Katie Lewis

I invent and implement systems in order to visualize the transformation of materials over time. I compile data such as physical sensations in the body, the number of steps taken each day, or the manner individuals traverse through a landscape. I devise methods of data visualization using limited materials such as paper, thread, sewing pins, or graphite. The process of physical repetition within a system transforms the materials into intricate visual accumulations. Pins amass on the wall into clusters or swarms, thread weaves into a chaotic web, graphite numbers layer into a black mass, and punctured holes overlap until a surface can no longer hold itself together.

I am interested in how a controlled set of repeated actions can eventually lead the system to reach a breaking point—paper tears or is eaten away, walls starts to crumble, and thread becomes an impenetrable net. The rigidly controlled structure begins to collapse through seemingly benign and inconsequential actions creating unpredictable results. Once I construct a system for a particular piece, I follow its rules all the way through the work allowing the visual results to exist outside of subjective expressive decisions.

As the systems breakdown, I am left with the following questions: when the threshold of accumulated actions and therefore visual information is crossed what lies on the other side? What forms emerge in this state of flux? What becomes evident in the chaos, loss, and deterioration? Can a system adapt after it begins to fail? Through the exploration of materials and process I investigate these question and how they relate to the multitude of systems that surround us.

all images & site content © Katie Lewis; all rights reserved.