Tincuta Heinzel (RO) - Nanotextiles or the aesthetics of "wearwell-ness"

Prague - December 7, 2012

Tincuta Heinzel presents her paper within the panel Nanotechnology: Instability in an Unpredictable Milieu at International conference MutaMorphosis in Prague, Czech Republic.

There is no doubt that the development of nano-sciences and nano-technologies would have not been possible without the invention of a number of visualization instruments (like STM – Scanning Tunneling Microscope and AFM – Atomic Force Microscope). This fact had established a precedent which makes us to speak of nano-particles as “image-objects” (Sacha Loeve), as well as to explain a certain tendency for „recreational nano-design“ (David Gossell).

Still, there are complex questions to address when it comes to the use of non-visible entities and advanced technological procedures for tangible art projects. What aspects should be then considered from an art critical point of view : those related to the technological approaches and their difficulties; those trying to break down the “criptotechnicity” (Gilbert Simondon) which results from the gap that exists between the technical reality and the communicational strategies that accompany it; those related to the social impact of the application of nano-technologies; or those related to the critical aspects of the art world and, respectively, of the science world? In which way the strategies of translation of the nano-scale world into the macro-scale world (see, for example, the visualization and sonification processes) can define a “molecular aesthetics” ?

In our paper we will examine the impact the nano-technologies applications in the field of textiles can have for the works having made use of textile fabrics. Knowing that most of these nano-applications are looking to improve textiles functional properties (like imparting desired wettability, ultraviolet (UV) resistance, antimicrobial properties, flame retardancy, but also a higher resistance of the natural fibers to a conventional use), we propose a fictional scenario related to some of the works of Joseph Beuys and Robert Morris in which we will replace the “traditional” fabrics with new ones, nano-technologicaly produced or treated. In which way the sens and the signification of the selected works will change if we are about to replace the “traditional” textile materials with the new enriched ones? In which way the perceptive, epistemological and semiological categories are to be reevaluated when it is to consider a nano-structural approach? A particular interest will be given to the notion of “wear-well – ness” and its implications for aesthetics.

Tincuta Heinzel

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