There is a certain contradiction in how I see the infrastructure of old industry. While on the one hand I find it extraordinarily beautiful, on the other I realize it has a generally deleterious effect on the environment. The twinkling lights of a petroleum refinery and the bright burn of unwanted byproducts at the top are beautiful, but the stink and the knowledge of the plant's output work against it. I suppose that with modern factories, there's less ambivalence -- somewhere in the quest to make more money by saving more cost and in the development of construction technology we've lost any hopes of building an attractive factory again. We will be left with cold, warehouse-like places, mostly devoid of features, sprawled over acres of land rather than stacked 4 stories high. Of course there is no choice -- to refurbish an old factory or build a new one of brick several stories high with eight-foot tall windows would be inefficient and costly, and industry cannot afford to do such things.

Until all the old ones have made room for the new, then, I have a while to capture them.

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Last updated: 27 June 1999
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©1996 Andrew W. Duthie