Materials: Somerset satin paper, Acrylic inks, pcb, circuitboards
Circuit Portraits is an ongoing art project that finally shines some light on that chunk of fibreglass and copper that lurks inside our most loved machines. Most of which are now lurking in the attic.
The Sega Megadrive (known as the Genesis in the USA) was the console of choice in my house. Streets of Rage II was THE BEST, I played it endlessly with my older brother in the early 90s.
The Megadrive has quite a modern board in, dense with traces and not actually very interesting. Instead of printing this board, I've focussed on two tiny supporting PCBs that are in the case, for the power jack and the headphones socket. This item is a pair of postcard-sized prints.
I cleaned it, stripped the components, scanned it, and traced it, painstakingly laying out the lines like the original designer did. I created separations and screens for the four layers (background, bottom copper, top copper and through-holes). Each layer of each print is individually hand-pulled on a silkscreen press using four different mixed colours of acrylic ink, onto 300gsm textured Somerset Satin paper, in the basement of my studio here in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This paper is 124mm x 193mm (5" x 7.5"), the printed area is 78mm x 128mm (3" x 5"). The orientation is not fixed, this can be hung portrait or landscape. Cut down this small, the sheets are fairly stiff, like soft cardboard.
This is an open edition, signed by the artist on the back.
This project highlights the individuality that the people that made these artefacts bring to their work. The circuits I have chosen to feature are ones that have significance to me, either because our family had one, I had good memories of using them at friends houses, or because I coveted them badly!
They are curated from a golden era when consumer electronics still used relatively discrete components and the circuits themselves were open and simple. The days before computer-driven auto-routing could algorithmically calculate the most efficient routing scheme, with the fewest vias and the lowest impedance, in fact, the days when circuits were laid out on light-tables with gridding tape and set-squares. The days of Frogger and Pacman, of Horace Goes Ski-ing and Jetpac.
Engineers had their job to do, but for each design, had to choose only one of a thousand different ways to lay out their tracks. Each line was pored over for it's technical correctness, but ultimately there's a little bit of expression in each mark and swerve, in each routing decision.
None of it was ever intended to be looked at, but nevertheless, stripped of it's contextual markers - the case, buttons, lights, labels, connectors, components, and presented out-of-scale and on beautiful paper, under glass, the patterns reveal their purely aesthetic features and invite interpretation. A variation in density and detail play out a rhythm, and indicate a direction, movement.
Circuit boards, even now, are still produced industrially using a silkscreen technique, so the artists variation of this technique is very apt.
Prints are shipped rolled, face-out in a sturdy packing tube, with acid-free tissue paper and bubble wrap to protect it on it's journey. In the UK, it will be sent special delivery, a next-business-day, signed-for service. European shipping usually takes between two and four days, further afield can take up to ten business days.
Etsy Purchase Protection
There was a problem calculating your shipping. Please try again.
This will be made just for you! Prep time varies. Contact the shop to find out when it will ship.
90 shop reviews5 out of 5 stars
Mr. Noble, what can I say? This Polargraph, a type of art form I was unfamiliar with until stumbling upon your shop, is now my first real art purchase. Besides trading paintings, jewelry, ceramics & other creations with fellow art school students for 6 1/2 years, I have never actually forked over money for another artist's work... sad, I know. Even after teaching art for almost 8 years & growing up around the artists my dad hung around with, I could not afford the art I desired or it was unoriginal and bland. This piece changed all of that for me. Here is something I can not make with my own 2 hands & the process is so fascinating! Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making something so new and fresh. Something that was so different I had to have it, to feel the paper and process the way those lines were made. Just Lovely.
I was super excited to get this print since it represents some of the best times in my life as a kid. It's exactly as it looks here on Etsy, printed on vibrantly on great paper stock, and I can't wait to mount it and hang it in my office.
My very first home computer, presented here in beautiful full colour (something the machine itself was incapable of). A lovely piece of art, thank you.
All Hail the Mighty Armadillo....cuff that is. What a spectacular piece!! People I don't even know grab my wrist and want to know everything about it. It's a bold statement. It's super comfortable and it fits like it was designed just for me. Oh wait...It was designed for me! Thank you Sandy for another wonderful and rewarding design collaboration. The cuff is not only stylish but it will always have a lot of meaning for me. You listened to my ideas and you made them happen with skill and integrity. Thank you!
Photos from reviews
Mattel Intellivision controller screen print orange and grey art silkscreen circuit portrait retro console
Dunlop Cry Baby guitar wah pedal grey and black art silkscreen circuit portrait retro effects print
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Issue One screen print monochrome, greys art silkscreen circuit portrait retro computing
Arduino UNO circuit board screen print in monochrome greys and black - microcontroller silkscreen art
Dunlop Cry Baby guitar wah pedal blue and grey art silkscreen circuit portrait retro effects print