Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oil Painting

Wow! Welcome to chapter 15 of my Book Passages series. I can't believe that I've been traveling this visual road now since February. It has definitely been one of the best road trips I've ever taken to date. The excitement and enthusiasm of discovery is still there but I must admit to some road fatigue. Five more chapters left after this one. Hope you have enjoyed being a passenger on this visual journey as much as I've enjoyed being your tour guide. Enjoy the ride as we begin the last leg of our journey together. Please keep the dialog coming, it's like buying the audio tour at a Museum exhibition and I really appreciate it. Thanks!

Chapter 15 is a passage from the book, Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford.

"How far we have come from the hand oiling of early motorcycles is indicated by the fact that some of the current Mercedes models do not even have a dipstick... There are now layers of collectivized, absentee interest in your motor's oil level, and no single person is responsible for it. If we understand this under the rubric of "globalization," we see that the tentacles of that wondrous animal reach down into things that were once unambiguously our own: the amount of oil in a man's crankcase."


Anonymous said...

You do pursue 'the amount of oil in a man's crankcase' The running quality of motor oil is apparent in both photos with the linear, running qualities of line, artistic line, coming from an easel that supports a drained pan of used oil. Is there an Arts and mechanic relationship ? Is this a dualism in the ladder of life ? Is lawn mower servicing the same as cycle servicing ? I do visually enjoy the shadow relationship of the objects in this garage collage. Are we losing our handyman skills to putting things together skills ?I am resigned to self-clutsyness!

William Zuback said...

Thanks for the feedback. I did approach this passage from my own experience of never having an interest in engine repair or maintenance. I remember by father teaching me how to change my own oil and other than the few lessons he spent with me, I've never changed my own oil. Not that I'm not capable but I'm just not interested. I would imagine that is the reason many people today choose not to get involved in the mechanics of their possessions. I didn't see the motorcycle reference as a literal reference to the passage but a symbol of all small engines. For me there is an Arts/mechanic relationship. If I can find a set/location that works for my visual idea's I utilize it but if it doesn't exist, I create it. I love working with my hands if it's something I'm interested in but if it is a task for practical purposes and reasons I just can't get my head into it. I do believe that society is less interested and patient to build and fix. The commodity of pricing has made it so much easier for us to become a throw away society and I'm guilty of participating in that mentality and the waste it creates. In the end I chose to make the passage statement a more abstract illustration of oil and it's potential use as art while addressing another segment of education that often has to fight for it's existence among the more dominant academic curriculum in our schools.