Photography book of the week: Black Maps - American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, By David Maisel


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The Independent Culture

"These photographs," writes David Maisel, one of a group of landscape photographers dubbed "the New Topographics", "depict the landscape of the American West as the site of human-induced trauma."

Black Maps is full of polluted and otherwise environmentally ravaged terrain. But the paradox which makes his work so interesting is that such human interventions give birth to new kinds of beauty – at least when viewed in the abstract. For example, the minerals and blooms of algae in Utah's Great Salt Lake, shown in Terminal Mirage 24 (2005), above. Or Owens Lake, California, in The Lake Project 14 (2002), shown above.