Urban Artifact: Phase 1

It was a hot summer day in Brooklyn on a Saturday morning. Kids with their parents drinking their water and juices. While one child had a sprite can. Struggling to open it, the child accidentally break the top off. While the child mother grab the boy wrist to rush them to cross the street before the light change, the child looks back trying to see where the top of the can was, but instead he saw a man squashing down cigarette tipping paper while taking out a Trident gum from his pocket and threw the wrap on the ground.

Urban Artifacts Phase 1



All these things that us New Yorkers don’t really realize or do realize, are these objects/ paintings on the ground. It’s just things we see everyday, walking from place to place passing these marks or trash all the time, but if you really think of it, some of these marks/trash could have a reason/story behind it. You wonder how it got there, who dropped it there and why it is there.

Urban Artifacts: Phase 1

#1 Stable: This bottle cap got abandoned by its bottle, leaving it in the right place where I would notice it and realize how much it was conveniently placed on the sidewalk where it could later be used in a project to show stable figure/ground.

#3 Stable: This piece of tin foil contrasts from the black background, which makes it an obvious figure ground.

#1 Ambiguous: This painting shows ambiguous figure/ground, even though it isn’t a picture of something outdoors it still shows how background color vs. foreground color makes a difference for obvious and ambiguous figure/ground. The composition shows very organic shapes, like the sky, clouds, and the skeleton ribs. The painting is by David Wojnarowicz @ the Whitney.

#2 Ambiguous: This wrapper for the candy called Smarties was just chilling on the outside area of City Tech all lonely. If there wasn’t so much debris around the wrapper it would’ve been a stable figure/ground example. It has very geometric shapes and the surrounding shapes are very organic which I think shows where the setting of this candy was being devoured.

#3 Ambiguous: This is another little segment of a whole painting of David Wojnarowicz.

Urban Artifacts: Phase 1

These images are all stable because if it were able to become black and white then there would be a clear distinction between all of these photos. These photos took my interest because i felt as if they were perfect examples to include in the project. My first stable image happens to be a leaf In the school floor. My second image Is a receipt also found on the school floor. Lastly, My final image Is an napkin resting in the school floor also.

All these images are perfect examples of ambiguous images because those images can be placed to become something mysterious. Also if it were to become black and white people would try to consider the different meanings. My first image was a black dried up gum that happened to be in the train station. My second image is rocks that I took pictures of when I went to Brooklyn Bridge park. My last image was taken on the pavement in the street.


For the first stable image I imagine that the leaf that was on the floor got there because someone had decided to rip out the leaf from a tree and put it in his pocket and forgot about it. After that, I imagine that the person put his hand in their pocket and found that the leaf was still there and they threw it away. In terms of my next two stable images I imagine that a person had to had bought coffee from Starbucks and later on put it in their coat pockets and after digging through their pockets all day long, the receipt and the napkins might have fell off their pockets because they happened to just want to liter.


For my first ambiguous image, I imagine that someone had been chewing gum and the gum lost flavor and the person happened to spit it out on the train tracks but they missed the tracks and the gum ended up staying on the yellow part of the platform. Since its in the train ,the gum is bound to get stepped on by the thousands of people that happen to travel using the MTA, and overall through time the gum ended up losing its color and turned out to be black. My next two images probably got there because nature wanted it to be there. Because I took pictures of rocks and the pavement. Sometimes the pavement could have paint. So yea thats my story.


It took me about an Hour or two to work on this part of the project because I took my time trying to imagine the stories I could write for the images that I took. Also I counted the time it took for me to find pictures that I consider ambiguous and stable.



Urban Artifacts:Phase 1

In places like New York many items can be found lying on the ground. Any and everything can be seen by simply  taking a walk. People may be on there way to work but decide to stop at Wendy’s for breakfast. However the order may be taking too long. As the person rushes to finish the food he drops his napkins,  cup, and throws the bag that it came in into grass.

There are three ambiguous and three stable images. The ambiguous images have things in the background that draw attention to it.  For example, ambiguous image has a shot of the ground and grass in it to distract the viewer from paying attention to the bag only.





Urban artifacts phase 1

All the things that you see on the ground and you don’t really know where they came from or even how they even got there. All these artifacts seen in the ground all have their own story, like a piece of gum on the ground could have been the one a famous actor or songwriter was chewing. A leaf that was on your front door could be a leaf that landed on the White House lawn a few days ago. We see these things and don’t really pay any mind to them because they are just so small but sometimes they are larger in value then we think.

Urban Artifacts Phase 1

Everywhere you go in New York, you will encounter many things.  A fellow worker rushes to the car and spills coffee in the busy early morning leaving stains on the stable ground.  Got in the car and it wasn’t working due to a gas leak. The car is out of gas! The worker rushes to the train and finally arrives. While changing to his construction work clothes, specks of dusts falls and made its way to the ground. Finally, all dressed and ready to work, he measures the ground and spray painted it ready for construction.

The first three photos are ambiguous because it is unclear of what created the stains, it could be anything that created them. The first stable picture is geometric, the rest of the photos are stable. The last three photos are stable because the photos clearly show the object/figure is. The first stable photo shows inside a building’s speck of dust. The last two photos clearly show they are from a spray paint onto the ground.

Urban Artifacts: Phase 1


New York City streets are filled with many things, from green bottle caps left by a person who didn’t screw it on their beverage very well,  to old flavorless gum spat from the mouth of a person, to different dried stains and spills left by coffee, water, juice, sodas, and even gross liquid leaking out trash bags sitting on the streets waiting to be hurled into the back of garbage truck, or to the bird poop left by a group of pigeons trying to tag a fellow New Yorker.

The first three images at the top are examples of an Ambiguous figure/ground relationship and the three at the bottom are examples of a Stable figure/ground relationship. The three images at the top represent ambiguous figure/ground relationships because of the how the elements simultaneously come out to look as though they are both the figure and the ground. This leaves the viewer with no option but to depict what they think is the figure or ground in the image. The three images at the bottom are examples of Stable figure/ground relationships because of how the elements in the image clearly point out what the figure is and what the ground is. The positive space in the image dominates the negative space, giving a clear view of the figure and the ground. The image containing the green cap is an example of a geometric shape. This is because the shape is sharp and precise, also it has a perfectly proportioned circle. The rest of the images are examples of organic shapes. Unlike the image containing the green cap, they contain shapes with more of a natural flowing look.

Urban Artifacts: Phase 1

It’s like everywhere you go to either step, spill, or trip on something. In the morning had accidentally stepped on a puddle of water now noticing the water slowly drying off on the sidewalk. Walking to class had tripped on part of the floor, seems like a tile had been removed for a good while, even dirt was evident on it, to top it off the coffee spill all over the floor just great.  What could I do? I had no paper and the nearest bathroom had been closed for cleaning.  Now I’ll be going through the day with less coffee and more guilt for leaving a mess. On the way back home felt slightly better, I had almost stepped on six newly dropped pieces of gum, and the garbage can is only a few feet away, continuing to walk I notice a leaf fall from the nearby tree but near the leaf showed a funny figure of what seemed like a person riding a Segway, that earned a laugh, that is until I notice what seemed like some yarn that must have fallen off someone’s sweater. However, it looked like a person sulking and dragging its feet making the mood drop.

All seemed figures in the pictures seem to be organic shapes, with the first three being Ambiguous figure due to there being no definitive image which mixes in with what could be the background or what would be the foreground. The bottom three stable figures because you can easily Identify the gum, the figure and the piece of fabric on the ground. This Along with placing myself in a someone else’s shoes to come up with the story and writing in first person point of view.