“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, May 20, 2011

Materials: Objects: Environments Liveblog 8 (Paul Thomas)

Thomas is a hilarious and wonderful speaker who designed the image that is the poster for the conference, Nanoessence.
making the invisible visible
close study of Bergson, cited in 1913 in manifesto
any division of matter with outlines is artificial
rest as abstraction
matter must be a flux rather than a thing
time, repetition, beats, becoming objective
coalescence of us with the things around us
breaking down objectification of the world brought to us by perspectivalism
Lucretius and the fall in the void and the swerve
from that you get form, nature, individualism
Seurat as a swarm of atoms
Fabulous atomism in his drawing
Swarms of atoms
Using a scanning tunneling microscope to move atoms
Highly problematic
AFM Atomic Force Microscope
Using touch to image, not optics
Growing a skin cell onto gold
Grey goo of Midas
AFM finds the cell like a mountain
Symbiotica lab
Scientists write the software to interpret the images
AFM spectroscopy
Data turned into a soundwave
An artificial life program that eats the skin and turns it into gold
Dematerialization of matter
Discovery of critical vitalism (Thomas thought he was home there...)
Plan: take an immortal Hackett skin cell, scan in AFM, watch the cell dying
Then use the Unity Game Engine to produce an envelope of states between life and death
Transmission of life versus growth: which is it? Bible=transmission...
Nano materialism; the notion that we aren't that much according to the government language about piddling piles of carbon and so on
Bennett on encounters with nonhuman materials
Trying no longer to be a tourist looking at the world but understanding matter
Change of artistic role from the Protagorean view that man is the measure of all things

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