Nanosamhällen is a project by artist Kerstin Hamilton and nano researcher Jonas Hannestad. It is an exploration, interpretation and interrogation of the milieus where nano technological research and manufacturing is carried out. Nanosamhällen is also part of Kerstin Hamilton PhD work Nanosocieties and Beyond.
Hasselblad Foundation, Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, Lars Salvius projektbidrag and Västragötalandsregionen
Description of project
Nanosamhällen is a collaborative work by nano scientist Jonas Hannestad and artist Kerstin Hamilton. The project explores the world on nano scale as well as the human scale actors and structures that are part of the ‘nanosocieties’. Using photography, text and film, a mapping of ideas, apparatus, practices and labour in laboratory environments is carried out. The project was mainly carried out 2014-2015, presented in a variety of ways, aiming to reach diverse audiences. During the autumn 2015, Nanosamhällen was made public in two different ways. Firstly, as part of a larger exhibition at Tekniska Museet in Stockholm and secondly as a mobile exhibition at schools in west Sweden. Tekniska museet’s exhibition En skruvad värld (A Twisted World) invited the audience into a surreal, twisted world where the laws of mathematics and physics questioned the materials that surrounds us. The museum’s ambition was to inspire and enthuse the young visitors. In their part of the exhibition, Hamilton and Hannestad brought together objects and clothes used by nano researchers. Through objects, photographs and texts, Hamilton and Hannestad aspired to give the audience a sense of what it might feel like to exist in a nano world. Nano particles are on the scale of a billionth of a meter, and the only way they can be accessed is by the use of very specialised technological equipment. The nano landscapes are still fairly obscure, waiting to be exposed by the new explorers – that is the nano technological scientists. The scientists, are discovering and manipulating the environments and particles of the nano worlds. Nanosamhällen – A Mobile Exhibition was inspired by the pedagogical setup of documentary exhibitions of the seventies, placing importance on bringing the work to the people. Throughout the autumn 2015, Hamilton and Hannestad visited schools in west Sweden, showing the mobile exhibition in conjunction with a stage presentation to approximately 500 students aged 14-18 years. With the exhibition, Hamilton and Hannestad aimed at giving the students a glimpse of nano societies on human as well as on a particle scale. In a cleanroom – an extreme laboratory – research on the scale of a billionth of a metre is carried out. This demands an extremely clean environment since unwanted particles from humans would interfere negatively with the research samples. In the mobile exhibition, students were invited to try out the cleanroom clothes to give them a sense of the special conditions under which some nano researchers operate. An important aspect of the mobile exhibition was to highlight the hierarchical structures, structures that still to a certain extent defines who does what in science. Nanosamhällen – A Mobile Exhibition was produced in a compact format to allow for the exhibition to be brought easily, using public transport, from one place to the other. Images and text were put up and displayed at the school, and after taking part of the exhibition, the students were invited to the school assembly hall or a classroom where Hamilton and Hannestad made a 45 minute presentation, contextualising the exhibition further. The exhibition was put up and taken down the same day.
Description of work included
2015-10-23 – June 2016, parts of the project Nanosamhällen are included in the exhibition En skruvad värld at Tekniska museet in Stockholm. The mobile exhibition, which is another output of Nanosamhällen, was presented at secondary and high schools in west Sweden (Västra Götalandsregionen) in November and December 2015.
Type of work
Artistic work – A collaborative exhibition and a mobile exhibition
Tekniska museet, Stockholm, Sweden and presentations at a selection of secondary and high schools in Västra Götalandsregionen
Link to web site