Lecture between collaborating School of Art, Faculty of Engineering at UGA

Everyday world re-visited in exhibition, lecture between collaborating School of Art, Faculty of Engineering at UGA

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries are pleased to present Inner Space, an exhibition documenting the collaborative efforts of professors at the art school, the department of physics and astronomy and the Faculty of Engineering. Inner Space revisits the everyday world, showing the atomic or molecular scale blown up and made relevant to the naked eye. This exhibition will be on view from April 11 – May 9 with an opening reception with the artist and scientists present on Friday, April 11, from 6-8 p.m.

Additionally, on Wednesday, April 9, Art Professor Michael Oliveri will discuss this work and other collaborations in horticulture, electronics and product design in the ongoing engineering seminar series, Innovations at the Interface. Oliveri’s seminar, “The Aesthetics of Science,” will be held in room 214 of the Student Learning Center at 4 p.m.

Oliveri, Lead Scientist and Professor Zhengwei Pan and Engineering and Physics Post-Doctoral Researchers Zhanjun Gu and Feng Liu collaborate in these presentations, plumbing the depths and aesthetic ends of the most advanced scientific imaging technologies currently available.

The field of nanotechnology was defined in 1974 by Norio Taniguchi and first described in 1959 by Richard Feynman in a talk for the American Physical Society entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” As defined by Taniguchi, it consists of the processing of, separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or by one molecule. To put the scale into context, the size of a nanometer to a meter is the same as that of a marble to the planet Earth. Nanotechology is a highly multidisciplinary field drawing from branches of physics and engineering, materials and colloid sciences, chemistry, robotics and more.

We are most likely to experience nanotechnology in daily life via commercial applications such as suntan lotion, cosmetics, protective coatings, drug delivery, and stain resistant clothing, all of which use the advantages of nanostructures. In the course of developing and building nanoscale structures for such applications, scientists and engineers like Pan record micrographic images to verify the sizes and shapes of certain structures, in order to quantify their properties. One of the few instruments which can record these types of images is an electron microscope. In Inner Space, zinc oxide and silicone oxide nanoscale structures are some of the materials under investigation.

Oliveri uses the scientist’s high powered imaging technology typically required to see these structures to travel through the nano samples much as any photographer looking through a lens traveling through landscapes in the macro world. He exhibits areas which seem to be familiar, but at a closer look are completely new in every way to the visual eye. Shooting a series of continuous images and stitching them together, his micrograph landscapes give a sense of what this inner space is like. In Inner Space, the laboratory and the studio are synonymous worlds: both are vehicles for investigation, where theories and hypotheses are tested, and hand and mind come together.

Oliveri is an associate professor of art and chair of digital media at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. In 2007, he was selected as the Willson Center Artist in Residence for the UGA Costa Rica campus. Oliveri will spend the spring semester exploring photographic relationships found in Costa Rica’s cloud forest with what he has found in the nano research labs.

Pan is an assistant professor in the UGA faculty of engineering and in the physics and astronomy department.

All main gallery events are free and open to the public. The main gallery is located at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, Visual Arts Building, 285 S. Jackson Street, in Athens, Ga. Broad Street Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For further information, visit www.art.uga.edu.