Necessary for release of sewer gasses from sewage waste, these pipes run underground from the house to the sidewalk.
Dating back to the early 20th century, these iron vent covers have become the signatures of nameless architects, plumbers and laborers who built the homes of San Francisco. Originally a convenient advertisement, these vents have since become historically significant cultural artifacts.
My interest in these iron relics concerns a intersection of themes. What begins with an urban necessity has, with the passage of time, become artifact. In an age today where nothing is made without the aid of machines (or made entirely by machines), these vents were the early products of mechanized labor. Today, the inscribed vents are looked upon as personable quirks from a rapidly evolving industrial society.
Our contemporary worker has become nameless and invisible. In another hundred years, what cultural markers will survive from the current age of Information?