them more directly, on an emotional level, and thus potentially demystify the technologies behind therapeutics.
Whilst the technologies I am engaging with are technically advanced their interface is traditional, positioned as medical devices. People respond to medical applications in a very different way to how they respond to jewellery or a favourite scarf. Through the artistic practice of embedding technologies into jewellery the non-scientific public are able to engage more directly with these technologies. Through focusing on the intersection between largely inaccessible nanotechnologies and highly accessible artefacts (garments and jewellery) the projects assist in building community awareness and understanding of nanotechnologies.
Have you received any negative feedback as you are working with potentially controversial technology?
At present I am working with technologies that are helpful rather than harmful. That is, patches to replace needles for diabetics + technology to purify water of arsenic. Thus my projects have been received in a very positive way.