In New York City, one of the things you’ll often see on street surfaces is cryptic and colorful scribbles left by utility companies. Photographer Joseph O. Holmes decided to turn these scribbles into artistic street photography (literally). His project is titled “Tracing the Underground: Street Utility Markings in New York City.”
Each of these bird’s-eye photos shows the markings that are left by utility workers to alert construction workers of vulnerable underground infrastructure — things like utility lines, trenches, and ducts.
“Though many markings are nothing more than crude and functional labels, they’re sometimes applied with such finesse and care as to become ephemeral bits of street art,” Holmes tells PetaPixel.
This is an ongoing series, and you can follow along through the project page on Holmes’ website.