[-empyre-] An Illuminated nano_Play for the New Year(s): or a pharmakon gesture for the last year(s) by the *particle group*

Christina McPhee christina at christinamcphee.net
Wed Dec 31 06:40:41 EST 2008

Cheers Ricardo and Diane!

now on the pharmakon library blog:


On Dec 29, 2008, at 6:10 AM, Ricardo Dominguez wrote:

> An Illuminated nano_Play for the New Year(s):
> or a pharmakon gesture for the last year(s)
> by the *particle group*
> (http://pitmm.net)
> [The stage is dark now. Slow illumination of two white lab workers at
> opposite ends of a long table and a large screen behind them. Each  
> sits
> facing a computer.]
> PRELUDE in stereo, or alternating lines between Dr. Ludin and Dr.  
> Dominguez
> Fabrication 1
> Let the particle go a short way and it will show you
> where the levels of meaning rises and falls,
> its blended muse traveling into a mold, the pebbles in dust—duplicated
> triangles and mountains miniature as the desire to change.
> Let the particle move toward diminished containment—
> with insistent allure.
> Fabrication 2
> There is no such thing
> as the smallest particle of matter,
> so go forth towards other scales.
> Go forth,
> prey, go forth,
> dwell between – PAR/T (i) C-L=E/s
> you there – (i) – hear –.
> (We are clean now. Begin.)
> Dr.Ludin: Particle! Particle! burning bright
> In the labs of the night,
> What posthuman hand or eye
> Could frame thy fearful trans_patenttry?
> Dr.Dominguez: In 2005 researchers in the University of Texas in the  
> United
> States found that carbon nanotubes squirted into the trachea of mice
> caused inflammation of the lungs and granulomas (tumour-like nodules  
> of
> bloated white blood cells in the lining of the lungs), and five of the
> nine mice treated with the higher dose died almost immediately.
> Dr.Ludin: In what gene deeps or skies
> Burnt the ownership of thine eyes?
> On what code dare it aspire?
> What IP dare seize the fire?
> And what patent, and what part,
> Could twist the WIPO of thy heart?
> And when thy particles began to beat,
> What dread sensor? and what dread fleet?
> Dr.Dominguez: In another nanotoxicity experiment in 2006 at Tottori
> University, Japan, researchers showed that within a minute of  
> contacting
> the mice’s tiniest airways, carbon nanotubes began to burrow through  
> gaps
> between the surface lining cells and into the blood capillaries,  
> where the
> negatively charged nanoparticles latched onto the normally positively
> charged red blood cells’ surface, thereby potentially causing the red
> blood cells to clump and the blood to clot.
> Dr.Ludin: What the atomic force hammer? what the chain?
> In what furnace was thy brain?
> What the chip? what circuit grasp
> Dare its deadly errors clasp?
> When the nanities threw down their gears,
> And watered ownership with their tears,
> Did K. Eric Drexler smile his work to see?
> Did nano-carbon 60 who made the Lamb make thee?
> Dr.Dominguez: Researchers from the University of Rochester, New  
> York, in
> 2006 reported an increased susceptibility to blood clotting in rabbits
> that had inhaled carbon nanospheres (buckyballs, an isotope of carbon
> shaped like a tiny football). Buckyballs present in water at 0.5  
> parts per
> million were taken up by largemouth bass, which suffered severe brain
> damage 48 hours later, the extent of the damage being 17 times greater
> than that seen in non-nano scale particles tested.
> Dr.Ludin: Particle! Particle! Burning bright
> In the labs of the night,
> What posthuman hand or eye
> Could frame thy fearful trans_patenttry?
> Dr.Dominguez: Nanoparticles in the lungs are translocated to the
> circulatory system and from there throughout the body, accumulating  
> in the
> liver, spleen, and bone marrow. Nanoparticles inhaled through the  
> nose and
> air passages are translocated to the brain through the olfactory  
> nerves,
> and accumulate in the brain. Nanoparticles can enter the body  
> through the
> skin; and quantum dots injected into the skin accumulate in lymph  
> nodes
> with potential effects on the immune system.
> Dr.Ludin: Particle! Particle! Burning bright
> In the labs of the night,
> What posthuman hand or eye
> Could frame thy fearful trans_patenttry?
> [First lab image appears on the screen.]
> http://homepages.nyu.edu/~dl84/nano-la-jetee-4.mov
> Dr.Dominguez: Particle Capitalism! Particle Capitalism! Burning  
> bright In
> the labs of the night, What posthuman hand or eye Could frame thy  
> fearful
> trans_patenttry?
> Dr.Ludin: “It is true that one cannot patent an element found in its
> natural form; however, if you create a purified form of it that has
> industrial uses – say, oxygen – you can certainly secure a patent.”  
> - Lila
> Feisee, Biotechnology Industry Organization’s Director for Government
> Relations and Intellectual Property (2006).
> Dr.Dominguez: We are no longer under the sign of natural selection  
> or even
> artificial selection—we are now under the force of particle selection.
> Everything on the planet, from indigenous aromas to public spaces to  
> our
> atoms, is now forced to march into the World Intellectual Property
> Organization (WIPO) filters of globalization. The neo-liberal matrix  
> that
> started to emerge fully in the 90’s has played itself out on three  
> stages:
> digital/Virtual Capitalism, genetic/Clone Capitalism and
> nanotechnology/Particle Capitalism. Each of these stages of techno- 
> capital
> is being integrated via a new “deep harmonization” of the global
> Intellectual Property agenda: copyright laws, trademark laws and  
> patent
> laws. A process that starts in the research chambers and ends in  
> ownership
> enclosures, from patenting technology to patenting life, from  
> patenting
> information to patenting atoms and creation of Trans_patents.
> Dr.Ludin: Particle Claimed! Particle Claimed! Burning bright In the  
> labs
> of the night, What posthuman hand or eye Could frame thy fearful
> trans_patenttry 3,156,523? “What is claimed is Element 95.” – from  
> Glenn
> Seaborg’s US patent 3,156,523, issued November 10, 1964 – the shortest
> patent claim on record.
> Dr.Dominguez: Remember that almost as soon as scientists figured out  
> how
> to manipulate life through genetic engineering, corporations figured  
> out
> how to monopolize it. A dangerous precedent was set back in the  
> 1960s when
> a Nobel Prize-winning physicist “invented” the chemical element  
> Americium
> (element no. 95 on the periodic table) and acquired US patent  
> #3,156,523.
> In the US alone, patents awarded annually on nano-scale products and
> processes have tripled since 1996. The current nanotech patent grab is
> reminiscent of the early days of biotech – “it’s like biotech on  
> steroids”
> in the words of one patent attorney. At stake is control over  
> innovations
> that span all industry sectors – from electronics, energy, mining and
> defense to new materials, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. As the  
> Wall St.
> Journal put it, “companies that hold pioneering patents could  
> potentially
> put up tolls on entire industries.”
> [A voice of Dr. Carroll from a recording or live reading also  
> possible]
> Trans_Patent 6608386: Sub-nanoscale electronic devices and bacterial
> processes
> July 12, 2006
> By Assignee(s) Yale University/YU (New Haven, CT)
> Inventors: Reed; Mark A. (Southport, CT); Tour; James M. (Columbia,  
> SC)
> Sometimes Lila would feel a bit itchy as she floated in her partner  
> a few
> hours before integration-birth. Most birthing was now a trans_patented
> condition involving sub-nanoscale trading – it was the only way to  
> pay the
> cost of life now. So every hour during this last trimester Lila and  
> her
> partner would ferment mass nanowire production on her in-vitro skin in
> collaboration with the Yale University Inc., nanoteria colonies. She  
> could
> feel the oldest most sustainable microbes on the planet staging WIPO-2
> contracts for the latest off-scale metal-changing particles.  
> Hundreds upon
> hundreds of Yale University Inc., products were waiting impatiently  
> for
> Lila to catch a bit of crying air at the edges of her partner’s  
> canal to
> install and run – for just in time delivery. Delivery was all that
> mattered now.
> Dr.Ludin: Governments, industry and scientific institutions have  
> allowed
> nanotech products to come to market in the absence of public debate  
> and
> regulatory oversight. An estimated 500 plus products containing  
> invisible,
> unregulated and unlabeled nano-scale particles are already  
> commercially
> available (including food products, pesticides, cosmetics,  
> sunscreens and
> more) – and thousands more are in the pipeline. Meanwhile, no  
> government
> has developed a regulatory regime that addresses the nano-scale or the
> societal impacts of the invisibly small. This unregulated agenda is  
> being
> driven by the new protocols of Venture Science the core of Particle
> Capitalism.
> Dr. Dominguez: Only a handful of toxicological studies exist on  
> engineered
> nanoparticles, but it appears that nanoparticles as a class are more  
> toxic
> than larger versions of the same compound because of their mobility  
> and
> increased reactivity. This raises serious health concerns because
> nanoparticles can slip past guardians of the body’s immune system,  
> across
> protective membranes such as skin, the blood brain barrier or  
> perhaps the
> placenta.
> Dr. Ludin: Some governments and scientists are belatedly conceding  
> that
> nano-scale particles raise unique risks for health, safety and the
> environment.  Given the knowledge gap, some experts recommend that  
> release
> of engineered nanoparticles be minimized or prohibited in the  
> environment:
> “Release of nano-particles should be restricted due to the potential
> effects on environment and human health.” – Nanotechnology and  
> Regulation
> within the framework of the Precautionary Principle. Final Report  
> for ITRE
> Committee of the European Parliament, February 2006.
> Dr Dominguez: “Until more is known about their environmental impact  
> we are
> keen that the release of nanoparticles and nanotubes in the  
> environment is
> avoided as far as possible. Specifically we recommend as a  
> precautionary
> measure that factories and research laboratories treat manufactured
> nanoparticles and nanotubes as if they were hazardous waster streams  
> and
> that the use of free nanoparticles in environmental applications  
> such as
> remediation of groundwater by prohibited.” – Royal Society and Royal
> Academy of Engineering, “Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies:  
> Opportunities
> and uncertainties,” July 2007.
> [A voice of Dr. Carroll from a recording or live reading also  
> possible]
> Dr. Carroll: Late Onset of Particle Capitalism (i)
> 27 07 2006
> Strike when the iron is hot: the spot bubbles to the
> surface—red-faced—some malicious, illicit strawberry, singed below a  
> soft
> cap of hair, I discover it there by accident, demand an explanation.  
> Vague
> mumblings of scalp stimulation, postpartum emotion in high gear. I  
> dream
> of an embedded chip, my son’s induction into the matter market. What
> matters is this: He is okay. Well, temporarily. Weeks later, the  
> market
> crashes, so to speak—in the ER, we become parental footnotes while the
> real work is done—intubation, a central line, the social worker in  
> talcum
> tones. The doctor lays down her hand, a pack of worst case scenarios  
> that
> fan out across the table. He may not make it through the night and  
> if he
> does we cannot predict the extent of the “devastation.” Devastation?  
> Loss
> of limbs, loss of hearing, loss of vision, permanent brain damage,
> multiple organ failure. Unable to process listing-as-event, I adhere  
> to my
> own paranoid versions of the tale: they are removing the chip*,
> deactivating the product. He is temporarily checked into an upscale
> refurbishing clinic. On a respirator to regain consciousness, he
> manufactures nipple dreams, which intersect with my own fantasies of  
> his
> lopsided smile, an escape-artist’s grin. In other words: recycling  
> lines
> pared out to me, choking on their saccharine-sweet cadences, I wish  
> first
> that he might live and then greedily branch out to demand additional
> reassurance. The white-coated herds that hoard expertise like pocket
> change prove all too accommodating, commodity-trading  
> interpellation: late
> onset GBS, bacterial meningitis; each one of us, a petri-dish,  
> navigating
> the birth canal.
> Dr. Ludin: We wish we could take grey goo off the Center for  
> Responsible
> Nanotechnology’s list of dangers, but we can’t. It eventually may  
> become a
> concern requiring special policy. Grey goo will be highly difficult to
> build, however, and non-replicating nano-weaponry may be substantially
> more dangerous and more imminent.
> We identified several severe risks.
> Economic disruption from an abundance of cheap products
> Economic oppression from artificially inflated prices
> Personal risk from criminal or terrorist use
> Personal or social risk from abusive restrictions
> Social disruption from new products/lifestyles
> Unstable arms race
> Collective environmental damage from unregulated products
> Free-range self-replicators (grey goo)
> Black market in nanotech (increases other risks)
> Competing nanotech programs (increases other risks)
> MORE CAN BE IMAGINED or perhaps sounded:
> http://www.ninawaisman.net/nano/nanoEmbed.html
> Some of the dangers described here are existential risks, that is,  
> they
> may threaten the continued existence of humankind. Others could  
> produce
> significant disruption but not cause our extinction. A combination of
> several risks could exacerbate the seriousness of each; any solution  
> must
> take into account its effect on other risks. Some of these risks arise
> from too little regulation on a global scale.
> Dr. Dominguez: Working nanotechnology will be a significant  
> breakthrough,
> comparable perhaps to the Industrial Revolution—but compressed into  
> a few
> years. This has the potential to disrupt many aspects of society and
> politics. The power of the technology may cause two competing  
> nations to
> enter a disruptive and unstable arms race. Weapons and surveillance
> devices could be made small, cheap, powerful, and  numerous. Cheap
> manufacturing and duplication of designs could lead to economic  
> upheaval.
> Overuse of inexpensive products could cause widespread environmental
> damage. Attempts to control these and other risks may lead to abusive
> restrictions, or create demand for a black market that would be very  
> risky
> and almost impossible to stop; small nanofactories will be very easy  
> to
> smuggle, and fully dangerous. There are numerous severe risks— 
> including
> several different kinds of risk—that cannot all be prevented with  
> the same
> approach. Simple, one-track solutions cannot work. The right answer is
> unlikely to evolve without careful planning.
> [A voice of Dr. Carroll from a recording (perhaps)]
> Dr. Carroll: When Lily was lucky, she got a contract for weapons.  
> The pay
> was good because it was dangerous. The weapons would come gushing  
> suddenly
> out of her with much loss of blood, usually in the middle of the  
> night: an
> avalanche of glossy, freckled, somewhat transparent bits of weapon
> goo-particles, each one with a number of soft blue eyes and rows of  
> bright
> sharp teeth. No matter how ill or exhausted Lily felt, she would  
> shovel
> them, immediately, into rusted tin cans or milk cubes and tie down the
> lids with auto-clean tape. If she didn’t do that, immediately, if  
> she fell
> asleep, the particles would eat her. Thrashing in their containers  
> as she
> carried them down the steps, the particles would speed eat each other,
> till nothing was left – the last one left would always eat itself –  
> “the
> highest state of artificial evolution,” her sister would whisper to  
> her
> before the accident. She would have to hurry, shuffling as fast as she
> could under the weight of so many containers, to the Neighbors. The
> Neighbors only paid her for the ones that were left alive. It was
> piecework.
> Dr. Ludin: It’s a Small World After all – Nanoera Inc.
> Dr. Dominguez: Particle Capitalism does not represent a new phase of
> capitalism in a temporal sense – yet, at the same time there is an  
> uncanny
> sense that something new is happening here.
> Dr. Ludin: Your Matter Is Our Market – NanoMiX Corp.
> Dr. Dominguez: Particle Capitalism is not just an encroachment of  
> capital
> on a new domain of science. But that this new domain of precise  
> atomic and
> molecular manipulation is now being constituted as a business plan  
> about
> what constitutes material reality – as just another tale of the matter
> market.
> Dr. Ludin: Reassembling Your World One Atom at a Time – NanitesNow  
> Inc.
> Dr. Dominguez: Particle Capitalism functions as unregulated form of
> venture science that implodes the ethos of science to the valuation of
> life-as-matter with the valuation of the market.
> Dr. Ludin: Market Catch Your Self – NanoCatch Inc.
> Dr. Dominguez: Recombinant society falls quickly before nano-fest  
> destiny.
> Biotechnology, like digital networks, becomes a side event before  
> the next
> state of command and control society. Each of us will rapidly become  
> the
> by product of artificial nanotechnology “vitamins”, interdependent
> molecular subassembly engines, and marked by inter-linked “termination
> dates.” We will become more than replicants and less than nothing. The
> cross-roads between the imaginary and all too real construction of
> nanotechnology is perhaps already behind us.
> Dr. Ludin: In the game of life and evolution there are three players  
> at
> the table: human beings, nature, and machines. I am firmly on the  
> side of
> nature. But nature, I suspect, is on the side of the machines.
> Dr. Dominguez: Not much difference between a banana and a human. Same
> Atoms, just arranged differently.
> Dr. Ludin: Not much difference.
> Dr. Dominguez: Not much difference at all.
> [Both lab workers shut down their computers, eat a banana, and walk  
> away.]
> p.s.
> An illuminated nanoscript by Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez and  
> Diane
> Ludin for iPod nano video presentation created for the *particle  
> group*
> project installation at Gallery at CALIT2 (http://gallery.calit2.net):
> http://post.thing.net/node/2234
> In(rez)solute/resolution(s) for 2009! To all softskins!
> from the *particle group*
> -- 
> Ricardo Dominguez
> Assistant Professor
> Hellman Fellow
> Visual Arts Department, UCSD
> http://visarts.ucsd.edu/
> Principal Investigator, CALIT2
> http://calit2.net
> Co-Chair gallery at calit2
> http://gallery.calit2.net
> CRCA Researcher
> http://crca.ucsd.edu/
> Ethnic Studies Affiliate
> http://www.ethnicstudies.ucsd.edu/
> Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies Affiliate
> http://cilas.ucsd.edu
> Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics,
> Board Member
> http://hemi.nyu.edu
> University of California, San Diego,
> 9500 Gilman Drive Drive,
> La Jolla, CA 92093-0436
> Phone: (619) 322-7571
> e-mail: rrdominguez at ucsd.edu
> Project sites:
> site: http://gallery.calit2.net
> site: http://pitmm.net
> site: http://bang.calit2.net
> site: http://www.thing.net/~rdom
> blog:http://post.thing.net/blog/rdom
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Christina McPhee

DANM Digital Arts and New Media
Porter Faculty Services
University of California at Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

001 805 878 0301
skype:  naxsmash

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