The Mother(board) of all Art!

I’ve had my P.C. Wizard hat on most of today, up to my elbows in dismantled computers.

ATX Backplate

ATX Backplate

In between cursing the components for their lack of cooperation and scraping my knuckles on solder-spikes, I took a little time to examine the Art to be found inside a computer case.

I quite like the connector-plate, with its regular rows of plugs and sockets, with their tiny numbers and colour-coded pattern. These plates have changed many times over the years, while keeping within certain form-factor limits, but have always had a certain charm.

Row of Capacitors

Row of Capacitors

This set of capacitors, regulating voltages around the circuit board, sit in a neat row, but their regularity is offset by the cross-cuts twisting at different angles. An artefact of the manufacturing process, this adds an organic twist to an otherwise sterile, mechanical scene.

PCB Tracks

PCB Tracks

The tracks leading between components have to be precisely laid out, never touching, and never crossing. Acute corners are avoided, keeping to 45′ wherever possible, as the tracks wind their way across the board.
Probably my favourite view of a motherboard, this close-up shows the emergent patterns that form from computer-generated layouts, defined by the locations of components and the connections that must be made.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.
Have you noticed any emergent art, in technology or elsewhere? What is your favourite gadget, when viewed close-up?
Or does the whole idea of looking closer at Technology repel you?

2 thoughts on “The Mother(board) of all Art!

  1. siobhan

    You’ve always been fond of a dismantled electronic component. I don’t know about finding any aesthetic beauty in computer stuff but I do love those many-many times blown up close ups of sand and snowflakes.

  2. The Crystal Wizard Post author

    True. I dismantled my first radio aged 8, and never looked back! Not only is the technology interesting, but also the manufacturing techniques. How they get all those fiddly little bits on the board, how they etch the tracks.
    For micro-art (nano-art?), there are some stunning (if silly) pictures etched into the circuitry of computer-ships, only viewable when magnified 2000 times!
    And yes, crystal structures viewed at that magnification are fantastic! Sand, snow, its amazing what patterns there are!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *