Engineered Ruins is an exploration of the rapidly changing landscape of the American West, devastated by the depletion and manipulation of water and water rights. This work focuses on the engineered remains of California: I pose a series of questions about the sustainability of agricultural and population booms in the semi arid state.

The series of images that make up Engineered Ruins, were shot as 8”x10” Wet-Plate Ambrotypes, the same photographic process used by the post-Civil War photographers who traveled with government-sponsored surveys to document the largely uninhabited (by Europeans) West. Their 19th Century images created a national sense of what could be owned and exploited in the American West. My photographs emulate my predecessors’ images, allowing the viewer a vantage point to contemplate haw we as a society have managed some of the most environmentally fragile areas of our country.


Buzzy Sullivan grew up in Missoula, Montana, before he skipped from coast to coast and now resides in Portland, Oregon. He earned his BFA in Photography from Oregon College of Art and Craft. His art focuses on the processes of photography, printmaking, as well as installation. He is a young artist who has earned the Kirchoff Family Fine Arts Scholarship, as well as the OCAC President’s Scholarship for three consecutive years. His photographic works have been published in Thrasher MagazineDiffusion annual, as well as the book, The Pinhole Camera. In 2010 his photo-based work was selected to be a part of, Public Domaine, which was a skateboard inspired group show at the Gaite Lyrique in Paris. He is also a lifelong skateboarder, and his mother will always be his biggest fan.