Cities around the world are covered in multicolored encoded hieroglyphics and cryptic designations that communicate with only privileged groups of people.

 

 

 

 

Photograph from E. Main St. and 17th St. to E. Main St. and 18th St. Richmond, Virginia

 

Photograph from N. Boulevard and Broad St. Richmond, Virginia

 

Poems of Sidewalk is a continuous investigation of the utilitarian codes, notes, and symbolic markings on street and sidewalks. These visual poems become the voice of these locations by collecting visual data from the streets, the ground, and the sidewalks and fusing them into an integrated text.

Photograph from Ryland St. and W. Broad St. to Ryland St. and W. Grace St. Richmond, Virginia
Photograph from E. Grace St. and 1st Ave. to E. Grace St. and 4th Ave. Richmond, Virginia
Photograph from N. Boulevard and Grace St. to Park ave and Boyd St. Richmond, Virginia

What you see is what you getMCP

With research, I discovered that these marks were part of an obscure language—the Virginia Underground Utility Marking Standard, a product of the Virginia State Corporation Commission Division of Utility and Railroad Safety. The multi-colored hieroglyphics, including dashes, commas and other punctuation marks had a very specific meaning. This encounter opened my eyes to the possibility of other “hidden” languages embedded in the environment and how they facilitate privileged and possibly covert communication existing just out of our notice.

Location
From W. Franklin St. and N. Harrison St.
to Park Ave. and N. Harrison St.

Spray paint
Stencil on paper
36 x 48″