“The Clock” is the culmination of a 3-year project by Gislain Benoit. It’s made up of 1,916 hand-soldered components and weighs about 14 lbs. Of course, the end result is something that can be accomplished by a $10 digital watch found at your local convenient store, but the beauty is in the details. The clock looks like it could be some sort of mini hadron collider.
How it Works:
“The clock reference, in other words the heart beat of this clock comes from the AC outlet. Here in North America, the outlets supply 120 Volts, in 60 cycles per second, called 60 Hertz. This 60 Hertz signal is taken by the clock and is divided by sixty to produce a pulse of 1 hertz, which is one pulse per second. The same circuit which does this division is also used to animate the ring of LED lights around the clock digits. The 1 Hertz pulse is then taken to the seconds counter, then to the tens of seconds counter, then to the minutes, and so on, till the tens of the hours.”
Leonardo Ulian, from Gorizia, Italy, is responsible for this intricate Circuit Mandala. The OCD portion of my brain really appreciates the symmetry he achieved with this piece. I get the impression that he started with the middle microchip and just worked his way outward. This thing is about 4ft x 4ft, so it must have taken him quite some time. This thing really is a masterpiece… The final product appears reminiscent of a spider web.
It’d really be fantastic if the circuit was functional…
…And I guess Leonardo Ulian addresses that here:
“With the Technological Mandala series I combined the suggestive and spiritual meaning of the Indian Mandalas with something that has been perceived as far from that sphere of influence, technology. The search of perfection as necessity within the electronics industry has stimulated my curiosity to produce this series of pieces in order to evocate that specific need. I wanted to show what has been hidden from the eyes of the consumer, representing electronic circuits as extraordinary objects where the perfection of the design can becomes almost something ethereal. The shapes and colors of the single components intrigued me for pure aesthetic reasons with the consequent loss of the actual functionality of the component itself. My circuits/ Mandalas do not activate lights or do other complicated function, but they simply function as stimulus to produce simple questions like: what will happen if a real electric current flows through the Circuit/Mandala?”
Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure nothing good would come out of this circuit. However, it would be a nice artistic progression for Ulian to design an aesthetically beautiful circuit that also functions.
In the summer of 2005, a group of artists going by the name of OAR gained access to an abandoned electrical substation in Belfast, NI. The building had once powered the city but had lay dormant for almost 25 years before the artists were allowed entry. Inside the complex, they found a time capsule.
The style of this place reminds of Wes Anderson’s kind of aesthetic. I’m a big fan of the retro controls and pale colors. Please check out LookAtBuilding for more photos and some of the work the artists created during their time there. They basically moved in over the next few months and created an impressive on-site installation exhibit.