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The Blackest Black


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Vantablack

Vantablack is a substance made of vertically aligned carbon nano tube arrays, that’s also where it got it’s name from: Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays. It absorbs up to 99.965% of radiation in the visible spectrum. It is composed of a forest of vertical tubes which are “grown” on a substrate using a modified chemical process. When light strikes Vantablack, instead of bouncing off, it becomes trapped and is continually deflected among the tubes, eventually becoming absorbed and dissipating into heat.

The material was originally designed for space equipment, its ability to limit stray light makes it ideal for the inside of telescopes. Also a lot of luxury brands try to get their hands on Vantablack to use it in their latest products. Anish Kapoor has exclusively licensed the material for artistic use, which is an extremely cunty move. He says: “it’s effectively like a paint… Imagine a space that’s so dark that as you walk in you lose all sense of where you are, what you are, and especially all sense of time.” Vantablack isn’t a pigment but a material and due to its temperature and physical requirements is not practical for most uses yet.

Vantablack was featured in the last of all acts, act VI Slim which was about experiments and investigations into futuristic ‘smart’ materials.

What makes me personally intrigued about Vantablack is it’s ability to absorb almost all light which makes you lose your sense of depth completely, you stare into an endless pit of nothing it is like looking into a black hole, unfortunately the material was put in a plexiglass box, so instead of looking into the depths of the universe, you are looking at the reflection of your own face. On the positive side by putting it in a box that you could pick up, you could experience how you lose your sense of depth.
The material was presented inside a cabin with a surface that changes it colour depending on the light that fall on it, created by Aliki van der Kruijs inspired by how Vantablack consists out of tubes.

 

Vantablack Display sample 2016. Surrey NaniSystems. exh.cat.no.75-slim

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