Curious Photos of Objects Stuck in New York Asphalt

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Brooklyn-based artist Mike Mission created an extensive series of photos documenting the odd objects accidentally embedded into the sidewalks and roads of New York City. “Asphalt Archeology” is just that — a clean, sterile study of bit after metal bit — locks, screws, chain links, and other randomness, peeking out from the layers of worn asphalt. These urban artifacts — gleaming, rusted, crushed, and shattered — are also, in most cases, perfectly ordinary —— but we like to think about layers upon layers of decades upon decades of history found here. There’s also a strange, half-thwarted inertia to them. A drill bit with its lips submerged looks like it could almost move; a chain link looks like it’s sinking, as if just dropped into quicksand. Wait. Are we getting carried away? Well, then, never mind. Here’s some random stuff stuck in asphalt. Enjoy.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.

Photo credit: Mike Mission.