Asphalt Archaeology

Photos by Mikhail Mishin

Every so often, a loose object kicked or dropped or tossed behind a boundary of construction barrels becomes trapped in soft asphalt and, like an insect in amber, preserved in time. These objects, made and lost by humans, flattened and twisted by their urban environment, exist as fossilized remains of everyday life. An observant pedestrian darting across a road can sometimes notice such a fossil just breaching the surface.

Here are a collection of objects discovered around the city — no excavation required.

Mikhail Mishin is a New York-based visual artist. He received his BFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design and MFA in graphic design from Pyatigorsk Technological University. He’s participated in several group exhibitions in New York City, and currently lives and works in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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