IBM, Burlington, Vermont Dynamic Random-Access Memory Chip (DRAM) 1982 Paper, silicon, and microchip Manufactured by IBM, East Fishkill, NY Gift of the manufacturer
Although not designed for aesthetic appeal, this diagram illustrates the intricacy and aesthetic power of a small and oft-hidden object. Memory chips are used to store enormous quantities of data and, often measuring only tenths of an inch in size, are the densest of all integrated circuits; laid out in tabular form, they are primarily one cell repeated thousands of times in an impenetrable grid. Originally acquired by curator Cara McCarty for her 1990 exhibition Information Art: Diagramming Microchips, the complex pattern of this diagram evokes an aerial view of a landscape or an abstract geometrical painting.
Paola Antonelli Senior Curator, Architecture & Design Director, Research & Development
Barbara Eldredge Research Coordinator, Research & Development