Paul Thomas – Nanoart: The Immateriality of Art


Intellect Ltd, ISBN-13: 978-1841507088, English, 144 pages, 2013, UK

Many philosophical questions raised by the nanoscale (or nanoscopic scale, where the nanometer is a billionth of a meter) are connected to its intrinsically challenging nature: it represents a shift to a completely different scale; not to mention the whole imaginary related to new coordinates of a real but invisible space with specific visual representation mediated only by the scientific tools we have built for this purpose. The nanospace is always there, but visible only through certain instruments, remaining enigmatic and functionally immaterial. Paul Thomas, who has been active in the Australian media art scene, has combined his personal artistic research since the 2000s with an awareness of the social and aesthetic impact of nanotechnologies (like in “Midas” where he enabled a transfer of gold atoms and human skin cell atoms when they were brought into contact). In this book he provides a historical overview and a comprehensive survey of artworks dealing with nanospace, constructing an original perspective and exploring many different directions. For example he looks at the redefinition of senses, mainly touch and sight, in a translated environment; or different forms of “construction” – the building of structures has many different implications. The book is an essential reference point opening multiple scenarios carefully grounded in what has been built in this field up to the present day.