Double Negative
Photo of Double Negative, by Michael Heizer, by Chris Fullmer used under a Creative Commons license.

William L. Fox, The Void, the Grid & the Sign (University of Utah, 2000).
Three perspectives on the Great Basin. The first section, “The Void,” considers the sculpture of artist Michael Heizer, including City, an immense project in the Nevada desert he has been working on since 1970. Fox is interested in how this work sheds light on people’s reactions to large, empty spaces. The second section, “The Grid,” traces the evolution of cartography and the exploration of the Great Basin. The last section, “The Sign,” examines language and meaning, from petroglyphs to the neon of Las Vegas. Fox acknowledges the influence of Rebecca Solnit, and those who appreciate her work might do well to check out this book.

Fox’s web site has biographical information and more. Google Book Search offers a preview. This survey of desert writing by Scott Slovic calls Fox one of the major writers of the Great Basin landscape at the turn of the twenty-first century. Here is a website about Michael Heizer, with more about City.

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