The first step on the atom...

— Tractacus Nano-Sociologicus

Written in the context of the CarbonVs Silicon seminarium, Banff Centre, 2003. Lecture and performance, at the same time, the text of the presentation slides suggests the definition of an art project questioning the scientific and/or aesthetic issues of the emerging nanotechnologies.

Arty-Fiction Tractacus Nano-Sociologicus

QuarXs vs QuarKs* maurice benayoun ≠ maurice benayoun
Director of the first series about imaginary beings called Quarxs, in the early nineties, I find the existence of my cousin, same name, physician scientist, working on quarks.

Comparated socio-biology and the scientific truth The Quarxs : 3D CG HDTV series 1990-93 Art after Museum
Project conceived in 1992 of a contemporary art collection in virtual reality

The first step on the atom

Never extension of the body will have been such a reduction in scale.To experience the limits (Philippe Sollers)Infra-Realism

I use to call infra realism, realism of depths, realism applied to the model, physic, organic, behavioural more than a “photo realism” called realism of the surface.


Introduction to the nanoSociety (nS)


An easy piece of nanoThinking (nThk)


The nanoWorld (nW):
a World only known through representations


What happens if the Artist leads the representation?


What happens if the Artist leads the representation?


The actual Artist (aA) adds a symbolic dimension (sD)
to the representation (Rep)
of the human scale World (hsW)

Actual Art (aArt) can be define by the following formula:
aArt =(hsW)Rep x sD


The nanoWorld (nW) is at the same time a Material (Mt) and a Workspace (WS)


The medium (nM) is the material (nW)
+ the Technology (the Tool : nT)
nM = nW + nT


The medium (nM) is the material (nW)
+ the Technology (the Tool : nT)
nM = nW + nT


Immersive approach:
the Artist (aA) gives an inner view of the nanoWorld


Fusion approach:
the nanoArtist (nA) is necessarily part of the nanoWorld


By existing nanoArtists contribute to the definition (nThk) of Art (aArt and nArt)


By continually defining Art, they contribute to increasing our anxiety and our desire to take a break


In order to give an artistic interpretation of the human size World (hsW)
the artist (aA = nanoGod : nG),
using the nanoWorld as a medium, might build a complete society of characters considered as natives (actually : immigrants, nImm).


The characters of the nanoWorld are effectors, active immaterial entities.
They don’t need (deserve?) to be represented by avatars.
They exist by the representation they produce.


Actual inhabitants of the nanoWorld, they acts like filters for the information coming from the nanoWorld.


The Artist will take any kind of input (frequency, heat, light, speed, energy, size…)
and convert it into human scale representation (hsRep): colours, shapes, sounds, and tactile objects…


The Scientist (nSc) will produce huge streams of numbers trying desperately to spot odd iterations.


The Trader (nTd) in charge of the stock exchange will reflect the level of energy involved in exchanges at the nanoscale.


The Designer (nDs) and the architect (nArch)
will experiment new ways of organising and shaping the nanoSpace (nSp)


Behaving like “intelligent” agents, they will be able to evolve in their behaviour in order to optimise their action and reach their goals (esthetical, economical, scientific…)


As a community, we will see, like in Reality Shows (Big Brother…) how our nanoActors (nAct) will behave, how they live together and what kind of representation each of them will produce.


Fractal aesthetics where the nano metaphore is included in the human scale World it represents.
nArt = (hsW)rep x sD
hsW > nW > hsW
n = hs


Coming soon: the rebellion of the nanoActors