The Strange Machina Series consists of functional sculptures that appear to have some mysterious industrial purpose, but are intended only to intrigue and amuse. This series brings to mind old patent drawings or forgotten objects found in an old basement or an abandoned lab. This work walks a meandering line between the antique and the mad scientist.
If the great artists of the Renaissance had been able to combine their talent for invention with their passion for the Arts, they might have made a Prayer Machine, a device for amplifying one’s prayers, complete with leaded glass, flying buttresses, and spitting fire. That is exactly what Santa Cruz artist Wes Modes has done with his interactive, whimsical sculptures Prayer Machines I, II, and III. You are invited to twiddle, tweak, push, pull, and interact with a collection of his recent work of Strange Machina.
My work asks you to participate in some way. It asks you to be part of it, to touch, interpret or analyze, get lost in reverie or be jolted into the present. I want it to reach out and invite you to play some role, a button pusher, a prayer whisperer, a diviner of mysteries.