Printed Circuit Boards towards Non-Binary Computation

In collaboration with Rupert, Vilnius, Lithuania and their program: Post-Pandemic Futures

The letters M E L T are etched into a self-made printed ciruit board. They connect cables to a resistor and a LED light

Meltionary is an artistic project that unlocks metaphors of melting in times of climate change and explores unstable states of matter. Colliding theories and practices from chemistry, trans*feminism and computation, our dictionary-like work is invested in moments of material transformation. For Post Pandemic Futures we are writing a meltry (entry) for our Meltionary on non-binary computation.
Bits, or Zeros and Ones, are often described as the immaterial basis of computation. Electrical voltages are measured and then mapped to fit a scale from 0 to 1. But: Most of these numbers don’t actually hit the Zero or One mark, but exist in between. To ignore such ‚noise‘, a threshold is put in place to fit these different pulses into a binary logic. Interruptions to the binary of bits happen in all sort of queer ways in the universe. Cosmic rays cause trouble with electronics: As high energy protons and atomic nuclei, they move through space at the speed of light. Computers experience about one cosmic-ray-induced error per 256 megabytes of RAM per month. From this, we conclude that the universe is NOT OK with binary logic. For this meltry we will both write a text and develop custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) that suggest future non binary ways of connecting that are not "on/off" but continuously flowing. This work builds on figures of computing as non binary and proposes ways of DIY hacking futures.