Enchanting the Desert: A Digital Monograph

Dominique Daniel's picture

Digital monograph of interest:

Nicholas Bauch, Enchanting the Desert: A Pattern Language for the Production of Space (Stanford University Press, 2016)

From the work's introduction:

"This work is based on a single historical document: a slideshow made by commercial photographer Henry G. Peabody between 1899-1930 at the Grand Canyon of Arizona. The project reconstructs Peabody's slideshow in a web-based medium, allowing readers to see beyond the photographer's presentation of his forty-three individual image-objects. Enchanting the Desert, instead, uses the photographs to spatially narrate the cultural history of the Grand Canyon, laying bare the European American project of remaking this space, focusing on specific territories within the vast region where the subtle mechanics of colonization unfolded."

From the book presentation:

"Enchanting the Desert" is the pilot project in Stanford University Press’s Mellon-funded digital publishing initiative. It  enriches Henry Peabody’s 1905 slideshow of the Grand Canyon by using complex GIS mapping overlays and virtual recreations of the Canyon’s topography... Eighty essays accompany the historic slideshow, exploring the history and geography of the landmark.

Through his skillful interplay of subject matter and technical features, Bauch raises and answers questions only a digital-born project could make possible and reveals a hidden geography of a landmark that has come to define the American West.