Commonly seen in Hinduism, Buddhism and Phish concerts, mandalas are usually made of colorful threads or even sand in overwhelmingly complex patterns to express a religious reverence for the infinite beauty of the Cosmos. More recently, Italian artist Leonardo Ulian has been putting a very different spin on the age-old tradition by soldering capacitors, ICs and transistors without sacrificing their familiar geometric form and balance.
In a recent interview, Ulian explained, “I think of my mandalas as ephemeral gizmos, able to trigger the eyes and minds of the viewers with images and thoughts of any sort, but without taking it too seriously … I used the word ‘ephemeral’ because electronic technology is in a way impermanent. It is constantly changing and can become easily obsolete, like sand mandalas can be easily brushed away after days of work.”
…however, Ulian did not have any comment on the practice of planned obsolescence.
In the video below, Ulian demonstrates a piece called ‘Technological Mandala 42 – random relay’, which involves three radios and bio-generated energy similar to a theremin.
It is the opinion of the EvD Art Criticism Division that the work of Leonardo Ulian is not only timeless, but should perhaps have a techno-geek religion built around it as well:
You can see all of Ulian’s work over at his website.