Michael Zachary uses simple marks in four different colors (CMYK) to create drawings that are much more complex than the sum of their parts. He is interested in our relationship to technology and machines, in the possibility that a human being is in fact a complicated machine that uses other machines, and in the ways that our conceptions and misconceptions about what is natural and what is mechanical shape us. In his drawings, he imagines that he is the computational algorithm inside a computer chip, processing sensory “data” and sorting it into modular units. Given those limitations, he asks himself how he can find the poetry and humanity inherent in this “mechanical” way of thinking and hand processing.
In his work, he is interested in positioning site contingency, physicality, and a sense of place and history as a counterbalance to the hyper-mobility and fungibility of contemporary image culture, particularly digital images and the internet. Although the language of these hand made images is "digital" (i.e modular, logical, combinatoric) he is most interested in what happens when that system of making is slowed down and embraces the "limitations" of becoming a cumbersome physical object that exists in a specific (and physical) space, time, and context rather than "flying free" on the internet.
In a way he is trying to turn his mind and body into the world’s slowest, least efficient digital camera and microprocessor to see what will happen.
A long time Boston artist, Michael maintains a studio in East Boston, Massachusetts and is Assistant Professor of Art at Simmons University in Boston. He received his MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and is a recipient of support from The Joseph and Annie Albers Foundation, The Berkshire-Taconic Foundation’s Artist Resource Trust, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston University’s Blanche Coleman Trust, Mass MoCA's Assets for Artists Grant, and The Surdna Foundation. His work has been featured at many venues including The Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, Burren College of Art (Ireland), Frappant e.V. (Germany), Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Wheaton College, Rhode Island College, Second Street Gallery (Virginia), Lux Eros Gallery (Los Angeles), Fountain (Brooklyn), Proof Gallery (Boston), European Gallery (Boston), Area Gallery (Boston), Shelter in Place Gallery (Boston), Cost Annex (Boston), and Room68 in Provincetown, MA.