Illuminated Nanoscripts

Text: Amy Sara Carroll
Design: Ricardo Dominguez and Amy Sara Carroll
Occasional Contributor: Diane Ludin

In descriptions of nanofabrication and the making of integrated circuits (silicon chips), references abound to William Blake’s “illuminated manuscripts.”1 Before realizing the frequency of Blake-as-apparition, we too began to riff on his alternative sources of energy, imagining the scrolling texts we’d designed for iPod nanos as “illuminated nanoscripts.” Thus, just as nano-R & D gold-filigree their “texts,” privileging the alchemized miniaturization of metallurgy as agglutinating method and metaphor, we, vis-à-vis our scrolling nanoscripts, reverse-shoot Blakean influence (also channeling Blake’s materialism), projecting a cinematics of constellation, mashing up the movement-sound-word-image to honor “prehistoric digital poetry” as “archaeologies of the future.”2 “NANO BANANA,” “TIN Y PLURI- BUS [+ UNAM],” “NÃO→NANO-OBJETO,” and “POST-PANGEA INCONTINENCE” function alone and in conjunction with *particle group*’s larger investigations into nanotoxicologies and science’s silenced fictions. Invested in the particularization (particle-ization) of language, in the performative visualization of las artes y las letras (codeswtiching as somatic scripts at the advent of the twenty-first century), *particle group*’s “illuminated nanoscripts” are legible as post-concrete-poetry thought experiments in the concretization of poetry as “transparent” (a.k.a. “neoliberal”) narratives’ ghostly Otherworlds. Neither transparent nor opaque, for the time-becoming, they “fake” the foreplay of light and shadow, advocating translucency as a temporary place-holder for something beyond dialectical scanning and the book-as-object.


1 See, for instance, Richard A. L. Jones’ Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life (Oxford: Oxford U. P., 2004, 43-45).

2 The catch-in-your-throat phrase, “prehistoric digital poetry,” came into being, courtesy of C. T. Funkhouser (Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archaeology of Forms (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007). We decouple it from “an archaeology of forms” here, re/pairing it with Fredric Jameson’s Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (London and New York: Verso, 2005) to género-bend (to subtend to one of the original declensions of the “paraliterary”-science fiction).

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