Michael Dinges recreates and reuses defunct tools as surfaces for elaborate engravings of natural forms, scientific models, and apocalyptic quotations. Each sculpture-tool on view at Packer Schopf Gallery contrasts decoration with function, nature with industry, individuality with uniformity, and chaos with order. How might we reconcile these paradoxes? Can we develop economic, political, and artistic structures that synthesize these terms to generate active, open, and creative spaces? As tools of contemplation, Dinges’ sextants, saws, and laptops provoke us to consider our relationship to, and impact on, the world-to ask how and why we seek to attain control over our surroundings, to recognize the destruction that may accompany such pursuits, and, in so doing, to make ourselves accountable.
Michael Dinges’ engraved laptops