Milano’s Profiles | Francesco Paleari
Milan in architectural profiles of a historic city and modern at the same time, Milan in the profiles of the people who live it every day.
'Small Bangs (2013),' a science-inspired series of artwork using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) principles by Troika
artist statement: The ‘Small Bang’ series (2013) are ink drawings by which a circle or dot of black ink is applied to chromatography paper, which reacts by separating the dye until the black disappears. What is left are concentric shapes that bleed and spread with myriad colours.
The artworks are therefore not what they seem: for they are both the various colours that make up the absolute black ink and the separated colours of its intrinsic makeup. The title ‘Small Bang’ suggests the fundamental origins of the Big Bang of the universe, and the fact that all matter was created from darkness.
Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a chromatography technique used to separate non-volatile mixtures. Thin layer chromatography is performed on a sheet of glass, plastic, or aluminium foil, which is coated with a thin layer of adsorbent material, usually silica gel, aluminium oxide, or cellulose. This layer of adsorbent is known as the stationary phase.
After the sample has been applied on the plate, a solvent or solvent mixture (known as the mobile phase) is drawn up the plate via capillary action. Because different analytes ascend the TLC plate at different rates, separation is achieved.
Thin layer chromatography can be used to monitor the progress of a reaction, identify compounds present in a given mixture, and determine the purity of a substance. Specific examples of these applications include: analyzing ceramides and fatty acids, detection of pesticides or insecticides in food and water, analyzing the dye composition of fibers in forensics, assaying the radiochemical purity of radiopharmaceuticals, or identification of medicinal plants and their constituents 
A number of enhancements can be made to the original method to automate the different steps, to increase the resolution achieved with TLC and to allow more accurate quantitative analysis. This method is referred to as HPTLC, or “high performance TLC”.
Additional photo source: Reach Devices