Friday, March 11, 2011

Renaissance Art


This past week I was in a store that sells used computers and related paraphernalia. A couple of the walls were decorated with motherboards. I have frequently thought all these broken computers would make interesting wall art, so it was a nice surprise to see my idea fleshed out, so to speak.

The name of the store is Computer Renaissance, hence the title of this column, Renaissance Art.

By the way, isn't paraphernalia the weirdest word? Nowadays it most commonly refers to equipment or apparatus or junk associated with a certain activity, but the original meaning of the word, according to Webster, is, "the separate real or personal property of a married woman that she can dispose of by will and sometimes according to common law during her life." It's origin is a Greek word that means, "beyond the dowry."

The word renaissance is also interesting. The origin of the word is a combine of two words, "ri" which means "again" and "nascere" which is "to be born." So Renaissance means to be born again, and was probably coined in reference to the flowering of culture that was occurring at that time in the arts, philosophy and culture from the 14th to 17th centuries.

So in a sense, a broken circuit board that ends up as wall art might be said to truly have been "born again." Can this be what happens to a broken life as well when it is taken from the trash heap and turned into a work of art?

It's a thought. Have a nice weekend.

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