Recently, I hit the reused materials motherload, or motherboard, I should say. When I came across a Mona Lisa replica using recycled materials, I knew that I had made a discovery worth sharing. Replicas of the classics are to be expected, but the use of old PC motherboards is, to say the least, rather unique. While nothing really shocks me anymore, the creator here is not an artist, which is quite the twist. Asustek, an electronics maker in Taiwan, saw the chance to recycle obsolete motherboards by using them to make their own Mona Lisa display. It is an abstract work of art more than anything else — an unorthodox showcase. While greenlaunches.com calls the venture an “amazing work of geek art,” the difficulty in melting down these motherboards or cutting them up to make the art is no joke, especially when some of the art pieces required gold. That’s right, I said gold, and extracting it to mold a piece of Mona Lisa art is a task so difficult that da Vinci may have very well scratched his head. While there are several options to recovering the gold, all of them take time, effort and extreme attention to detail. The old “scrape off by hand” method takes patience, but often gives the best results. Then there is electroplating, a chemical solution and electricity mixed method that draws the gold off of the circuit board. Chemical baths, perhaps the most important to pay attention to, require a harsh chemical removal process that can hurt you if you aren’t careful. See tips and tricks to get your own gold for your own art pieces. As for the Mona Lisa, Ausustek proudly displays it in its headquarters in Peitou, Taiwan, for most of the year, though it hits the road every so often. Recently, the art showed at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo. Daring to break the traditional recycling mold, electronics has made a creative small step toward sustainability, and the Mona Lisa gets another moment in the modern sun. Now, if it were true that Leonardo da Vinci was one who always thought of the future — as many accounts say — he would not have it any other way.
Turning a Computer into Art: A Modern Mona Lisa
Some old motherboards were creatively turned into a modern work of art instead of heaping the landfills.