Infrastructural Imaginary


In the drawing set S-4871, produced from the 1910's to the 1940's, the draftsman of the Los Angeles Division of Southern Pacific Railroad Company provided proposals for the construction of a railway station at Taylor Yard—a site located along the Los Angeles River, near the origins of the city—to classify and sort the rapidly expanding volume freight traffic traveling throughout Southern California. In the 1920s, the station was built. For 80 years, it operated with steam and diesel. In 2018, it lies fallow.

Infrastructural Imaginary: Declassifying Taylor Yard examines the current condition of the post-industrial site through the exhibition of a collection of drawings, models, and plants that document its liminality, and interrogates its history through the elaborate vocabulary of graphic representation that flourished on large-format architectural and engineering drawings of the 1910s to the 1970s from the SPRR designers and engineers. Found in Perris California, the surveys, charts, and orthographic drawings of the SPRR archives are a testing ground for evolving the standards and conventions of the railway empire in Southern California. The archival documents had not been identified nor systematically archived prior to the exhibition and its attendant research.

The show received support from USC Roski School of Art and Design, USC Libraries Special Collections and LA as Subject.

Vernissage - March 25, 2017
Finissage & Edit-A-Thon - April 09, 2017

With Noémie Despland-Lichtert.