Automatic Ruins (2009-2013)    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.  This project was born out of the impulse to give industrial artifacts 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 artifacts are replicated using zinc etching plates, and then submerge in a copper sulphate etching solution. Through this process, the artifacts are gradually eroded from within, while an organic copper coating transforms them into almost unrecognizable mounds. This process evokes an alchemical creation of time, memory and historical aura.     Automatic Ruins was produced with the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation   Image:  Automatic Ruin #4 , zinc etching plates, copper sulfate, plexiglas, 2010.
       
     
  Automatic Ruins #1-25 , zinc etching plates, copper sulfate, galvanized steel, 24" x 90" x 90", 2012.
       
     
 Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     
03.lyons_automatic ruin.jpg
       
     
  Archive , photoetching, chine colle, 30" x 90", 2012.  Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     
25clyons2011archive.jpg
       
     
11.lyons_unfinishedruins.jpg
       
     
  Unfinished Ruins (Pumps) , zinc etching plates, copper sulphate, plexiglas, ferric chloride, steel, 90" x 84" x 30", 2012.  Photo: Jerry Mann
       
     
11.lyons_unfinished ruin.jpg
       
     
  The Alchemist,  zinc etching plates, copper etching plates, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, cast tin, electrical wire, plexiglas, galvanized steel, 60" x 120" x 36", 2012.  Photo: Steve Lyons   The Alchemist  is an electroplating machine powered by the etching process itself. By submerging my copper and zinc plates into an etching solution, the chemical reaction forms a battery that simultaneously erodes the plates while also working as an electroplater. Each day, this piece copper-plates a small tin fragment, cast from my  Automatic Ruin experiments, lending a precious quality to these gnarled bits of metal.
       
     
09.lyons_thealchemist.jpg
       
     
lyons.10.jpg
       
     
 detail: copper plated tin.
       
     
lyons.13.jpg
       
     
  Strata , copper precipitate, plexiglas, 18" x 18" x 1", 2012.  Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     
  Industrial Palimpsest , etching, photoetching, chine colle, 2012.  Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     
lyons.05.jpg
       
     
  Rising Into Ruin , etching on paper, 84" x 84", 2012
       
     
 Installation View (SPACES)  Photo: Jerry Mann
       
     
 Photo: Jerry Mann
       
     
  Ruin / Rubble  (Installation View, Kala Art Institute), etching on paper, foam, zinc etching plates, copper sulphate, copper, 2013.
       
     
g608.lyons_rubble:ruin.jpg
       
     
  Turk Street from the corner of Market and Mason, 1906 , photoetching printed with ferric chloride ink, 28" x 20", 2013.
       
     
  Automatic Ruins (2009-2013)    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.  This project was born out of the impulse to give industrial artifacts 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 artifacts are replicated using zinc etching plates, and then submerge in a copper sulphate etching solution. Through this process, the artifacts are gradually eroded from within, while an organic copper coating transforms them into almost unrecognizable mounds. This process evokes an alchemical creation of time, memory and historical aura.     Automatic Ruins was produced with the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation   Image:  Automatic Ruin #4 , zinc etching plates, copper sulfate, plexiglas, 2010.
       
     

Automatic Ruins (2009-2013)

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.

This project was born out of the impulse to give industrial artifacts 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 artifacts are replicated using zinc etching plates, and then submerge in a copper sulphate etching solution. Through this process, the artifacts are gradually eroded from within, while an organic copper coating transforms them into almost unrecognizable mounds. This process evokes an alchemical creation of time, memory and historical aura. 


Automatic Ruins was produced with the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation

Image: Automatic Ruin #4, zinc etching plates, copper sulfate, plexiglas, 2010.

  Automatic Ruins #1-25 , zinc etching plates, copper sulfate, galvanized steel, 24" x 90" x 90", 2012.
       
     

Automatic Ruins #1-25, zinc etching plates, copper sulfate, galvanized steel, 24" x 90" x 90", 2012.

 Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     

Photo: Paul Litherland

03.lyons_automatic ruin.jpg
       
     
  Archive , photoetching, chine colle, 30" x 90", 2012.  Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     

Archive, photoetching, chine colle, 30" x 90", 2012.

Photo: Paul Litherland

25clyons2011archive.jpg
       
     
11.lyons_unfinishedruins.jpg
       
     
  Unfinished Ruins (Pumps) , zinc etching plates, copper sulphate, plexiglas, ferric chloride, steel, 90" x 84" x 30", 2012.  Photo: Jerry Mann
       
     

Unfinished Ruins (Pumps), zinc etching plates, copper sulphate, plexiglas, ferric chloride, steel, 90" x 84" x 30", 2012.

Photo: Jerry Mann

11.lyons_unfinished ruin.jpg
       
     
  The Alchemist,  zinc etching plates, copper etching plates, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, cast tin, electrical wire, plexiglas, galvanized steel, 60" x 120" x 36", 2012.  Photo: Steve Lyons   The Alchemist  is an electroplating machine powered by the etching process itself. By submerging my copper and zinc plates into an etching solution, the chemical reaction forms a battery that simultaneously erodes the plates while also working as an electroplater. Each day, this piece copper-plates a small tin fragment, cast from my  Automatic Ruin experiments, lending a precious quality to these gnarled bits of metal.
       
     

The Alchemist, zinc etching plates, copper etching plates, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, cast tin, electrical wire, plexiglas, galvanized steel, 60" x 120" x 36", 2012.

Photo: Steve Lyons

The Alchemist is an electroplating machine powered by the etching process itself. By submerging my copper and zinc plates into an etching solution, the chemical reaction forms a battery that simultaneously erodes the plates while also working as an electroplater. Each day, this piece copper-plates a small tin fragment, cast from my Automatic Ruinexperiments, lending a precious quality to these gnarled bits of metal.

09.lyons_thealchemist.jpg
       
     
lyons.10.jpg
       
     
 detail: copper plated tin.
       
     

detail: copper plated tin.

lyons.13.jpg
       
     
  Strata , copper precipitate, plexiglas, 18" x 18" x 1", 2012.  Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     

Strata, copper precipitate, plexiglas, 18" x 18" x 1", 2012.

Photo: Paul Litherland

  Industrial Palimpsest , etching, photoetching, chine colle, 2012.  Photo: Paul Litherland
       
     

Industrial Palimpsest, etching, photoetching, chine colle, 2012.

Photo: Paul Litherland

lyons.05.jpg
       
     
  Rising Into Ruin , etching on paper, 84" x 84", 2012
       
     

Rising Into Ruin, etching on paper, 84" x 84", 2012

 Installation View (SPACES)  Photo: Jerry Mann
       
     

Installation View (SPACES)

Photo: Jerry Mann

 Photo: Jerry Mann
       
     

Photo: Jerry Mann

  Ruin / Rubble  (Installation View, Kala Art Institute), etching on paper, foam, zinc etching plates, copper sulphate, copper, 2013.
       
     

Ruin / Rubble (Installation View, Kala Art Institute), etching on paper, foam, zinc etching plates, copper sulphate, copper, 2013.

g608.lyons_rubble:ruin.jpg
       
     
  Turk Street from the corner of Market and Mason, 1906 , photoetching printed with ferric chloride ink, 28" x 20", 2013.
       
     

Turk Street from the corner of Market and Mason, 1906, photoetching printed with ferric chloride ink, 28" x 20", 2013.