The New Dark Ages


A new material has been developed in Britain and it's so black that it's difficult to understand what you are looking at. The colour is made from carbon “nanotubes” which are described as very thin drinking straws. These straws are 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. The substance is called Vantablack and it absorbs up to 99.96% of visual light, making it blacker than anything man has ever known.

To make matters even more astounding the Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor acquired exclusive rights to the product in 2016. The licensing of Vantablack to Kapoor is very controversial and has many artists outraged, as they will never get the opportunity to work with the substance. One of Kapoor’s first installations incorporating the new material was a piece entitled “Descent Into Limbo” exhibited at Serralves Museum in Portugal. What appears to be a black circle painted on the floor is actually an eight foot deep hole whose interior is coated in Vantablack. By eliminating all reflective light the super black material presents this particular hole as a two dimensional shape. Curiosity got the better of a 60 year old visitor who, despite posted warnings and a nearby security guard, fell into the void. Fortunately, he was not harmed. Modern art, however, was left with a black mark.