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Paul Thomas and Kevin Raxworthy, Australia

The Midas project is a visual and sonic installation that amplifies certain aspects of experience at the nano level. The project draws analogies to the curse of the fabled Midas, King of Phrygia, to whom Dionysus gave the power of turning all that he touched into gold. This gift soon became a curse, as even his food and drink transformed into gold. The Midas project uses a single skin cell as a visual metaphor for exploring touch of the nanobiological body. An Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) was used to image a cultured skin cell and the AFM in a force stereoscopy mode recorded the atomic vibrations when skin touches gold. The installation comprises a gold coated three-dimensional model and a digital projection of an image of the skin cell. The viewer touches the gold coated model to play the atomic vibrations of atoms and to initiate the release of semi-autonomous nanobots that consume the projected image of the cell.

MIDAS Interview
MIDAS Photo: Screen capture (© Paul Thomas)