Pioneer Works and Nanotronics Imaging find beauty in the close-up
Artist Bruno Levy and scientist Matthew Putman are collaborating across their disciplines, and it is not just another lab thing—the lush visuals created are a match made in heaven for art and science lovers alike.
This science-art union is thanks to Pioneer Works, an innovative center for cross-disciplinary collaborations in Red Hook, and Nanotronics Imaging, a high-tech microscopy and software company delivering testing and analysis solutions to sectors in materials science, and semiconductors to life science and medicine.
By Larissa Zimberoff
Using Putman’s microscope nSPEC®, Levy put a number of things under the glass. An eyelash, a metro card, brushed filaments of gold and silver, pretzel salt, a shard of peppermint, an orchid, lace, a hair follicle, guitar pick, a bouncy ball, an altoid, and dozens more everyday objects are magnified 20 times their natural size.
nSPEC®, defined on the Nanotronics website, is an automated, optical inspection device designed for high resolution microscopy and detection of defects and other features of interest on semiconductor wafers. Together Levy and Putman have harnessed this microscope to a creation of an entirely different sort.
“I see the microscope as a lens on a camera,” Levy told Putman in an interview. His goal was to find a material that he could control “like a painter would paint.” Levy used the microscope technically to frame, and he worked on the composition and lighting to create artistically compelling images.
The images are full of bright color, and are so close up that it is virtually impossible to decipher the actual size, shape or source. Taking photography to microscopic proportions, view these trompe l’oeil images on the Pioneer Labs website.