This guy's tech mandalas are giving me an ontological crisis

Leonardo Ulian's large technological mandala.
(Image credit: Leonardo Ulian)

Prepare to be mesmerised by the beauty of technological mandalas. These intricate and oh-so-delicate artworks by Leonardo Ulian are born of a marriage between tech and art, and the artist's fascination with this idea that technology has become so important to us that it's "almost something to worship."

Ulian's work ties wires, batteries, resistors, and other tiny components into incredible, vast webs that seem to move when you inspect them closer (via Designboom). 

There's a big focus on the fact that these are parts that are often hidden to us—unless you're into the whole transparent casing thing, of course. In bringing them to the forefront, and in such a fascinating way, Ulain's work feels pretty impactful to me. 

I remember how good it felt going from a totally enclosed PC case, to one with RGB lighting and a transparent side panel. Exposing my gaming PC's internals had a profound impact on me, come to think of it. 

Just being able to see what it is that makes your PC go brrr is a marvellous thing. 

This artwork takes things to a whole other level, though. Not only tearing tech down, but zooming in on the microcosm of seemingly insignificant components has to be some kind of metaphor right? If I know artists, no one makes mandalas without having an ulterior, ontological motive.

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Ulian says he uses his mandalas as a metaphor for the infinite connectivity of life, the universe and everything. "I like the idea of a universe made of infinite connections, between people, objects, feelings, states, planets and minds, as the links I develop in my technological mandalas."

So yes, there's more to it than just soldering some bits of metal together with a mere "That looks kinda cool, I guess."

After that little existential mindfluff, I now have this harrowing feeling I've been looking at tech wrong my whole life. Especially now the Torment Nexus is opening up. At least I have a good idea of how I want my new office to be decorated.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been rambling about games, tech and science—rather sarcastically—for four years since. She can be found admiring technological advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. Right now she's waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.