Margot Kelley (cambridge, ma)

N 42 ° 21.459 W 071 ° 04.225, 2002, C-print mounted on aluminum, 16 x 20 inches, Courtesy of the artist

There’s a story that F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were chatting when Fitzgerald said, “The very rich are different from you and me,” to which (reputedly) Hemingway replied, “Yes, they have more money.”

Urban caches are different than rural ones. They’re usually small—often “micro caches,” just a film canister with a slip of paper to sign, or “virtual caches,” with no objects at all, just something for you to see and then acknowledge to the owner that you’ve discovered it. In such cases, once you arrive, the answer is usually obvious. But the cache Katie left in Beacon Hill in Boston, MA, was a regular one, which is probably why it went missing—though to everyone’s credit, it lasted six weeks. It’s hard for people to search for tupperware or a cookie tin on a busy street without attracting attention.

With urban caches, rarely is a beautiful hike or a clever hiding place being offered. Sure, some of the sites are idyllic spots known only to locals; often, though, I’ve left urban caches perplexed as to why anyone would invite me to come here. But while the particulars might be opaque, I understand someone wanting to add a piece to the invisible city, wanting to contribute a node to a network composed by thousands of anonymous makers to share with any cognoscenti who happen through.

Wanting to contribute to a world that’s different. Different. Self-made. And oddly rich.

Copyright © 2002, Photographic Resource Center, Inc.