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Michael Dinges
updated: 08/24/2011
website: michaeldinges.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand
Homing Pigeons, Dead Laptop Series
Sampler, Dead Laptop Series
Cabinet of Curiosities, Dead Laptop Series
Ouija Board, Dead Laptop Series
Untitled, Dead Laptop Series
Captain's Chair
Megaphone
Sextant
Two Draw Telescope
Untitled
RFID
Slide Rule
 
Portfolio Keywords:  craft, consumer culture, social criticism, historical, political, technology
 
 
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand by Michael Dinges
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand
Engraved Vinyl Siding, Wood, Acylic Paint
2011
22" x  40"  x 132" 
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand by Michael Dinges
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand
Engraved Vinyl Siding, Wood, Acylic Paint
2011
22" x  40"  x 132" 
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand by Michael Dinges
Lifeboat: The Wreck of the Invisible Hand
Engraved Vinyl Siding, Wood, Acylic Paint
2011
22" x  40"  x 132" 
Homing Pigeons, Dead Laptop Series by Michael Dinges
Homing Pigeons, Dead Laptop Series
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint
2007
9.25" x  11.25"  x 9.75" 
Sampler, Dead Laptop Series by Michael Dinges
Sampler, Dead Laptop Series
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint
2007
9.25 " x  11.25 "  x 9.75 " 
Cabinet of Curiosities, Dead Laptop Series by Michael Dinges
Cabinet of Curiosities, Dead Laptop Series
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint
2008
10.75" x  12.75"  x 10.75" 
Ouija Board, Dead Laptop Series by Michael Dinges
Ouija Board, Dead Laptop Series
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint
2008
9.25" x  11.25"  x 9.75" 
Untitled, Dead Laptop Series by Michael Dinges
Untitled, Dead Laptop Series
Engraved Plastic and Acrylic Paint
2009
9.25" x  11.25"  x 9.75" 
Captain's Chair by Michael Dinges
Captain's Chair
Engraved Plastic Chair, Acrylic Paint
2006
29" x  23"  x 21" 
Megaphone by Michael Dinges
Megaphone
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint, Fiber Optic Cable
2006
23" x  11"  x 11" 
Sextant by Michael Dinges
Sextant
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint
2006
20.5" x  19" 
Two Draw Telescope by Michael Dinges
Two Draw Telescope
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint, Fiber Optic Cable
2006
2" x  40" 
Untitled by Michael Dinges
Untitled
Engraved Pistol Grips, Acrylic Paint
2007
3.5" x  6" 
RFID by Michael Dinges
RFID
Engraved Plastic, Acrylic Paint
2007
8" x  5" 
Slide Rule by Michael Dinges
Slide Rule
Engraved Slide Ruler, Acrylic Paint
2007
2.5" x  14" 

Artist Statement
Since the industrial revolution and the ascendancy of concentrated capital, technological advances have reduced the skilled worker from craftsperson to assembler. In contemporary times, the pace of change and the phenomenon of globalization have accelerated that disruption. How do we orientate ourselves in this rapidly changing, dynamic era?

Historical instruments of navigation, and the tools and crafts of the 19th century sailor have been the inspiration for my latest work. I use the traditional practice of scrimshaw and trench art to comment on the changing nature of labor and global trade. Historically, scrimshaw was the work of idle sailors engraving the teeth and bones of whales. Images often pictured the struggles of whaling, scenes of ships and exotic destinations, and maritime mythology. Trench art was the engraving of large brass artillery shells left over from battle. These pieces were made during idle time between battles or while recuperating in the hospital. It is intriguing to me that scrimshaw and trench art was made on the very material that could maim, or even kill, the maker.

The contrast between the making of work by hand as a form of healing, and the objects themselves that are made during idle time, is a combination that I exploit in my version of this historical practice. I have chosen to do my engravings on PVC plastic because it is both ubiquitous in our contemporary environment, and toxic in nature. PVC is also reminiscent in color and texture to ivory, and it can be glued together in the form of the vessels that are typical of trench art. Formally, I engrave images of container ships and trade goods, along with American iconic imagery and slogans, to re-enforce, subvert, and explore contemporary ideas of what it is like to live and work through the violent change of globalization.


Artist Bio / CV

EDUCATION
2005 — MFA, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1982 — BFA, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

EXHIBITIONS
2008
Next Art Fair, Chicago, IL Group Exhibition, Packer Schopf Gallery

2007
Bohemian National Home, Detroit, MI Solo Exhibition, “A Shot Across the Bow”
Bridge Art Fair, Miami, FL Group Exhibition, Packer Schopf Gallery

2006
Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL “Realist Tendencies on Paper”
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL “12x12 Exhibition”, collaborating with Material Exchange

Revisioning America, “Opt-In” Group Exhibition, Chicago, IL

Art Chicago, Chicago, IL Group Exhibition, Aron Packer Gallery, Aron Packer Gallery, Chicago, IL Group Exhibition, “Concept Driven”

2005
Chase Bank, Milwaukee, WI Group Exhibition, “Company Man”
Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL Group Exhibition, “Summer Show” Little Black Pearl Gallery, Chicago, IL MFA Group Exhibition, “Research and Development”
The University of Chicago, Midway Studios, Chicago, IL Masters Thesis Exhibition, “Hidden Degrees of Freedom”

2004
4-Art Gallery, Chicago, IL Group Exhibition, “11 Pack”
Lipa Gallery, Chicago, IL Group Exhibition “Summer Summit”

2003
Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL Group Exhibition, “Contemporary Drawing Salon”

AWARDS
2008
Artist Residency, Arts/Industry Program, John Michael Kohler Arts Center

2007
Illinois Art Council, Artists Fellowship Awards, Finalist Award

2005–2003
Fellowship The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL


COLLECTIONS
E-Bay Corporation


PUBLICATIONS
Tableau, 2008
New City, 2006
University of Chicago Magazine, 2005
Chicago Reader, 2005
Chicago Reader, 2002
New American Paintings Number 35, August/September 2001


AFFILIATIONS
The Drawing Center; Viewing Program, New York City
Member; Chicago Artists Coalition