Nano-Art and Bio-literature

November 18, 2010

Nano-Art and Bio-literature


We have worked with a variety of institutes on the question of “convergence” –a term so broad that it is sometimes unnerving. It so happens that I am meeting the Director of Convergence at KRISS tonight to discuss this topic. Much discussion of convergence in terms of the coming together of computers and communication devices (ICT) and also convergence between new fields: IT-bio & nano-bio. But Korea has conceived of “convergence” as applying to larger themes such as the marriage of technology and art and the new for potential spaces for expression thus generated. This last theme seemed secondary to me at first, but in fact, I have come to see it as perhaps the core for “technology convergence” in our age.


At first I thought about the whole matter of technology-art convergence humorously. I asked friends facetiously whether we would soon have “bio-literature” or “nano-painting.” It took me a while to comprehend the essential issue.

Art and literature allow us to conceive of what is happening to our world at the nano level and the macro level. How cells divide and how global networks evolve that span the world. In fact, the use of art, enhanced by the next generation of animation technology, is the best hope we have to help average people (which includes most policy makers) to understand how technology is changing our reality. Similarly, literature, the inspiring and entertaining description of our world, will give us the tools to comprehend what otherwise seems like an invisible process by which Moore’s Law is remaking our world. First one must be able to conceive of the process and then one can make informed decisions.


Alex Lee of Woosong University sent me today this link from the New York Times about the effort to animate the micro-nano level. It is just the start of a new field, but one that may eventually lead us to have clear images and special relations we can assign to processes that previously were wrapped in a mystery appropriate to the high priests of alchemy.


The Inner Life of a Cell










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