How does the human mind transform space into place, or land into landscape? For more than three decades, William L. Fox has looked at empty landscapes and the role of the arts to investigate the way humans make sense of space. In Terra Antarctica, Fox continues this line of inquiry as he travels to the Antarctic, the “largest and most extreme desert on earth.” This contemporary travel narrative interweaves artistic, cartographic, and scientific images with anecdotes from the author's three-month journey in the Antarctic to create an absorbing and readable narrative of the remote continent. Through its images, history, and firsthand experiences—snowmobile trips through whiteouts and his icy solo hikes past the edge of the mapped world—Fox brings to life a place that few have seen and offers us a look into both the nature of landscape and ourselves.
The environment of Antarctica, "the largest and most extreme desert on Earth," is so foreign to our visual expectations that we are almost unable to perceive it. For Fox (Playa Works), who studies the ways in which humans respond to such vast, empty spaces, it's the ideal location for examining the connection between cognition and extreme landscapes. In this insightful book, he chronicles his Antarctic sojourn during the austral summer of 2001 2002, recording his impressions of the landscape and the people who live at McMurdo Station on Ross Island and at Pole, a newer station a few hundred feet away from the South Pole. At the same time, he examines the works of the cartographers, painters and photographers who have depicted Antarctica from the days of the earliest explorations down to the present, showing how the human mind transforms pure space into landscape, then turns landscape into art. A fascinating look at the "windiest, coldest, highest, and driest continent on earth" and man's creative responses to it, this seems the perfect read after seeing The March of the Penguins. 40 color photos, 2 maps.