Computers as art objects

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“A ‘case modder’ professional needs to work an average of 340 hours,” says Michael Wegner, an expert in Cologne.

Berlin, Germany. – The “case modding” computer becomes a dull gray in a work of art. Even a layman, with money, time and a lot of skill, you can modify the appearance of your PC beyond recognition, but the designers remember that despite everything there tabu areas.

What until now was known as “tuning” and was the exclusive territory of automobile enthusiasts, able to turn an old car into a stylish Alfa Romeo, can now also be applicable to crazy about computers.

Both are united in the desire to give a new look to your car or your computer. But in the case of computers, the “tuning” is called here “case modding”. It’s turning a boring housing (in English: case) in a stunning work of art.

“A ‘case modder’ professional needs to work an average of 340 hours,” says Michael Wegner, an expert in Cologne. But there are fans who have been two thousand hours working on redesigning your PC.

The results of both paper presents every year in the German championship “case modding”, in the context of computer games fair Gamescom Cologne City, held this year between 21 and 25 August.

But a walk through the many portals “case modding” Internet also reveals spectacular results: no such computers submerged in water or oil, and others with entirely transparent box or PCs with multicolor lighting.

Why is this? “In general, it is individualized or embellish everyday items,” said Wegner, spokesman championship “case modding”.

Meanwhile, for the “case modder” Benjamin Franz, how important are these spectacular structures. Many “case modder” emphasize the same principles of interest to industrial designers. For example, to get clean lines and forms of individual expression. It is no coincidence that many former or active “case modder” design study or work in this area.

The rule is that these fans build everything themselves, refusing any longer manufactured piece. But who only want a bit beautify your computer can start from the bottom and, for example, buy a backlit keyboard or a light chain to the monitor, Wagner advises. “This may cost less than $ 100 and less than an hour of work,” he says.

However, a strict “case modding” is much more demanding, although costs remain within a frame. “In a project, I invest an average of 200 euros in material,” says Benjamin Franz, one of these fans.

This work requires the beginner especially time and patience. To begin, there are numerous internet sites and forums where the layman can discuss their doubts. Many “case modder” experienced and published there called “work logs”, in which a project document in detail, with sketches and photos from the initial idea to the final product.

In all the main work computer is care. Jürgen Ripperger, the German Institute for testing and certification VDE, warns that “the many rules and regulations have their reason for being” and that requires a lot of knowledge to work on this. A negligent DIY can be dangerous not only to your computer but also to the user-for example, when a newly installed lighting takes a dangerous voltage.

“If in doubt, you can always go to the forums” recommends Franz Neulingen, another “case modder” present in Cologne, with emphasis on precaution, not recommended for example changing anything in the power supply of the computer.

The “case modding” can also degrade the performance of the computer. “It may be that the new box modify thermal conditions and temperature controls to stop working correctly” warns Ripperger. As a result there will be a very attractive appearance computer but it will permanently collapse. “

This is why computers are so transformed first exhibits. Inside always beats a computer that works, but the emphasis is on aesthetics. The exhibitor Benjamin Franz confesses that in any case he would never use his creations in daily life. “They’re too beautiful for me,” he says.

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