Monday, November 09, 2015

Blame the Machines (Canvas)

So the St. Lawrence County Arts Council put out a call for submissions for a work inspired by music. Now I am always listening to music while I work unless I'm working at a table with other people. (Then, there's just general talking and mumbling to myself.) I even did an entire Art Journal inspired by the random tunes that came up on my ipod as I sat down to create. (You can see some of the posts for the Sing Song Art Journal. Here,  Here, and Here, also Here, and finally, Here. Whew.)

While I did consider some "classical" tunes, I don't listen much to that while I create. I have an eclectic assortment of tunes on the ipod; everything from 70's disco to show tunes, to rock/pop, to country. I like what I like but primarily I'm an 80's girl and that's MY music. So when this topic came up, I immediately thought of making a piece with neon colors like way back when.

But then; this song. And it wouldn't leave me alone.

"Blame the Machines" by Duran Duran. The same Duran Duran of the 80's. The "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" Duran Duran. "The Chauffeur" and "Electric Barbarella" Duran Duran. The Duran Duran of the later "Ordinary World". In 2011, they released the album, "All You Need is Now" with 9 awesome new tunes and this one, "Blame the Machines", is infectious. I can't get it out of my head. Listen Here.
(You can scroll down under the song titles and find it.)

"I'm driving up the autobahn
losing my way as the night gets long
These headlights shining in my face
scream out the danger of this place.

And now there's no way home
this love affair has ended
I should have known when I bought into the dream
So like your sonic soul
to leave me lost and stranded
I blame myself and
I blame the machines."

"And now
 turn left.
I have
You are not
to think
at all."

It's this last bit, the British girl's voice, like the calm, controlled GPS directions that gets me. In that short little discourse (that isn't even sung) lies the truth of the whole. But can we blame the machines? Or is it our own dependent nature that's to blame? Can we no longer think outside the box? Will we allow the machinations of a technologically dependent world crowd us into smaller spaces and direct us on how to live our "normal" lives?

Truly, the love affair has ended.

So here's the canvas that I created that was inspired by this song; Blame the Machines.

This canvas measures 11 X 14 and was one of those bulk, pre-gessoed canvases you buy at Michaels. I collaged dictionary paper and an map (Canadian province of Alberta) to it then added some spray inks in teals and greens and a bit of copper.

I added Chibitronics LED stickers and copper tape to make a triangle. I added in a special effects sticker as well to make the lights pulse like a heartbeat. (It's ALIVE!) Once I had my circuit connected and functioning at the push of a button, I moved to the embellishments.

I used a variety of rhinestones, buttons (in black and brown), a few pearls, but mostly chipboard gears from Creative Embellishments. (I was over the moon about these gears...they were exactly what I was hoping for. Check out the website for every kind of gear you'd need.) I used three sizes of gears and jazzed them up with embossing powder from Lindy's Stamp Gang. I used Byzantine Bronze and Reindeer Moss Green. I experimented with other combinations but this was the one that worked best for my look. I just covered the gears with Versamark ink and poured on the powder and heat. It was super hard to get a good photo so you'll have to make do with these.

 I attached all the embellishments with Multi Medium Matte (Ranger). Lastly, I added my quote from the song and the push-pins and twine. (It's not exactly the autobahn but Edmonton to Calgary.) 
The flat 3V battery attaches via a strong magnet under the "push" button. It stays in place and it can be removed to reserve its power or to be replaced. When the button isn't pushed, the lights do a pretty good job of staying off. A stray breeze may make the connection when the battery is in place and light up the canvas inadvertantly...or maybe the spirits just wanted to have some fun.

Thanks for checking it out!
"Necessity is the mother of invention."

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