PAPER - Sci-fi Miners: a virtual reality journey to the nanocluster scale

Last July (2019) Yury Kolenko and João Martinho Moura published a paper to the conference Artech 2019 - 9th International Conference on Digital and Interactive Arts, related to the research and artistic results associated with the STARTS Residency Sci-fi Miners. The publication was accepted as full-paper and we are now happy to share it with you.


"In this publication, we present the result of an artistic residency that occurred at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), within the framework of STARTS European Commission initiative (Science, Technology, ãnd Arts). ‘Sci-fi miners’ is ãn ãudio-visual and virtual reality work related to a new generation of nano-clusters replacing critical natural resources that are becoming rare on planet Earth, by improved nanoparticle control. Those natural resources, critical metals, especially rare platinum group metals (PMGs), are essential and used for heterogeneous and electrochemical catalysis. As most of the things (goods) we use in our societies involve, at some step in production, catalysis, humans depend strongly on these natural resources. Currently, many countries are dependent on the mining industry to obtain these materials, relevant for fuel cells, storage of renewable energy, and pollutant emissions control. Although this article approaches a sophisticated technology, scientific bases related to the generation of new nanoclusters will not be covered, but rather the imaginative and practical approach in the creative process of producing a virtual reality artistic performance. We will cover creative work inspired in this research and focus this publication in the development of a series of visualizations, observations, reconstructions at the nanoscale, virtual reality developments and the artistic results that emerged from the interactions between scientists’ teams and an artist in residence.
We will present an introduction to some approaches between nanotechnology and the media arts, and we will describe the artistic residency and the developments related to the creation of a virtual reality performance at the nanoscale."