© 2012 katie. All rights reserved.


This series of drawings tell the story of a world very similar to our own. Made using architectural drafting techniques, they explore how using a system of simple rules (restricting the angles of lines, repeating components, fractal logic) can yield a seemingly complex, even chaotic, design that transcends the sum of its constituent rules. The primary graphic device is the line, indicating movement and trajectory. Through the composition of density, emptiness, and a tonal range of line weights, the lines give way to a reading of deep, three-dimensional space.

The drawings depict a world in which industrialized societies replace natural processes with artificial ones in order to produce materials for the sustenance and comfort of the inhabitants. Motors turn gears, belts, and pulleys; pumps extract water from the ground; and minerals are mined, transported, and refined. The machines have become so integral to the landscape and atmosphere that they cannot easily be separated or even distinguished. Boilers, beakers, and pipes become the root systems of trees, clouds are shrouded in water vapor by their wind-powered mist-making instruments, and entire landscapes are composed of their constituent mechanical parts.

Each scene is grounded in real machines and real processes, either present or past, but employed in fictional or hyperbolic ways. Parts of these mechanical landscapes are drawn with technical accuracy, in section or elevation, like architectural documentation, but the hand-drawn, illustrative quality of the technique adds depth, nuance, and mood, helping to draw out the narratives of the allegorical machines.