Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:

Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view

whats new at ieet

Technology hasn’t changed love. Here’s why

Why Non-Natural Moral Realism is Better than Divine Command Theory

IEET Affiliate Scholar Steve Fuller Publishes New Article in The Telegraph on AI

Can we build AI without losing control over it?

Blockchain Fintech: Programmable Risk and Securities as a Service

Brexit for Transhumanists: A Parable for Getting What You Wish For

ieet books

Philosophical Ethics: Theory and Practice
John G Messerly


spud100 on 'For the unexpected innovations, look where you'd rather not' (Oct 22, 2016)

spud100 on 'Have you ever inspired the greatest villain in history? I did, apparently' (Oct 22, 2016)

RJP8915 on 'Brexit for Transhumanists: A Parable for Getting What You Wish For' (Oct 21, 2016)

instamatic on 'What democracy’s future shouldn’t be' (Oct 20, 2016)

instamatic on 'Is the internet killing democracy?' (Oct 17, 2016)

RJP8915 on 'The Ethics of a Simulated Universe' (Oct 17, 2016)

Nicholsp03 on 'The Ethics of a Simulated Universe' (Oct 17, 2016)

Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month

Here’s Why The IoT Is Already Bigger Than You Realize
Sep 26, 2016
(5977) Hits
(1) Comments

IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner to discuss most recent monograph with theologian Prof. Friedrich Graf
Oct 3, 2016
(4065) Hits
(0) Comments

Space Exploration, Alien Life, and the Future of Humanity
Oct 4, 2016
(4001) Hits
(1) Comments

Blockchain Fintech: Programmable Risk and Securities as a Service
Oct 22, 2016
(3171) Hits
(0) Comments

IEET > Vision > Technoprogressivism > Staff > Hank Pellissier

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5677) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg

Nanotechnology Artist - Murray Robertson

Hank Pellissier
By Hank Pellissier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Jan 16, 2012

I first encountered the meticulous, gorgeous nanotechnology and molecular computer art of Murray Robertson in 2009, while perusing jpegs at the Foresight Institute’s online Nanomedicine Gallery. My favorite image was vibrant and visionary; it depicted a glorious techno-future where minuscule robots navigate our bloodstreams, to silently combat viruses, toxins, free radicals, fungi and other malevolencies.

Seeking additional nano-fun, I emailed Robertson; he referred me to another collection of his painstaking work, where I browsed joyfully, eventually acquiring my four favorite prints. Murray, I learned, is Scottish, he’s been visualizing his scientific ideas since 1998, and he’s a “Master Studio Printer” at the Glascow Print Studio. Two of his notable projects - “A Visual Interpretation of the Table of Elements”   and the ChemSoc Timeline - were created for the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry; his client list also includes Scottish Television and the BBC Visual Effects Department.

I’m not going to be in the British isles this spring, but if I was, I’d attend Murray’s upcoming show, Observations, that he’s presenting with a science-and-art cohort, Jim Pattison. Their exhibition will be in the Glasgow Print Studio Gallery, from March 9th - April 8th. 

The population of techno-progressive artists is tiny, but perhaps accelerating. Just last month, Shane Hope’s solo show, “Transubstrational: As a Smartmatter of Nanofacture” was presented at the Winkleman Gallery in New York. I interviewed Shane Hope about his dense creations, and now, to maintain my role as an H+ art impresario, I’ve interviewed Murray Robertson as well:

Hank Pellissier: When did you become interested in science?
Murray Robertson: As a young boy I spent many hours browsing in bookshops, attracted to (and fascinated by) the illustrations featured in volumes on a wide variety of subjects including astronomy, chemistry, biology, history and archaeology. This fascination has remained with me and continues to trigger a response today.
HP: How did you create the nanotechnology photos?
MR: The images are created digitally using a combination of 3D modeling and photo editing software utilizing a variety of source imagery and information.
The scientists consulted were able to provide diagrams, charts, micrographs and verbal explanations of their respective research areas. As individual images progressed further meetings were undertaken to hopefully ensure a balance between the clarity of presentation of scientific ideas and creative interpretation.
HP: Do you believe art is a great way of helping people understand science and new technology?
MR: I believe that art can make science more “accessible” and can perhaps assist in bridging some of the gaps in understanding and awareness of the complexities inherent in new technology. In the projects I have worked on there has been a general consensus from those involved that if viewers of these works are enlightened by even one item of scientific knowledge then the outcome is a positive one.

HP: Do you regard nanotechnology as important in the future?  Do you fear it or are you eagerly anticipating its potential benefits?
MR: Unless many of the current predictions are wrong it seems that advanced nanotechnology will have a significant impact upon our lives within the next few years in many diverse areas including computers, engineering and biomedical. I remain optimistic as to the positive applications of these innovations, especially in medical science.
HP: Do critics ever say “that isn’t art?” Do they try to separate science and art?
MR: Expounding science-based imagery or ideas in a “fine art” context or environment undoubtedly presents challenges to the formal aesthetic values of some people. Especially so, if the imagery is computer generated.
HP: Your photos are very beautiful (to me) - are they beautiful to you as well?
MR:  I enjoy the creativity, concentration and immersion required for the production of the imagery I create. Perhaps, for me, that is where any beauty really lies. I hope a sense of that pleasure is communicated through the works.
HP: If you could invent anything scientific, what would it be?
MR: Undoubtedly, a system that could provide accurate long range weather forecasts.
HP: What artists, and scientists, do you admire?  
MR: John White (who accompanied Francis Drake on his 1565 expedition to North America) and Robert Fludd (“one of the last of the true Renaissance men”) are two artists for whom I have the greatest respect.  
I am consistently amazed by the innovative work of many of the early pioneers in science including John Dalton, Joseph Black, Dimitri Mendeleev, Charles Darwin, Neils Bohr and Paul Dirac.
HP: If you could have nanobots in your body, what would they do?
MR: I would wish them to be dedicated to monitoring and maintaining my general health and well being.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5678) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Do You Despise Congress? (If not, you’re probably not paying attention)

Previous entry: Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream Speech


RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

East Coast Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @     phone: 860-428-1837

West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Email: hank @