Orphaned Machines – Artist Statement

Prior to the last couple decades, most American machines were built to last a lifetime. Manufacturers took pride in the lasting qualities of their products. Broken machines were serviceable and parts made readily available. Although they were built for longevity, not all machines remained in use. Regardless of their inability to fall into total disrepair, new technology made some machines non-functional.

Orphaned Machines explores the aesthetic value inherent in objects that have lost their utilitarian value. These forgotten machines are easily rescued from basements, attics, junkshops, and thrift stores. I completely disassemble the discarded objects and then reassemble them into new machines using only their original parts. Their re-organization implies a new function and allows the viewer to once again assign worth to objects that have been orphaned by their society. The act of photographing the newly transformed machines further removes them from their former roles and accentuates their new artistic identity with larger than life brilliance.

We currently live in a culture in which disposal has replaced repair. Success is based on the ownership of new objects. The current economic crisis we now face is a direct result of this desire to obtain new objects. Maybe by learning to take stock and see value in older machines, we can begin to move away from our disposable mindset and discover a new definition of progress.