In our cities, are we fully aware of all things that exists and live under our feet? Do we know that what we see, streets, buildings, is often little compared to vast underground structures below them? Beside circulation ways, all kind of networks fill the ground and allow citizens and companies to access water, energy, communication as well as hygiene.
The following series is not a documentary about this complex and largely underestimated universe. I more modestly tried to track the visible hints of it as, most generally network plates, as multiple interfaces with the world “above”. They allow to identify the specific utility they cover, but often also are the “doors” to access it. They are conceived in a way that primarily illustrate the technical purpose of the network but may also operate as an advertisement for their manufacturers (like worldwide plates mentioning “PAM”, for Pont-à-Mousson). A number of cities also use these plates as truly ornamental artefacts in the public urban landscape, sometimes really beautiful as in Budapest. These cases illustrate a pleasant integration between the technical and cultural faces of a local urban strategy.
In all cases, I also very much enjoy the amused, intrigued or ironic looks of passers-by staring at me while photographing these common but so much unnoticed objects.