The Ego Machine
The Artist’s statement of intent
Igor Zaminsky submitted a statement of artistic intent to an exhibition only weeks before he disappeared. The exhibition, held in Preston - England in 1965, was a celebration of ‘Futurism and the poetry of machine movement’. As the statement runs to thirty pages of unedited text, I have reproduced only a fragment. Zaminsky exhibited several of the Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius plates and five of his paintings. He also assembled and submitted an inactive Ego Machine, but he removed it after the exhibition opening when one of the gallery audience tried to turn a winding rod which protruded from the Sphere of awareness.
I express a spectrum of unease and anxiety with colour and with metaphor - a two pronged attack on the problem of communicating what it is like to be human. My industrial settings use colour to prompt emotion, though an occasional lone figure functions as an anchor to demand the viewer's involvement in the picture. The figure is the artist who finds himself in a sometimes sinister but mainly beautiful world of colour. I enjoy colour more than I enjoy form. Form abbreviates and circumscribes colour though also imprisons it. While I revel in colour, I am acutely aware of the forms that lie behind it. I paint in large expressive fields to fill in the gaps between the forms. Sometimes I don't see colour at all but the black featureless spaces behind the form. There is darkness there, but there are also the mechanisms of consciousness that negotiate these spaces of which I now describe.
This is how I would describe what it is like to be human to an enlightened andbenign intelligence. The intelligence does not see appearances as we see them. It is blind to make-up, to snappy suits, to painted nails, flat stomachs and bulging biceps. It cannot distinguish young from old, success from failure. It sees a mechanism akin to a child’s gyroscope darting across a featureless landscape.
Let me continue my flight of fancy or you will not understand my art. Have you seen an Ego Machine? How can you not? The mechanism’s form governs by its function, which is the collection and storage of 'me' thoughts. It exists as a thing in the world because the universe does not care what means it uses to observe itself. It's made of a recording component and a reading component. Sight and sound enters through a large funnel apparatus which transcribes, with vibrational energy, what it sees and hears onto an impressionable spinning disc. A needle transmits via vibrational energy, auditory impressions via an amplifying funnel which feeds into the metal sphere.The sphere, which is the seat of awareness or consciousness, receives impressions via an ocular mechanism skimming the disc surface. Direct awareness of the environment is not possible. The contents of the spinning disc, which I can now label 'ego', is a mandatory intermediary processing step in understanding the mechanism's environment. The mechanism perceives everything via the ego. Consider what reality is like without ego involvement. Can you? Of course not. But I have seen and I cannot un-see.
Adam and Eve after the Fall - Acrylic on canvas board 18 x 24 inches.
Calvary - Acrylic on canvas board 18 x 24 inches.
Enlightenment - Acrylic on canvas 18 x 24 inches.
Fifteen minutes - Acrylic on canvas board 18 x 24 inches.
Hello - Acrylic on canvas board 18 x 24 inches.
Kurtz - Acrylic on canvas 48 x 36 inches.
My garden of earthly delights - Acrylic on canvas 48 x 36 inches.
Two Ego machines running along a beach - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Romeo and Juliet - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Vanitas ex niliho - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Visitation - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Steampunk despair - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Nudes and deconstructed bust - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
The art of suffering - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Thespian - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
The red chimneystack - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Portrait of the artist painting - Acrylic on canvasboard 18 x 24 inches.
Narcissism - Acrylic on canvasboard 24 x 24 inches.
Pain body - Acrylic on canvasboard 24 x 24 inches.
© Copyright 2016 Mark Peatfield