The 30 Computers Sculpture Project
main < Previous   Next > contact

eFiber Spool (2012)

This sculpture utilizes 32 disks taken from fiber optic cable spools that were discarded as electronic waste. More specifically, they are from a type of backbone network equipment called dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM).

eFiber Spool (2012) 28" dia

“This kind of fiber optic network is typically used by telecomp companies to move the bulk of data to the backbone of the internet. We're seeing a lot of this equipment being recycled now as there is greater demand for more bandwidth. The new standards reach 1TB/sec and beyond where this equipment is usually 10GB/sec.”
- Thory Monsen, Potomac eScrap, Manassas, VA.

20 disks are used to form an icosahedron as the outer shell and surrounding the remaining 12 which form a dodecahedron located inside the icosahedron.

The icosahedron and dodecahedron are duals of one another. This property can be seen in part by noting that each of the 12 faces of the dodecahedron align with the 12 vertices of the icosahedron (which form a curved pentagram). And each of the 20 faces of the icosahedron align with the 20 vertices of the dodecahedron (which form a curved triangle).


It took a bit of sleuthing to determine that these disks were used to hold fiber optic cables, specifically cables that dispersion correction modules (DCM). The key came from the notation on the label which said 1555.8nm and -283ps/nm. Searching for this phrase under Google images immediately turns up numerous equations and graphs.

From those pages the term dispersion took some prominence and images of fiber spools began to turn up. Revising the search term to fiber/cable spool dcm module reveals electronic equipment including fiber optic spools such as these.



main < Previous   Next > contact