As Seen From the Surface 2023

Katie Bullock
Monterey Annex 2023
Graphite on vellum paper, glass, acrylic, wood, LED lighting

Bullock brings an ongoing archive of videos interspersed with diagrammatic drawings to life – offering the opportunity to tell us her stories and to merge the personal with the universal.


For As Seen From the Surface, Bullock brings her archive to life – projecting small videos interspersed with diagrammatic drawings drawn from books and her videos/photographs, all in a geometric pattern that references the Didactic Chart. These galleries function as both observatory and library and works will be added throughout the exhibition’s run. Together the elements form a new cabinet of curiosities for the infinitesimal. There is symmetry in seeing the videos and drawings together as they tell a story of experience followed by the sometimes fruitless need to understand what just occurred. The shimmering graphite of the drawings catch the light, while the vellum’s transparency and buoyancy allow them to flutter as we pass by, like a leaf shaking in the wind. To complement these subtly didactic moments, Bullock occasionally adds text to her videos that may also feature in the drawings. One clip of an oil slick on a puddle (what Vladimir Nabokov once dubbed “asphalt’s parakeet”) is accompanied by the words, “In the microcosm of her own visual world she worshiped the macrocosm of the universe.”

The inclusion of “she” here offers the opportunity for Bullock to tell us her stories and to merge the personal with the universal. Previously her texts came from field guides and science books, but now her own observations intervene, such as “She stopped using one journal for ‘poetry’ and another for ‘facts.’ With this phrase, Bullock invites us in and reminds us, as Wallace Stevens wrote: “It is not every day that the world arranges itself into a poem.”

-Denise Markonish

Artist Statement

My artistic practice is rooted in careful looking and rigorous research. I catalog and work with observed everyday moments and phenomena, occurrences I regularly encounter on errands, at work, and while traveling. They come in an infinite variety of forms and arrangements, but all of them consist of a set of variables and conditions that only briefly align in relation to me. So many of them occupy varying scales; some sublime and undeniable while others are subtle and easy to miss. An essential part of this practiced looking relies on the ways in which I often experience these moments in relation to the people around me, whether it be on a rambling walk with a friend, or in the company of strangers. Through my investigation and subsequent research of these phenomena, I can uncover glimpses of profound interconnectedness and ultimately, reach for meaning.

About the Artist

Katie Bullock received her MFA from the Glass Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, and her BFA from the Painting and Drawing Department at Ohio State University. She catalogs and works with observed “everyday” moments and phenomena, driven by the complexity of truth that taking note can reveal. Recent solo exhibitions include As Seen From the Surface, Mattress Factory (March 2023), and Arguments Against the Existence of a Void, Albion College (December 2022). She currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her partner and two cats.