Patrícia J. Reis Patrícia J. Reis

CLAY PCB, 2023-

in collaboration with Stefanie Wuschitz

Photo © Janine Schranz


Exhibition SOS 2.0_ Fürsorge ist die Schwester der Autonomie

A collaborative exhibition by Mz* Baltazar’s Lab


Neubaugasse 40a, 1070 Wien

13.12.2023 – 23.01.2024


With the kind support of:

FWF – Austrian Science Fund (PEEK AR 580)

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Mz* Baltazar’s Lab


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We challenge conventional PCB economies through feminist hacking lenses, prioritising sentient, low-impact, non-toxic, fair-traded, and recycled production methods.

It is an open secret that the hardware in our smart devices contains not only plastics but also conflict minerals like tin, silver and gold. We investigated alternative hardware from locally sourced materials, so-called ethical hardware, to develop and speculate upon renewable practices for the benefit of both nature and humans. To decolonise technology we had to go beyond demystifying the black box, and dive deeper into understanding the basic elements these circuits and chips are made of. This journey took us virtually to many places, from gold mines in Indonesia to upcycle workshops in Cuba and e-waste landfills in Ghana.

We aimed to challenge the common PCB economies in an artistic, creative, positive and responsible way applying feminist hacking as an artistic methodology and critical framework.

We came up with rules or standards for Feminist Hardware that worked as a starting point to explore practices of resistance against current forms of exploitation and extraction for hardware production:

Feminist hardware is developed:
Without mining in harmful ways
Environmentally friendly
Under fair working conditions
Manufactured from widespread available materials
Without generating e-waste
With love and care

Our Clay PCB is not made of plastic but instead clay collected from the forest in Austria that was carefully prepared and modeled in a shape of a tile with an imprinted circuit, and later fired with wood in the nature. Our conductive tracks use urban-mined silver and all components are re-used from old electronic devices. The microcontroller is a tool for artistic and creative practice that can compute different inputs and outputs and is totally open source. Our PCB is built in a slow, local, decentralised and transparent way encouraging peaceful coexistence instead of capitalist exploitation.

Further instructions for Programming and soldering the components, 3D printing files, code are free access in our GitHub

12 x 12 cm, Software: Arduino Hardware: Natural Clay, Recycled silver, Microcontroller board with Atmega 328p, urban-mined electronic components: Power Mosfet N-Channel, diverse ceramic capacitors, resistors, diode. Scientific research: Patrícia J. Reis, Taguhi Torosyan & Stefanie Wuschitz Concept and Design: Patrícia J. Reis & Stefanie Wuschitz PCB Design: Patrícia J. Reis & Daniel Schatzmayr 3D Printing: Klemens Kohlweis Clay manufacturing and research: Patrícia J. Reis