Sound and Vision @ Deus Ex Machina: The Emporium of Postmodern Activities
My love for Deus goes back more than a couple years, well before I had my own Triumph. As a child I enjoyed a handful of movies about of Australian cafe racers, the various American icons that rode bikes, like James Dean, Steve McQueen, Hunter S. Thompson, and Marlon Brando, and then there was the overall mystique and sensationalism of the bike itself and always feeling the calling of the open road on two wheels. My father forbade me from owning a motorcycle even though he had one himself. I was able to ride on the back occasionally but only when we could keep it a secret from my mother. Those are some amazing memories. As i grew older and through an ironic twist of fate, my dad bought me a little 125cc Kawasaki the moment I turned 18 and moved out the house. I guess it was his gift to me and in some strange fashion it symbolized I was a man who could take responsibility of my own life, or so I like to think that's why. I've never asked him why, but I will some day.
A year or so back when I found out that Deus was opening a cafe/retail location in Venice I was stoaked. If you are from Australia, then you know Deus Ex Machina. They have a devout following and represent a cafe motorcycle culture that makes America's look pale in comparison. If you ever frequent the online forums for Triumph, BSA, or Norton, you'll find a lot of these bike owners reside in Australia and work on their beasts frequently. Australia is like a breeding ground for vintage motorcycles enthusiasts. Deus oozes a particular type of class and style by embracing the old and outfitting it in the new, while creating a distinct vision of the modern motorcycle and motorcyclist. Their decision to open a location in Venice Beach was intelligent and spot on because Los Angeles is rapidly becoming an epicenter for cafe cruisers in the United States. It might have something to do with the fact that there is this critical shift occurring but then again it could simply be that it is always sunny here, we love motorcycles, surfing, beer, and vintage everything. Those markets aligning with the Deus brand thus making it very easy for them to exist here and I am proud to have them in my backyard.
My purpose at Deus this day was to attend The Sound and Vision event. Typically I visit Deus on my bike and enjoy a fantastic cup of Handsome coffee and a yogurt parfait while catching up on daily news and emails, but today it was all about meeting people, listening to old school tunes on vinyl and browsing through vendors collections of vintage camera equipment. I won't lie the vintage camera equipment is what really had me initially because...duh. Regardless, The sun was out and the beers were flowing, or yet resting in a chilled bucket for patrons to grab, and everyone was friendly and engaging. It was a very fun and relaxing Saturday.
On a side note but one I think is of much importance - Im about to get real academic and critical for a second - is the name of the company and its significance. I've run into too many people recently that have no idea what it means or how to pronounce it so:
Referred to by those that know it as simply "Deus", the name is taken from the Latin, Deus Ex Machina (pronounced: DAY-ooss eks MACK-ee-nuh) and translates to "God in the Machine". First mentioned by Horace (old greek philosopher dude) in Ars Poetica (The Art of Poetry), as a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved, with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object. It was later adopted by science fiction writers to have a more literal meaning as machines that embody the soul of their creator (humans), similar to how humans embody the nature of our creator, God. Think about the Matrix films if you must. The owners of Deus view the name as being a celebration of resourcefulness in an industrial art form delivered by a group of individuals in creating their machines. It is a philosophy that celebrates the authenticity, enthusiasm and enjoyment of individualism within the machine.
I very much enjoy this take on the title and while literal and post modern in its interpretation, it is simply fantastic. Deus as a brand is able to infuse the diversity and individuality of surf and cafe culture directly into their motorcycles and for those that have never riden a motorcycle, it is a machine that becomes an extension of your body unlike that of a car. Motorcycles have a bit more soul.
Keywords: Deus Ex Machina, Emporium of postmodern, Sam Bendall, Sound and Vision, cafe, cafe motorcycles, custom cafe motorcycles, deus, motorcycle, photography, samuel Bendall Photography, venice
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