Black Rock (softcover)

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Black Rock is a collaborative book by the celebrated geographer Paul F. Starrs and photographer Peter Goin. It is also a major exhibit: more than twenty years of exploring, photographing, experiencing.

Description

In a brilliant duet, a photographer and a geographer explore this eloquent, enigmatic landscape that has been the focus of study and contemplation by scientists, explorers, naturalists, overland sojourners, and artists.

Black Rock is a collaborative book by the celebrated geographer Paul F. Starrs and photographer Peter Goin. It is also a major exhibit: more than twenty years of exploring, photographing, experiencing.

The eight literary essays of this project are elemental. Four are rooted in air, fire, earth, and water. But four more are also the children of a quartet of decidedly different perspectives. One looks from directly overhead, in an orthogonal view. Another is oblique — from thirty degrees of incline, sighting down, at an angle. Third is a profile view — at ground level and looking horizontally. But the last look is taken from below the surface of the playa, that great plane of clay and saliniferous deposits, abraded and graded by scouring sand, that makes it such a popular site for rocketeers, four-wheelers, or the children of the Burning Man. As for the elements, in the desert they are everything, especially in this one. Air is the shaper of ventifacts and playa lakes, forming dunes and drifts, chiseling and abrading. Fire — subterranean, in mantle-based heat that moves mountains, cracks faults, and shapes springs, is all about. Water and earth interact everywhere; true, when water prevails desert disappears; but as much, when earth, or soil, dries, the land is bared.

About the Authors

5590-GOIN-FULL from Nevada News Article

Peter Goin is an internationally renowned photographer and the author of numerous award-winning books including Nuclear Landscapes (Johns Hopkins University Press) and Humanature (The Center for the American Places and the University of Chicago Press). He is co-founder and President of Black Rock Institute Press and Foundation Professor of Art at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Paul F. Starrs is Foundation Professor of geography at the University of Nevada, Reno and the author of Let the Cowboy Ride: Cattle Ranching in the American West (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Reviews

Black Rock goes beyond the literate, learned, and playful flair of Paul Starrs’s language and the art, irony, and honesty of Peter Goin’s photographs. The ideas in both visions—the intellectual statements of what place means—distill the relationship between people and landscape to its physical essence.”—Stephen Trimble

“Peter Goin and Paul Starrs have produced an elegant piece of work that captures the essence of the Black Rock Playa and the mountains, meadows, and desert valleys that surround it.”—The Geographical Review

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