Back in July, a small British tech company announced the creation of "the world's darkest material": Vantablack, a super-black substance that is akin to "looking into a black hole". People speculated about its potential creative applications (imagine the blackest ever little black dress) but now sculptor Anish Kapoor has said that he'll be working with Vantablack in the future.
"The material is astonishing, so deeply black that your eyes can’t really see it at all," Kapoor said. "It is like staring into the kind of black hole found in outer space."
Surrey Nano Systems initially developed Vantablack out of carbon tubes for pratical applications, such as blocking out light in telescopes and disguising stealth aircraft. When light hits the material, all but 0.035% is trapped by the tubes, so you only see what's around the substance. Instead, your eyes establish that the only thing there is a spooky lump of absolute blackness.
Vantablack seems a natural choice for Kapoor's experimental inclinations given his forays into working with stainless steel and mirrors. Kapoor's sculptures are designed to unsettle the viewer and distort their surroundings, so working with a material that functions as a portable abyss seems like a nice step up.
Chief Technology Officer of Surrey NanoSystems Ben Jensen said: “Vantablack is a major breakthrough and we think it could change the way we see the universe. We are delighted that an artist of Anish Kapoor’s stature and reputation is interested in exploring its possibilities in the creative sphere.”
Watch this space.
This video explains how Vantablack works:
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