08/04/2014 08:37 am ET | Updated Aug 04, 2014

The Nastiest Computer Viruses, Transformed Into Trippy Artworks

If your beloved computer has ever fallen victim to a nasty virus, you've probably imagined what kind of monstrous technology could inflict such ugly damage. That being said, we doubt your humble visions could compare with the tripped out artworks below.

"Computer Virus Catalog" is the brainchild of Bas van de Poel, a writer, curator and thinker on the topic of all things viral. It is exactly what it sounds like -- a visual compendium in which vicious bugs take on psychedelic net art forms, dripping and glitching in all their low-tech glory.


Implant by Karborn

"I've always been fascinated by the dark side of computing," van de Poel explained to The Huffington Post. "Inspiration for this project struck when I found out that the destructive Melissa virus is named after the author’s favorite exotic dancer." Moved, van de Poel recruited a selection of artists, designers and illustrators to devise colorful depictions of the devilish infections, along with written descriptions of each odious scheme.

"They steal our files, corrupt our hard drives and destroy our lives," van de Poel writes on his website. "We scan. We block. Do everything we can to prevent infection. Computer viruses. We hate ‘em. Nevertheless, we remain fascinated by their evil plots."

See the diabolical technologies in all their hypnotic, rainbow glory below. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  • LSD by Clay Hickson The LSD virus is far out… This DOS virus overwrites all the files in the current directory and then displays a druggy video effect. Next it shows a message from your local dealer: ‘LSD ViRuS 1.0 Coded By Death Dealer 4/29/94 [TeMpEsT -94]‘
  • Kenzero by Felipe Pantone Kenzero hides inside video files of explicit Hentai anime - 変態 - and spreads via P2P networks. Once executed, the Windows trojan takes screengrabs of your dirty web history, publishes everything online and demands a ¥1500 copyright settlement
  • Lichen by Jonathan Zawada Lichen infects .COM and .EXE files and activates one month later. Whenever there’s no keyboard activity for longer than a minute, the DOS virus produces lichen inspired visuals best described as kryptonite on crack_
  • Madman by Jay Wright Madman is a DOS virus infecting .EXE files. Whenever you hit CTRL-ALT-DEL the virus displays an ASCII picture of an angry red-faced amigo. Hit your keyboard again and the virus displays the creepy message: 'Nothing can save you here, friend - you're in my world now!'
  • Marburg by HORT Marburg infects .EXE and .SCR files and draws the all too familiar critical error icon everywhere on your screen. The Windows virus spread like crazy in August ’98, when it was included on the master CD of popular MGM/EA game ‘Wargames’

h/t Flavorwire


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