Worlds from under

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.

In the following series is not a documentary about. I more modestly tried to track the visible hints of this complex universe, as multiple interfaces with the world “above”. They allow to identify specific utilities, and often are the “doors” to access them. They primarily illustrate the technical purpose of the network but may also advertise for their manufacturers (like worldwide plates mentioning “PAM”, for Pont-à-Mousson). A number of cities eventually 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.