MICHAEL DINGES – ‘We are the Saviours of My Life’, the newest in his dremel-tool inscribed . . . DEAD LAPTOP SERIES . . . which will debut along with several other of his engraved ‘dead’ laptops and detailed drawings at a TEKSERVE in-store month-long exhibit opening tomorrow – Saturday, Oct 15, 2011.


‘THE DEAD LAPTOP SERIES & other artifacts of the recent present’ – by MICHAEL DINGES
OPENING RECEPTION – SAT OCT 15, 2011 / noon to 2 PM
the show runs thru NOV 22, 2011

with AN ARTIST’S TALK on: MON, OCT 17 at 6:30 PM

TEKSERVE – APPLE SPECIALIST – 119 West 23rd St at 6th AVE – NYC

“MICHAEL DINGES investigates everything from the second law of thermodynamics to consumer waste in his unique adaptions of scrimshaw. His canvas of choice tends towards objects and materials that we have metaphorically or actually, consigned to the waste heap. The marks he makes on these objects force us to reconsider what we used them for in the first place and whether they’re now devoid of value. Do they disappear just because we threw them away ?” – KEITH RECKER, Hand/Eye Magazine

MICHAEL DINGES, ‘Sampler’, Engraved and Painted Mac Laptop, 2007

in his artist talk on Monday, Oct 17 (6:30 PM) – MICHAEL DINGES, a Chicago-based artist – will discuss the influence of anonymous 18th and 19th century whaling boat, think Moby Dick, sailor hand-etched scrimshaw on whalebone teeth and bone, as well as colonial schoolgirl samplers on his art. an interesting thought: grizzled sailors and young school girls – can you think of any more diverse or opposing spectrum of our early history – whose skilled and highly detailed ‘artifacts’ at first consigned them to the ‘anonymous’ bin of art history, then onto the folk art collections, and now through works like Michael Dinges’ – into the canons of the refined world of contemporary art. what a trip.

and what a trip for these discarded, no longer working tools – of our time !!

as the artist states: “the keyboard represents the alphabet” – and then off we go from schoolgirl ABC samplers “with their embroidered exemplars of virtuous behavior” to the often bawdy sailor-made teeth and bone scribbles, to the present-day with “a compendium of 21st century privacy and environmental concerns and warnings” . . . engaging and informing these dense hand wrought illustrations. . . inscribed into the opaque plastic surface of dead laptops – the “ultimate tool”, well, of this decade anyway (!!) – “which has become our portal to the world functioning simultaneously as our mail drop, music box, photo album and information center.” (TEKSERVE)

“High tech objects can become genuinely obsolete but they leave perhaps a hidden legacy of experience, which is intriguing to me.” ~ MICHAEL DINGES

inscribed on his ‘Sampler’ dead laptop, above – a poignant and direct ode to schoolgirl embroidery:
“I was your treasure chest with buried secrets in my breast . . . now I’m dead and laid to rest.”

JAMES BARRON of the NEW YORK TIMES started the NYC dialog on the implications – in his advance take on the exhibit:
‘The Laptops Don’t Work, But the Messages Get Through’, posted online in his CITY ROOM post, Oct 10, 2011.
. . . which also includes a really nice slide show of about 5 more of the Michael Dinges embellished laptop ‘message boards’ . . which is way too dry a description, maybe better make that – Ouija boards – and cries of environmental warning – straight from the mouths of the recently discarded past.
and yes, he does have a defunct laptop titled: ‘Ouija Board’ !!

see: “The Laptops Don’t Work…” by JAMES BARRON, NEW YORK TIMES . . .

interestingly a TEKSERVE press release also tells us that CLIVE THOMPSON has written: “Dinges’ work . . . evokes the history of warriors etching their tools to imbue them with mythic dimensions.”

yes, I’ve seen it. Samurai and Arabic warriors among others often commissioned highly regarded artists to inscribe beautifully scripted and fierce fighting words into their sharp master craftsman produced blades; swords, daggers, and knives – to imbue them with . . . power and individuality.

I’m thinking maybe Michael Dinges should set up shop decorating and inscribing NEW laptops – to better prepare our new age corporate warriors and citizen soldiers, not to forget schoolgirls – for battle !!

see: more work by MICHAEL DINGES at his website

MICHAEL DINGES is represented by the PACKER/SCHOPF GALLERY, Chicago, Il.