Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nanoart: infinitely inferior to Orfescu

What you see beside this is a work by Cris Orfescu, entitled “Stretching the limits 2”. Measuring 102 x 152 centimetres, the technique is not specified but the price is: 16900 euros. Not bad. To discover more about Orfescu, you only need to type his name into Google to discover that Cris – Romanian by birth, American by adoption – is the founder of NanoArt, the forefather, the person who first tackled nanometric structures in an artistic sense.

Now, although both Orfescu’s work and our own are labelled as NanoArt, it might be worthwhile understanding the differences between the two approaches, because they do not consist of mere details.

The main difference, one might say, is macroscopic and immediately apparent: Cris Orfescu’s artworks come in normal sizes, or in other words, they are visible. It is the subject of the works that is nanometric: in short, Cris elaborates images taken from scanning electron microscopes (working on colours, for example), then prints them in various sizes and exhibits them.

On the contrary, our works are not just images, reproductions, scans or elaborations of the fascinating and mysterious world of the infinitely minute. In our case, the works themselves are nanometric or micrometric – in Actual Size (Alessandro Scali and Robin Goode, 2007) the African continent measures 300 x 280 nanometres – and as a result they are invisible to the human eye.

I think it is best to stop here and avoid any comparisons concerning the subject-matters, themes or contents of our respective works. Everyone is free to judge for themselves: both our works and those of Orfescu are partly available online. What is important to underline here, however, is the fact that our approach – which perhaps it would be more appropriate to call invisible rather than Nanoart – detracts and hides from the viewer’s eye the founding element of visual art, which instead the forms the focus of Orfescu’s fantastic NanoArt.

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