Terraforming the American West.
Photographs by Laurie Brown. Text by Martha Ronk and Charles Little.
Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2000. 112 pp., 60 duotone illustrations, 12x7".
Brown has carefully documented the changing landscape of Southern California. The engaging results are panoramic images that take their cue from NASA photographs, according to the artist (think Josef Koudelka mixed with Toshio Shibata, and throw in a little Catherine Opie, but all Laurie Brown). The term 'terraforming' is itself associated with outer-space in that science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson used the term to describe the reshaping of the Martian landscape for human habitation. The comparison is viable, and the work strong.
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