Beautiful Machine

'Beautiful Machine' Logo

by Zone

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The name ‘Beautiful Machine’ was inspired to Andrew while attending the 1989 Schumacher Lecture, hosted in Bristol. The lectures, are organised annually by the E.F.Schumacher Society. E.F.Schumacher, who died in 1977, was the author of the highly thought provoking book ‘Small is Beautiful’.

Originally published by Potential Graphics on 3lst March 1989 in an initial edition of 25 numbered copies. Each book was hand bound and consisted of four pages of writing and seventeen pages of graphics in both colour and black and white, individually hand printed, mounted and protected with a translucent interleaving page. All copies were supplied wrapped in gold paper and with the name ‘Zone’ hand written on the front. Its production was truly a labour of love.

Beautiful Machine 2nd Edition

The first edition very quickly sold out and the book was reissued in February 1990. The new copies had several physical improvements and came with a black and white printed dust cover, which includes a description of the fundamental theme of each of the four chapters.

The project logo for ‘Beautiful Machine’ was taken from the golden mosaic’s that adorn the walls of the Gur Emir Mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Andrew had visited the mosque back in 1985 and had been overwhelmed by its intricate beauty.

During the months of August and September 1990, various of the graphics taken from ‘Beautiful Machine’ were exhibited in London. Firstly at Shipley Art Bookshop, Leicester Square, where the exhibition was organised by Clem Crosby. Secondly at the London Ecology Centre, Covent Garden, as part of an exhibition entitled ‘I For A World Where Things are Alive’ and was introduced as ‘An Intersection Point Between Underground Kulture and Emerging Earth Consciousness..’. This exhibition was organised by the artist Oliver Rakocevic. Zone’s contribution to this exhibition was accompanied by a new poem entitled ‘Beautiful Machine’, written specifically for the exhibition and not taken from the book.

‘Beautiful Machine’ lays out the fundamental structure and ideas behind the first chapter in Zone’s working life, which consisted of ‘Beautiful Machine’ itself and the musical trilogy of ‘Sword of the Sun’, ‘Born of Fire’ & ‘The Divine Simplicity’.

In summary the first chapter in Zone’s life was based on the fourfold structure of ‘Awakening‘, ‘Struggle‘, ‘Humility‘ and ‘Unity‘. This fourfold structure was expressed in the four chapters that make up ‘Beautiful Machine’.

Beautiful Machine 2nd Edition Dust Cover

Chapter 1: The Crystal Opening

This chapter is based on the theme of ‘Awakening’, an openness to the world of infinite interconnections and endless possibilities, a glimpse of the Freedom in Chains and the Love in Emptiness.

Chapter 2: Face To Face

This chapter is based on the theme of ‘Struggle’. Hand in hand with the awareness of overwhelming possibilities is the dilemma of being confronted by the full terror of a situation in all its intensity. In a world that constantly tests your faithand endurance, with its persistent attempts to devour your soul, there are so many casualties and so much suffering. At the core of this dilemma is the struggle to achieve and maintain a sense of balance, for it is at the point of balance that an underlying sense of direction can be known.

Chapter 3: Golden Rain

This chapter is based on the theme of ‘Humility’, one of the qualities most lacking in today’s world. With an openness to the possibilities and a sense of balance, one must be attentive to the innate directive forces inherent in the natural order. Stop. Look and Listen.

Chapter 4: The Divine Simplicity

This chapter is based on the theme of ‘Unity’. In a sense, this chapter is the unification of the first three chapters and, in another sense, this chapter is as much the first as it is the last. The ‘Divine Simplicity’ allows for absolute complexity within the utter simplicity of Unity, Unity as seen in all its diversity and also the underlying Unity of all that appears as diversity.