Deus ex Machina pronounced: dey-uhs eks mah-kuh-nuh or dee-uhs eks mak-uh-nuh the first year exhibition

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Thursday, March 17, 2011

Entrants will be notified no later than March 24. Work drop off – April 1. Show Opening – April 6.

Deus ex machina “the first year exhibition” is open to all first year/ freshman students from all majors and disci- plines. The exhibit broadly explores and interprets the statement / concept, “God out of the machine” (in Latin “Deus ex machina”).

This exhibition is not only a mechanism to promote student work created, in some way, through new media, but also to bring students from all disciplines together into one arena, the Interactive Arts and Media Project Room, to showcase their work. See the iam.colum.edu website for more information. Class Project: Mural : Deus ex Machina ~ Machine as catalyst; machine as solution; a machine that changes humanity (cell phones, computers, social networking?); a machine, a device, a strategy that affects the outcome of the “story.”

IDEAS: • Creating a space, implying movement, indicating actions, change and connections; show how we are connected; for “machine”; (design elements) lines, waves, colors, shapes could become meta- phors for connections • Flash mob - to do a social • Concept of collective via machines • Titles? net.mob; brainstorm, brainstorm. Check out THINKMAP in thesaurus.com; see the handout about visualizing ideas and creating idea maps • Freedom box - democracy of connectivity; alternative internet • Deus means god. How do we understand that here? • Let’s write the story

TECHNICAL INSTRUCTIONS: Use your self-portraits from Project One: World Without Words: Illustrating the Design Principles and create a 2D place where you all meet up. If you only have a torso, render a full-body image. Consider making a few new ones that show action as well as stasis (not moving). Create in Illustrator.

All students will as: Art directors and production managers

Each student must provide a full-body self portrait (a head and torso can be included as well) and write a one-page paper that includes an artist statement and a description of the experience (what was learned, opinion of collaborative process, opinion of the project). HOMEWORK:

In a folder called “mural” in our homework classfolder on the server, place an AI document that has images of you completed for Project One, plus others you’d like to include. Render them in a similar fashion so you are recognizable in various poses. Name each doc your first and last initial so your classmates can make sure they include yours: claudia-l.ai.

Actual work will be 72“ (6 ft) x 36” (3 ft) To work on your ideas, create a document that is half the actual size - we will change it as a class when you return.

Specs: 36” x 18; white canvas

Arrange you and your classmates to create the story. You will copy and paste from each classmate document into your mural piece. Use various design elements to show connectivity, hold the piece together and create points of interest, contrast, texture, etc. Employ scale to create depth, perhaps lines that show a horizon to demarcate a ground.

Ultimately, the piece is how you all interact with this “machine” or respond/react to this “machine”; support elements should be just that. After our discussion in class, take notes and make sure your work reflects agreements we made in class.

DUE: When we return from spring break, March 29. This project is worth 10 points

A deus ex machina is a device which originated in . Literally translated as "God from the machine", it is still used metaphorically in and today. Here are some examples of deus ex machina and pointers for how to spot the .

Origins of Deus Ex Machina Criticisms of Deus Ex Machina as a Plot Device The term "deus ex machina" comes from ancient Greek . It was a common The deus ex machina is often criticised for providing a lazy ending to a story. occurrence for plays of the time to feature a - often a God or Goddess - of Greek theatre were more forgiving of the device, but in modern turn up out of nowhere at the end to save all of the characters and resolve all of the times it is considered an example of bad writing. It is criticised for providing plot points. The "Gods" were usually lifted onto the stage by a crane, or machine, implausable and unsatisfying endings to stories, and audiences may feel they have giving rise to the name "deus ex machina" or "God from a machine". been "cheated" when a deus ex machina is introduced at the last minute.

The deus ex machina would conveniently solve all the problems and complications Deus ex machina is considered an easy way out - a way to resolve the story that had occurred in the up to that point. Despite the deus ex machina often nicely, without putting any effort into writing a plausible and satisfactory ending. making little sense, it was used to provide an easy ending to a play. How to Spot a Deus Ex Machina in Examples of Deus Ex Machina When studying a text, here are some clues that you may be dealing with a deus It was easy to spot a deus ex machina in ancient Greek tragedies, when a literal God ex machina: in a machine would swoop in and solve all of the characters problems. In modern times, however, an example of deus ex machina may be more subtle. 1. A sudden plot turn has been introduced with no logical explanation behind it. 2. A "magical" solution is provided to solve all of the characters problems. (It Examples of deus ex machina in fiction may include: could be literal magic or it could simply be a very implausible solution) * A character waking up and realising it was "all a dream" 3. A turn has turned up out of nowhere and rescued all the characters. * A hero turning up right just in time to save everyone * A sudden discovery of a super power or magical ability that solves all the plot The main thing to be on the look out when searching for an example of deus ex problems machina is a miraculous solution at the end of a story which implausibly * A sudden dramatic natural event, such as an earthquake or fire resolves the plot. * A character who magically returns from the dead The deus ex machina plot device usually involves a last minute appearance by a character who saves the day, or a sudden event that conveniently resolves the plot.