Italian London-based artist Leonardo Ulian has found a new way to recycle computer parts–by using them as a medium of art. The artist takes old computer parts (specifically microchips, circuits, resistors, and other components found within everyday electronics) and makes geometric shapes, ultimately creating a “technological mandala.”
A mandala (which translates to “circle” in Sanskrit) is a cosmic diagram that can speak to the human psyche, according to Hindus and Buddhists. In fact, psychologist Carl Jung characterized it as “synthesis of distinctive elements in a unified scheme representing the basic nature of existence.”
Ulian focused on the artistic side of the mandala and explains the concept behind his series of re-invented mandalas on This Is Colossal:
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 functions, but they simply function as stimulus to produce simple questions like: what will happen if a real electric current flows through the Circuit/Mandala?
One look at Ulian’s 4×4-foot mandala and it is hard not to be mesmerized. The geometric shapes are perfectly laid out and the intricate details can make a person forget they’re looking at recycled computer bits and pieces connected with wire.
It truly is a beautiful concept to incorporate art, technology and spirituality in one sustainable medium. And that too, whilst recycling old computer parts. The statistics behind wasting electronics is staggering: According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “for every million cell phones we recycle, 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.”
Learn more at Leonardo Ulian’s website.