In 1977, photographers Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel sifted through thousands of photographs of US Government agencies and published a book titled ‘Evidence’. Accompanied by an exhibition in the same year at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. These photographs were collected from the archives of Bachtel Corporation, Police departments, General Atomic Company, Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Pacific Gas, Stanford Research Institute, and several other corporations and companies.
The subject of these photographs were crime scenes, aeronautical engineering tests, industrial experiments, and several other subjects, that once served a functional purpose in the world. Sifting through some two million photographs, Sultan and Mandel assembled a careful sequence of 60 photographs and captivated them in a book. There is no explanation or context offered in the book. Any original contextualizing aspects have been carefully removed. What you are left with are some enigmatic images of human activity. The concept for the book was clear: select photographs intended to be used as objective evidence and show that it is never that simple.