Getting hit with a computer virus sucks. But if the process actually resembled one of these amazing designs from artist Ace Volkov slinking its way through your hardware in a mashup between Tron and Neuromancer, it’d probably be slightly less infuriating. It’d also look cool as hell.
Inspired by a Defcon talk given by computer security expert Mikko Hyppönen, Volkov’s “Viroids” series took 63 of the actual computer viruses from history covered by Hyppönen and, based only on their names, gave them psychedelic sci-fi character designs that feel like a hybrid of a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures stand and one of the background characters in the bar from Tron: Legacy. It’s equal parts gorgeous art challenge and handy rundown through the history of computer viruses.
Some are humanoid, some look like mecha suits, some just happen to look like robot cowboys—Valko’s designs are all weird and wonderful in all the ways their actual virus counterparts are decidedly more sinister. I’d totally read a comic with these character designs, a trippy, technicolor take on the digital world.
You can see more of Valko’s work on his Behance page.