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Implications of the New Technoscience

"Nano" denotes a billionth; a nanometer is a billionth of a meter. New instrumentation and techniques have for the first time made possible materials research and engineering at this level, the scale of individual molecules and atoms.
Extraordinary visions of material abundance, unprecedented materials, and powerful engineering capabilities have marked the arrival of nanotechnology, as well as dystopian scenarios of self-replicating devices running amok and causing global catastrophe. Largely a future possibility rather than present actuality, nanotechnology has become a potent cultural signifier.

NanoCulture explores the ways in which nanotechnology interacts with, and itself becomes, a cultural construction. Topics include the co-construction of nanoscience and science fiction; the influence of risk assessment and nanotechnology on the shapes of narratives; intersections between nanoscience as a writing practice and experimental literature at the limits of fabrication; the Alice-in-Wonderland metaphor for nanotechnology; and the effects of mediation on nanotechnology and electronic literature.

NanoCulture is produced in collaboration with the nano art exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (December 2003-September 2004), created by an interdisciplinary team led by media artist Victoria Vesna and nanoscientist James Gimzewski. NanoCulture is richly illustrated with images from the nano exhibit, which also provides the basis for an ethnographic analysis of collaborative process and an exploration of changing concepts of museum space.

The dynamic uniting these diverse perspectives is boundary crossing: between art, science, and literature; cultural imaginaries, scientific facts, and technological possibilities; actual. virtual, and hybrid spaces; the science of fictions and the fictions of science; and utopian dreams, material constraints, and dystopian nightmares.

The first book-length study focus on cultural implications of nanotechnology, NanoCulture breaks new ground in showing the importance of the new technoscience to contemporary culture and of culture to the development, interpretation, and future of this technoscience.

255 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2004

Art: Art--General Studies

Culture Studies

Physical Sciences: Experimental and Applied Physics

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Table of Contents

Roy Ascott
Connecting the Quantum Dots:
Nanotechscience and Culture
N. Katherine Hayles
Art and Science
Invisible Imaginary: Museum Spaces,
Hybrid Reality and Nanotechnology
Adriana de Souza e Silva
Working Boundaries on the NANO Exhibition
Carol Ann Wald
Science and Fiction
Nanotechnology in the Age of Posthuman Engineering:
Science Fiction as Science
Colin Milburn
Less is More: Much Less is Much More: The Insistent
Allure of Nanotechnology Narratives in Science Fiction
Brooks Landon
Atomizing the Risk Technology
Kate Marshall
Dust, Lust, and Other Messages from the Quantum Wonderland
Brain Atteberry
Science and Literature
Needle on the Real: Technoscience and Poetry at the
Limits of Fabrication
Nathan Brown
Nano Narrative: A Parable from Electronic Literature
Jessica Pressman
What’s the Buzz? Tell Me What’s A-Happening: Wonder,
Nanotechnology, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Susan E. Lewak

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