I am thrilled to announce the publication of Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime in Spring 2013 by the foremost photography publisher today, Steidl. This is the result of a long-time collaboration between me and David Maisel; for this title, I brought the artist and publisher together, helped assemble an impressive group of essayists, edited the texts, contributed an essay on Maisel’s chilly series, Oblivion, and facilitated the exhibiton’s travel to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in June 2013. The book will be available in the US as of April 28.
You can read more about Black Maps here, but in brief, this book has been years in the making and represents a crucial survey of Maisel’s signature aerial work. The book contains 115 four-color and tritone images that span his career, presenting a hallucinatory worldview that encompasses both stark documentary and tragic metaphor. Maisel’s photographs of environmentally impacted sites consider the aesthetics of open pit mines, clear-cut forests, rampant urbanization and sprawl, and zones of water reclamation.
The book’s six sections are accompanied by essays by key critics and curators—including Julian Cox, Natasha Egan, Geoff Manaugh, Kirsten Rian, Joseph Thompson, Kazys Varnelis, and myself—comprising an eclectic array of poetic, historical, and critical texts.
A major Black Maps exhibition is touring as well, starting February 9, 2013 at the CU Art Museum at Boulder and traveling to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art on June 1. Events related to the book and exhibitions will be announced here as they develop.