Automatic Ruins explores industry through the lens of fragility and impermanence. Fusing printmaking, sculpture, and chemical experiments, this project considers the possibilities after obsolescence, as well as the nature of what we choose to preserve. In these works, the etching process is pushed beyond its traditional boundaries, as a re-enactment of the rise and fall of industrial economies.
Automatic Ruins was born out of the impulse to give industrial artefacts the historical continuity that they were missing in the archives. It is essentially an act of making ruins – an attempt to accelerate the natural processes of time and erosion in order to re-imagine decades of stalled history. In Automatic Ruins, historical artefacts are replicated using zinc etching plates before being submerged in a copper sulphate etching solution. Through this process, the objects are gradually eroded from within, while an organic copper coating transforms them into barely unrecognizable mounds of matter. This process evokes an alchemical creation of time, memory and historical aura.