Item description for Desert America: Territory of Paradox by Ramon Prat, Michael Kubo & Irene Hwang...
The desert is a huge paradox. Beneath its outward appearance of immensity and silence, are the sounds of various experiments, mysteries, and utopias. The setting of outrageous true histories, entertainment oases founded on consumerism and play, and the secret staging of military power, the desert is far from empty. Instead, it is full of activity: unexpected, uninhibited, and excessive. Not subject to barriers and seemingly free of the formal, ideological or cultural ties of global society, the desert cultivates alternate architectures, urbanisms, and built phenomena. Through photographs, essays, and history, this book emerges as an exploration of some of these phenomena and the protagonists that made them possible.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 9.25" Height: 6.5" Weight: 2.35 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
ISBN 849654009X ISBN13 9788496540095
Reviews - What do customers think about Desert America: Territory of Paradox?
Interesting, great photos, a bit thin on information Nov 7, 2007
Most residents of the southwest are well-aware that the desert is hardly 'deserted'. It is, in fact, being increasingly developed and at quite a rapid pace. The desert offers many the opportunity to start anew, providing a tabula rasa of sorts. Developers plan "ideal" cities from scratch, importing lifestyles and landscapes to a climate and topography that doesn't easily accept these foreign ideals. Large, water-thirsty lawns and golf-courses abound, recklessly demanding irrigation in drought-prone areas.
The perceived isolation of the desert provides cover for an array of typically illegal activities such as gambling and prostitution. These are the lifeblood of Las Vegas.
What isn't common knowledge however are the multitude of uses beyond recreation and habitation that the desert has accommodated. A large military presence pervades the region in the form of missile testing and combat training facilities. Underground nuclear missile launching stations, now relics of the Cold War, reside in the Arizona desert floor awaiting the curious gaze of tourists. The dry, arid climate of the Arizona desert provides an ideal resting place for retired commercial and military aircraft. Here, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, often referred to as "The Boneyard", is believed to hold the highest concentration of aircraft in the world.
The book manages to plot out quite nicely, the full spectrum of uses and facilities in the American desert. The large panoramic photos are generally of excellent quality and are effective in demonstrating the matter at hand. The text is a bit thin for most of the sites but provides a good starting point for further research.
pretty good Sep 20, 2007
Beautifully designed. Great photography. Lots of typos though. Great travel-log description of tons of interesting, influential, and obscure places in the American desert, written from the perspective of an architectural anthropologist. The writing itself is very brief and concise, but insightful.