Tag Archives: Sabanci University

Nanotechnology-enabled cleansers in Turkish baths

This item about Turkish baths came to me via Chinese news agency Xinhua. In a March 10, 2016 news item on ShanghaiDaily.com,

It is very common to take a bath, yet it is quite a different experience to bathe in Istanbul’s famed hamams, or bath houses.

Bathing in a hamam is similar to that of a sauna, but is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices, and it involves services like washing, aromatherapy oil massage, reflexology, Indian head massage and facial clay mask.

Both tourists and local Turks alike are fans of Turkish baths, said Banu Cagdas, the owner of Cagaloglu.

As customers are flocking and their number growing, hygiene appears to be the most important issue for Turkish baths.

“Visually there is nothing,” said Cagdas. “It looks like every corner is clean and no one can see the germs and viruses with the naked eye.”

Generally, Turkish baths have been using the traditional ways to maintain the state of hygiene, like bleach.

“The sterilization with bleach, especially a long-lasting sterilization, is very difficult to achieve,” Cagdas said, noting that after two hours of the cleaning, micro-organisms and bacteria start to reproduce again due to the warm and humid environment.

Fungal infections are among the most common diseases in Turkish baths. “Then comes all kind of genital diseases,” said Cagdas.

The team is turning to a cleaning agent developed by Turkish engineers from Sabanci University in Istanbul. The product, the result of five-year efforts based on nanotechnology, is called Antimics.

Antimics can stunt the production of germs, viruses, bacteria and fungi.

“We have been applying the solution to Cagaloglu bath once a month and we observe the rate of bacterium has been dropping each time even further,” Menceoglu told Xinhua.

She explained that Antimics enables the bath’s surface to be covered with a tiny antimicrobial coating and “no single microbe, virus or bacterium can hold on to after the application.”

“Every time we do the cleaning we witness that the bacteria level has been dropping drastically,” she said.

In addition, the eco-friendly new product is not harmful to humans, as opposed to the traditional disinfectant detergents that contain chemicals.

It is possible to get more information about the product (Antimic Nanotego Facebook page and on antimic.com) but you do need Turkish language reading skills.

Call for papers: conference on sound art curation

It’s not exactly data sonification (my Feb. 7, 2014 posting about sound as a way to represent research data) but there’s a call for papers (deadline March 31, 2014) for a conference focused on curating sound art. Lanfranco Aceti, an academic, an artist and a curator whom I met some years ago at a conference sent me a March 20, 2014 announcement,

OCR (Operational and Curatorial Research in Art, Design, Science and Technology) is launching a series of international conferences with international partners.

Sound Art Curating is the first conference to take place in London, May 15-17, 2014 at Goldsmiths and at the Courtauld Institute of Art [both located in London, England].

The call for paper will close March 31, 2014 and it can be accessed at this link:

The conference website is available at this link: http://ocradst.org/soundartcurating/

I did get more information about the OCR from their About page,

Operational and Curatorial Research in Contemporary Art, Design, Science and Technology (OCR) is a research center that focuses on research in the fine arts. Its projects are characterized by elements of interdisciplinarity and transdiciplinarity. OCR engages with public and private institutions worldwide in order to foster innovation and best practices through collaborations and synergies.

OCR has two international outlets: the Media Exhibition Platform (MEP), a platform for peer reviewed exhibitions, and Contemporary Art and Culture (CAC), a peer-reviewed publishing platform for academic texts, artists’ books and catalogs.

Lanfranco Aceti is the founder and director of OCR, MEP and CAC, and has worked in the field for over twenty years.

Here’s more about what the organizers are looking for from the Call for Papers webpage,

Traditionally, the curator has been affiliated to the modern museum as the persona who manages an archive, and arranges and communicates knowledge to an audience, according to fields of expertise (art, archaeology, cultural or natural history etc.). However, in the later part of the 20th century the role of the curator changes – first on the art-scene and later in other more traditional institutions – into a more free-floating, organizational and ’constructive’ activity that allows the curator to create and design new wider relations, interpretations of knowledge modalities of communication and systems of dissemination to the wider public.

This shift is parallel to a changing role of the artist, that from producer becomes manager of its own archives, structures for displays, arrangements and recombinatory experiences that design interactive or analog journeys through sound artworks and soundscapes. Museums and galleries, following the impact of sound artworks in public spaces and media based festivals, become more receptive to aesthetic practices that deny the ‘direct visuality’ of the image and bypass, albeit partially, the need for material and tangible objects. Sound art and its related aesthetic practices re-design ways of seeing, imaging and recalling the visual in a context that is not sensory deprived but sensory alternative.

This is a call for studies into the histories, theories and practices of sound art production and sound art curating – where the creation is to be considered not solely that of a single material but of the entire sound art experience and performative elements.

We solicit and encourage submissions from practitioners and theoreticians on sound art and curating that explore and are linked to issues related to the following areas of interest:

  • Curating Interfaces for Sound + Archives
  • Methodologies of Sound Art Curating
  • Histories of Sound Art Curating
  • Theories of Sound Art Curating
  • Practices and Aesthetics of Sound Art
  • Sound in Performance
  • Sound in Relation to Visuals

Chairs: Lanfranco Aceti, Janis Jefferies, Morten Søndergaard and Julian Stallabrass

Conference Organizers: James Bulley, Jonathan Munro, Irene Noy and Ozden Sahin

The event is supported by LARM [Danish interdisciplinary radiophonic project; Note: website is mixed Danish and English language], Kasa Gallery, Goldsmiths, the Courtauld Institute of Art and Sabanci University.

With the participation and support of the Sonics research special interest group at Goldsmiths, chaired by Atau Tanaka and Julian Henriques.

The event is part of the Graduate Festival at Goldsmiths and the Graduate research projects at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

250 words abstract submissions. Please send your submissions to: info@ocradst.org

Deadline: March 31, 2014.

Good luck!

Happy T Day! Robots; Nano-enabled prosthetics; ISEA 2009 aesthetics and prosthetics; Global TV (national edition): part 2

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone as Canada celebrates.

Since I have mentioned military robots in the not too distant past, this recent headline Two Military Robots That Rival the Creepiest Sci-Fi Creatures for Kit Eaton’s Fast Company article caught my eye. One of the robots, Big Dog (and its companion prototype Small Dog), utilizes artificial intelligence to navigate terrain and assist soldiers in the field. The larger one can carry heavy loads while the smaller one could be used for reconnaissance. The other robot is a cyborg beetle. Electrodes have been implanted so the beetle’s flight patterns can be controlled. There are two videos, one for each robot. It is a very disconcerting experience watching the beetle being flown by someone standing in front of a set of controls.

Keeping with the theme of planting electrodes, I found something on Azonano about a bio- adaptive prosthetic hand. Funded by the European Union as a nanotechnology project, here’s more from the news item,

What is unique about the sophisticated prototype artificial hand developed by the SMARTHAND partners is that not only does it replicate the movements of a real hand, but it also gives the user sensations of touch and feeling. The researchers said the hand has 4 electric motors and 40 sensors that are activated when pressed against an object. These sensors stimulate the arm’s nerves to activate a part in the brain that enables patients to feel the objects.

Led by Sweden’s Lund University, the researchers continue to work on the sensory feedback system within the robotic hand. The hurdle they need to cross is to make the cables and electric motors smaller. Nanotechnology could help the team iron out any problems. Specifically, they would implant a tiny processing unit, a power source and a trans-skin communication method into the user of the hand to optimise functionality.

It’s a fascinating read which brought to mind an ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Arts) 2009 presentation by Dr. Lanfranco Aceti (professor at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey). Titled The Aesthetic Beauty of the Artificial: When Prosthetic Bodies Become an Art Expression of Empowering Design Technologies, the presentation was a revelation. Dr. Aceti’s research yielded a rather surprising insight from a doctor in London, England who specializes in prosthetics. According to the doctor, women want limbs that most closely resemble their original but men (under 50 years old usually) want limbs that are metallic and/or look high tech. Lanfranco suggested that the men have been influenced by movies. Take for example, Wolverine (Wikipedia entry here) where the hero’s skeleton has been reinforced with metal and he can make his claws (now covered with metal) protrude from his arms at will. You can view Lanfranco’s site here or a simple biography about him here.

A few months back I posted about  prosthetics and design student projects and I’m starting to sense a trend emerging from these bits and pieces of information. There is the repair aspect to prosthetics but there is also an increasing interest not just in the aesthetics but in the notion of improving on the original. At its most extreme, I can imagine people wanting to remove perfectly healthy limbs and organs to get an improved version.

I got a chance to see part 2 of Global TV’s (broadcast in Canada) nanotechnology series, Small Wonders. As I’ve noticed that my link for part 1 of the series is no longer useful I am providing a link to part 2 which will land you on the search page. If you don’t see part 2 listed, go to the mutimedia tab which is just above the search results and where you can find part 1 and I assume, at some point, part 2.

As I hoped, they focused on nanotechnology projects in the materials field in part 2 of the series. They noted that nanotechnology-based materials in sports equipment and clothing are already available in the market place. An interview with Dr. Robert Wolkow at the National Institute of Nanotechnology and at the Physics Dept. at the University of Alberta, featured a discussion about replacing silicon chips with more efficient materials built at the molecular level.