An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar

With a large-format camera and a knack for talking her way into forbidden zones, Taryn Simon photographs the eeriest and creepiest scenes in America — things that we would otherwise never see. Above, from top to bottom:

1. Nuclear-waste capsules that contain over 120 million curies of radioactivity combined — the most under one roof in the United States. 

2. The New Jersey end point of telecommunications cables that stretch 8,037 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the UK. They transmit over 60 million simultaneous voice conversations at a time.

3. A braille edition of Playboy Magazine.

4. The CIA’s fine art collection.

5. The contraband room at U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the JFK airport.

6. A cryopreservation unit holding two frozen bodies.

7. A flask containing live HIV.

Watch the talk here »  

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