ChipScapes are pictures taken of computer chips, sort of microscopic chip landscapes, or ChipScapes for short. The artwork is created by photographing a silicon computer chip using a microscope and special lighting. Silicon is a silvery gray element and not very exciting to look at. The colors in ChipScapes come from a process I use that creates a prism effect derived from special lighting that takes advantage of the layered manufacturing process of computer chips. I use different lighting, angles, and the prism effect of chips to create colorful images of an otherwise boring gray chip. I use mostly vintage microprocessor and memory chips from the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to the artwork and the chip, I also include stories about the history and importance of the chips. I use shadow box frames , canvas, and jewelry frames. My artworks are in museums around the world.
My name is Steve Emery, and I create ChipScapes. It’s a digital art form based on computer chips.
I’ve worked with computer systems for over 40 years, so chip technology is something I’m familiar with, but I’m by no means an expert. ChipScapes came about as a confluence of hobbies. I am a collector of vintage computer chips, and I am an avid photographer. I had a challenge communicating my fascination with chips with my family and friends. These funny bug-like devices couldn’t tell their own stories 🙂 I began taking pictures of these microscopic chips, framing the chips with their photographs, and writing stories about them. I found art to be the communication vehicle I needed. To me, the sharing of stories, the art, and the beauty is what ChipScapes are all about. It is about preserving these chips, which today are being ground up and melted for their precious metals. I love the creation stories, the marketing challenges, and the corporate intrigue that swirled around them.
I am grateful for the support I have received and the opportunities that I have been given. I could never have guessed where my artworks would find homes. However, I currently have patrons in over 20 countries, world-class companies have commissioned pieces, and very prestigious museums have collected my artwork.
We can live our lives ignoring the beauty all around us and just see gray, but I choose to seek out beauty and share it with others. I hope to inspire people to find the art in all that they do. After all, even in the coldness of technology, we can find beauty, if we just look for it.