Nano, the arts, and the future

In New York state, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is  opening, on October 3, 2008, a new performance/high tech/research space called the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center or EMPAC. The whole thing is being powered by Rensselaer’s Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations and despite its name the center is supposed to bring together artists and scientists. In other words, the general public may go there for a performance, artists can collaborate virtually, or scientists can “immerse themselves in data and fly through a breaking wave or inspect the kinks in a DNA molecule.” There’s more in the NY Times article titled ‘Art and Science, Virtual and Real, Under one Big Roof’ here.

Dr. Andy Miah (University of the West of Scotland) is launching (on October 30, 2008 in Liverpool, UK) a new book with a symposium both of which are called, Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty. The book looks exciting. I notice that Richard Jones has a chapter in it and I loved Jones’s nanotechnology book, ‘Soft Machines’.  It’s not obvious from the title but the book does discuss science, technology, and ethics in relation to art and our futures.  Wish I could attend. More  information about the book and symposium here.

A few weeks ago, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies announced an event for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. It’s called: Nanotechnology? Synthetic Biology? Hey, What’s That? The details aren’t up on their website yet but according to the press release the talk will focus on the results of an opinion poll that was run in August 2008, asking people if they’d heard of nanotechnology or synthetic biology (“An emerging area of research that uses advanced science and engineering to make or redesign living organisms, such as bacteria, so that they can carry out specific functions”). Two representatives from the polling company and David Rejeski, Director, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies will be speaking from 12:30 – 1:30 pm ET next week, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. you can attend by webcast (I’ll put up a link when the site has the webcast set up). If you’re attending the live event, please rsvp here.

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