Made by us for tasks that exceed us, we have a strained relationship with our engineered offspring. We rule them yet rely on them. Stronger, better, faster; we both covet and fear them. They enable our lifestyle yet rob us of livelihoods that we once had. Functional and uncaring, they seem cold and unfriendly, yet we surround ourselves with them and care for them – providing for their wants and healing their hurts.
Yet beyond their purposeful design and unfeeling demeanour, they have a beauty about them as well. Metal and plastic in construction, mechanical or electrical in nature, newly made or badly worn, they offer shapes and colours in profusion and textures and patterns in abundance. They are magnificent in their own way, and harsh lives led in their service to us often enrich their character.
I see what they are. I know what they do. But casting aside this rational knowledge and looking closer, I can find beauty in the machine. They may not have been intended as art, yet art can be discovered in them.