Artists: Paul Thomas and Kevin Raxworthy 

Dates: Sep 20, 2014 - Oct 11, 2014 

Installation Location: Hartell Gallery, Sibley Hall

Hours of accessibility: 9 AM - 5 PM, Monday thru Friday

The Nanoessence installation is based on a comparative investigation of atomic structures and vibrations taking place between living and dead skin cells when touched by the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) cantilever. Living skin cells are scanned by the AFM in various modes, where the cantilever raster scans the surface of the skin cell by tapping or touching the surface. This mode records the topographies by gathering deflection data that is translated to produce a visual representation. The force spectroscopy mode determines atomic vibration taking place as the tip touches and rests on the surface of the cell. 

In Nanoessence a HaCat skin cell, the AFM and breath demonstrate a fundamental symbiotic relationship in the instigation of life at a nano level. The skin cell, vapour and breath are fundamental concepts and materials utilized in the investigation of the creation of life in the installation. The project uses the data from the AFM to look at biological phenomena of difference revealed at a nano level in topographical visualizations and sonic structures between life and death.