A foreword from American poet Kenneth Goldsmith and an interview with the artist by Eric Shiner, former director of the Andy Warhol Museum, contextualize rising-star Locher's photography.
From serving wine in teacups in Kansas to licking a toad in Kentucky or perming a child's hair in Nebraska, breaking the law has never looked so good. For months, she found that bit of trivia popping back into her head.
- We trust our lawmakers to pass legislation that will keep us safe and serve the greater public good.
That discovery sparked an effort to illustrate reports of unusual laws across all 50 states.
With the help of the internet, a children's book published by Scholastic in the 1970s, and a fact-checker, Locher has tracked down apparent statutes on everything from bouncing pickles to more serious topics, like Peeping-Tom photos.
She also looks into the background of the laws, but doesn't include that information as part of the series.
Even the silliest examples are often tied to the history and culture of the regions where they were raised.
“It’s just deciding on what needs to be included in the picture to tell a cool story," she says.
"Sometimes the subject matter could be kept really simple, but then other times you need more of an environment.
If you know anything about Wisconsin, you could believe the state once required serving cheese with every slice of apple pie—something of an urban myth inspired by a short-lived law requiring cheese and butter be served with every meal.
Some of the laws are totally reasonable anyway; you really shouldn't fish with dynamite, and Rhode Island's statute against transparent clothing is pretty clearly for the common good.
Try as you might, it's hard to imagine why anyone would take the time to make it illegal to have an ice cream cone in your pocket. After hearing about the ice cream law she got curious and started looking into more examples, soon realizing it would make a good series.
"After doing that I just found out there were so many," she says.
She reviews law books and public records and even talks to locals when she can.