Art: Sandcastles Etched On A Single Grain Of Sand

When it comes to art, it can be found at both the tiniest and grandest of places. As a demonstration of the former, an artist has etched unbelievably tiny sandcastles on a single grain of sand.


The extraordinary work of art has been created by artist Vik Muniz and artist plus researcher Marcelo Coelho. The duo has been working on this piece of art for the past four years. They initially needed the kind of technology that could be used to etch an image at so tiny a scale.

First they decided to test laser beams but these beams were more powerful than the project required. They ended up blasting away the grains of sand. Finally, they settled on using Focused Ion Beam (FIB). FIB is typically used to fix integrated circuits on microchips, so it works fine with ultra-microscopic material without damaging it.


The hardest part was to modify this technology to be useful for the purposes of this art project. In all, the project took four years to come to fruition. The duo was ultimately able to etch complete sandcastles on a single grains of sand.

Speaking about this extraordinary achivement, Coelho stated, “The first time Vik talked to me about this, I thought he was joking. When someone tells you it’s a grain of sand, there’s a moment where your reality falls apart and you have to reconstruct it. You have to step back and ask what the image is and what it means.”

Images of the grains of sand will be put up at Tel Aviv Museum of Art this week. This is probably the first time such advanced technology has been used to take art to such a micro level.

Courtesy: Daily Mail

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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