surveyor's chain study

chain study web.jpg
chain study detail web.jpg

surveyors' chain study, 2022. Lasercut and handcut handmade paper, graphite. 48"x8"x4".

When I first moved to Kansas, I did some research on why the native tallgrass prairie is almost completely eradicated. When the United States first acquired the land where Kansas is today, the government hired contract land surveyors to map and divide the land so it could be distributed to white settlers to be farmed. These surveyors used a surveyor's chain, or gunter's chain, to make measurements. An acre is ten surveyor's chains long x one surveyor's chain wide. I became obsessed with this tool, and replicated it in cut paper. I wanted to both represent the tool that led in part to the prairie's eradication, while also rendering it useless in the process.