Is it 'Over' for the American Landscape?

In this review of Alex MacLean's new book, "Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point," Hervé Kempf of Le Monde describes MacLean's book as a photo essay on a nation at the end of an era.

"[America'] unlimited space...has vanished, devoured by shopping centers, golf courses, residential areas, parking lots, hangars, factories. America was empty; now it is full. It was infinite; now it's restricted. It was open; now it's divided into grids.

The agent for this operation of elucidation is Alex MacLean, an aerial photographer by trade, whose simultaneously superb and surgical snapshots draw up the death certificate for the naive age of the United States. His book's title, 'Over' is as clear as its double meaning: 'over' as in the photographer covering his subject as he flies over it and 'over' as in 'the game is over.' What game? That of the infinite, of the inexhaustible horn of abundance...

Through thousands of snapshots taken from planes over thirty years, MacLean shows us golf courses in the middle of the desert, mobile home cities thrown across the plain, car cemeteries several square kilometers in size, electricity generators spitting thick clouds of smoke, church parking lots empty all week.

And while one may look at his images for themselves, as the oeuvre they constitute because they are always beautiful and intriguing, they also document in a striking manner the waste of space and resources on which the world's richest society is based."

Full Story: The Late American Space

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00