First Year Learning Community

Urban Artifacts: Phase 1

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When I walk around New York City, litter tends to be a very commonly seen object as I pass by. However, today will be different because of a curiosity as to how it got there in the first place. For instance, it puzzles me as to how that pigeon died. It could have died from old age, poisonous food, or even murder by another creature. Then there’e the M&M cup, which seems to be completely intact despite being tossed to the ground and neglected. I wonder if it went through the same events that most food packages go through in being opened, used and eventually thrown away. It must have gone through a different course of events from the broken fingernail. I imagine that a great amount of care and effort went into it for the fingernail to have been left on the floor looking like it just came off someone’s hand. Either way, it’s interesting to think of how these objects have reached their current situations.


  1. Sarah Schmerler

    I like the way you wonder about the contrasts of life. Stuff like the M&M cup “which seems to be completely intact despite being tossed to the ground” vs the fact that a bird, once alive, is now dead. So, here’s this man-made thing, of no consequence, totally intact; and here’s this living thing, which may have had a full life or not, given birth or not, flown, traveled, who knows — lying dead. Stuff just doesn’t make sense sometimes. It’s cool that you use this photo exercise (photos supposedly “show us” life) to ponder events that no one could see. So I want to ask you a question: Do Photos Show Us What Isn’t There — As Much As What Is? : )

  2. Val Bailon

    I really like your descriptions, i enjoyed reading them 🙂

  3. Gabriela

    I liked your descriptions, you put thought into how they might have been used and discarded.

  4. Haley

    Very disturbing fingernail, but otherwise, nice work!

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