Etching Sand Castles On A Single Grain Of Sand

Etching Sand Castles On A Single Grain Of Sand


[Music] [Music] our relationship to images has an economic relationship we walk towards images and whatever is there has certain scale that confirms the scale of our body and our distance to it and as we approach it something happens we either find the connection or we lose it Photography gives you the ability to play with that scale once you go beyond and you really blow the scale altogether beyond that the boundaries of what we understand economically this is the kind of images that I am always interested in to think that there is a grain of sand on that castle in it you know it’s not just a trick that’s real I used to work in a very small studio and my work had a certain scale and then I realized that by moving into a larger studio the word sort of expanded in the beginning of the it I think was around 2001 2002 I had the opportunity to work in an environmental scale we made almost 25 drawings some of them up to a scale of 500 meters long and they could only be seen from helicopters the draw itself becomes something from your mind around at the same time it made me think of going the opposite way around and actually making things so small it would create similar impression there will be so tiny that it could only be imagined it cannot be seen and it was a very fortunate event that I ran into Marcelo quaalude the first time the Vic talked to me about this project I thought he was joking he came to me he was like I’ve had this idea for a long time and have really been one thing to do this I want to draw caso into a grain of sand and I think the sheer impossibility of it is what excited me and then from then on it was basically trying to figure out how to do it and that lasted about four years project starts at pre photography started using a camera lucida which is a drawing instrument that Vic used to draw this castles camera lucida is a 19th century device that allows you to make pictures it’s something that allows you to see what’s in front of you projected in a board right below it and all you have to do is to trace it the inventor of photography Harry Fox that was a terrible camera lucida a draftsman that’s probably the reason why he invented photography so we start before cameras exist and we end up at a point where cameras are kind of irrelevant or they’re not even necessary [Music] the machinery ultimately use is called the FIB for focused ion beam it’s normally used in the electronic industry for fixing integrated circuits instead of use it your draw shapes for drawing castles with it this is about half of a millimeter and I’m trying to find the grain that looks good all right so I just loaded the image of the castle here I’m going to frame it now on this screen here we’ll have the ions that we use to etch the grain and on this screen we’ll have the electrons that we used to see the grain and that the combination of both is what creates damage and I would just wait two minutes fingers crossed it’s really strange because you’re basically drawing onto a canvas you don’t quite know what it is and you can’t hold it sometimes I’ll draw and the grain will just break into pieces because it’s too soft or sometimes I draw nothing will show up because it might be too hard and you have to restart the entire process I don’t think I’ve ever worked on something that was this complicated and difficult over the course of four years like sometimes I ask myself should I just do this in Photoshop but you realize that it’s not the same thing in some ways the final image carries with it the history of the process that you’ve developed recognition has been the basic principle my work since the very beginning the word recognition is very interesting because it means assimilating something twice I rely on imagery that’s very simple things that you’ve seen a million times because that’s what creates this little trick you think you know it and then you have to know it again the idea is that you create a path but you leave bread crumbs for the viewer to to follow and this questioning about the image when you’re looking at something you realize how the hell was this done [Music] alright it looks like we’ve got something here so this is the first Castle that we got with this new batch of grains it’s actually really nice now to sort of navigate through the image and see some of the details when you look at the castle in the drawing you see the outlines of the rocks are there on top of the top of mountains basically and they actually match the actual outline of the grain so this is really interesting symmetry right where the mountain actually looks like the grain of sand and they’re entirely different scales interesting thing about projects that connect scientists and artists I think it comes down to the point that we feel that we’re always looking for the same thing you know we’re trying to understand the world around us I think photography in some ways is just sort of restarting and I think there’s a whole new kind of photography kind of emerging now a lot of it is happening because of this combination between computers and cameras in a new form of storytelling narrative can sort of emerge from it it is a great moment to be a photographer today because photography is completely obsolete in terms of its relation to reality we’re pretty much at the spot where painting was around 1839 when photography was invented painting was sort of released from its relation to the factory world painters had to think what is painting in a similar fashion the relationship of between photography and reality has changed significantly with the advent of digital imaging it’s becoming what Leonardo mentioned is kosa mentally is something from the mind which has always been when somebody tells you hey this is a grain of sand there’s this moment where the reality that you have in front of you sort of falls apart and you have to reconstruct it you have to really take a step back and rethink what that image is and what it means and I think that’s the motivating force behind Rick’s work and why he wanted to do this project it’s so insignificant yet so monumental I’m very happy with the result we should have started with that [Music] you

49 thoughts on “Etching Sand Castles On A Single Grain Of Sand

  1. So clever… yeah. It would be even cooler if one day he carved a grain of sand into a castle… but then again what w waste of time right.

  2. despite the effort of these people, it is still an exercise of self referential craftsmanship executed only to deliver amusement and nothing else. It could be compared to a bad hollywood movie. 

  3. This is now one of the most expensive grains of sand since time on a FIB is about $300 per hour (terrestrial at least since Moon rocks cost us $1,000,000 per once). But a good way to convey the nexus of art and science. BTW, an artist having an idea and having someone else execute it is a time honored way of producing art.

  4. what u need to do is try to recreate the most famous crop circles .. i mean if they where made by man it cant be that hard..  plus its science + technology + astronomy …  😉

  5. This Incredible Castle Looks Larger Than Life But When You See It’s Actual Size Your Head Will Explode. http://wp.me/p4aRlc-GZ 

  6. He talks about taking a step back and thinking about what the image really means…this is a very intelligent perspective….deconstructing and reconstructing reality…  It's not just the art (simple, some may say).  But to know each image is on a SINGLE GRAIN OF SAND…how can you not be intrigued and amazed? It really makes you think about "how much" is really out there…so much we can't see but from a distance – galaxies…or not at all – the center of the ever expanding universe…down to the smallest particles that exist, anywhere. 

  7. It's an interesting experiment but I don't really see why it is so cool or original. Haven't you heard of Willard Wigan or Mikola Sjadristij? They make sculptures and drawings at the same scale by HAND. Sjadristij even made a 12 page book full of poems and a portrait drawing at a size only 0.6 mm2. Now that's truly mind-blowing and meaningful.

  8. Talk about MASTURBATION of the ego- doing it because you could, doing it because it makes you feel good and of no net benefit to the rest of humanity. Heck, all the hard work is done by the scientist, not the artist! So this is not masturbation, it's
    PROSTITUTION- paying someone else to get you off. Lame.

  9. Isn't this guy the same guy that created art out of garbage from a recycling center in Brazil? From the movie WASTELAND?

  10. Fake, i took out a ruler and put it up to the castle on the video and it was almost 3 inches wide. A grain of sand is NOT 3 inches wide

  11. yeh but what's the value in it? i dont find this valuible nor very artistic idk it fells more like engieniring than art

  12. Vic Muniz is my hero in the world of art. I love the garbage project 2010. I feel it speaks volumes of who Muniz is as a human being. I dream of doing work like his, in such a way that it changes how people feel about themselves.

  13. Can't provide everyone with a source of clean water; but can put a sand castle on a grain of sand…..ah, to be human.

  14. The machine is the impressive part here, not the artist. His creation piece is much more artistically impressive to me. But the castle drawings are cool I guess.

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