The Joseph Fetter Museum of Nanotechnology

Art That Speaks Science

It started several years ago as a dream to establish a nanotechnology museum through a collaborative process of scientists and artists,” said Prof. Yuval Garini, the visionary and driving force behind the project. “We wanted to dazzle visitors with magnificent experiences, exposing them to scientific principles and to the vast research possibilities in the natural sciences. I am deeply grateful to the Fetter family, whom, without their gracious help our vision would not have been realized”, he said.

The museum planning team includes Prof. Garini, Curator Ms. Tal Yizrael, Museum's project Manager Ms. Tamar Shpilman, BINA Administrative Manager Dr. Yossi Talyosef, and Project Administrative Manager Ms. Hila Schwartz. The team met with local and international artists, museologists, educators, designers and content professionals from other museums and centers that specialize in this magnificent interface of art and science.

In line with the original conception of BINA as a center for interdisciplinary research, exhibits will reflect collaborations among artists and scientists, as a fusion of science, technology and art. The museum will be located in the lobby of the BINA building and in the open spaces of five of its nine floors, where exhibits are intended to captivate the mind and provide a unique opportunity for further exploration.

Calling All Artists

How do you form fruitful collaborations among artists and scientists? To this end, Ms. Yizrael organized a successful hackathon, gathering together 30 scientists from the Nano Institute, and about 40 artists from various disciplines. After presenting their works and ideas to each other, they formed teams that began working on possible exhibits.

This fascinating process lasted nearly a year, and resulted in the creation of more than 20 art-science exhibits which were reviewed by experts with diverse backgrounds, 13 of which will be presented initially.

Here is a preview of what visitors will experience at the museum:

One example that stirred up tremendous enthusiasm was a music and science experiment for an exhibit entitled Music and synchronization. The experiment was initiated by BINA faculty member Dr. Moti Fridman who teamed up with artist Elad De Lowe Shniderman to identify patterns in the threshold between synchronization and chaos. They measured the synchronization of 16 violinists, and then studied the transition from synchronization into chaos, while some the musicians could hear only certain other musicians. Audiences will experience a recording of the full concert projected on 16 individual screens.

Artist Michel Platnic, an immigrant from France who is also a trained engineer, is collaborating with Prof. Orit Shefi of BIU's Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering, whose research focuses on neurons and the networks that they form. Platnic is simulating growth of neurons and the way they interact with one another.

Vardi Bobrow, another artist partnering with Prof. Shefi, is creating a dynamic installation of huge neurons made of stretchable rubber bands that will simulate how damaged neurons heal by stretching and growing.

Artist Mahmood Kaiss whose works have been exhibited at venues such as the Islam Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, has suggested a sculpture for the main entrance to the museum. He is designing a 5-meter high tunnel made of natural wood and inspired by nano-crystal structures, through which visitors will enter the nano-materials world.

The Nano-Art museum is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019, offering visitors a wondrous celebration of the senses. For ongoing updates on the progress of the museum visit nanomuseum.biu.ac.il

This article was initially published in the Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials' November 2018 Newsletter