Deus ex Machina
By Tom Wachunas
“It's instinctive in a certain kind of painting...It's like a nervous system. It's not described, it's happening. The feeling is going on with the task. The line is the feeling, from a soft thing, a dreamy thing, to something hard, something arid, something lonely, something ending, something beginning.” - Cy Twombly
“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” - 1 Corinthians 1:20
UPCOMING EXHIBIT: The 77th Annual May Show, at The Little Art Gallery THROUGH JUNE 1, 2019, located in the North Canton Public Library, 185 N Main St, North Canton, OH / OPENING RECEPTION SUNDAY APRIL 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; awards presented at 6 p.m.
A blessing and a bane. A tool and a torment. A world and a wasteland. The Internet. The cloud. The web. What have we wrought?
The complexities of dichotomy, irony, and the arrogance of algorithms were very much on my mind when I made my most recent piece, a sculpture which, I’m pleased to report, was accepted into the upcoming May Show at The Little Art Gallery in North Canton. I named the work Deus ex Machina (Latin for God from a machine). Here’s a definition of the phrase from Merriam-Webster: 1 - a god introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome. 2 - a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.
After removing the outer skin of a desktop computer tower to reveal its guts, I painted this complicated box flat white (an architectural cloud?) and activated every square inch of surface with gestures in graphite. The imposed scribbles, smudges, symbols, and scripts constitute a calligraphy of sense and nonsense, truth and fiction. A 3D essay on confounding dualities.
My intent is not to posit answers so much as to raise questions. So what indeed have we wrought? A treasure chest of incalculable riches, or a Pandora’s box of unspeakable ills?
Digital Deity. The god of our age.