Peter Goin and the Photography of Environmental Change: Visual Literacy and Altered Landscapes narrates the forty-year quest of Peter Goin to document human-altered landscapes across America and beyond. Enduring howling wind, pounding rain, and blistering sun, Goin bears witness to radioactive landscapes, abandoned mines, simulated swamps, rechanneled rivers, controlled burns, overgrown ruins, industrialized agriculture, shrinking reservoirs, feral spaces in the city, architected wilderness, sacred wastelands, contested borderlands, and more.
This richly illustrated collection situates Goin's work in the photographic tradition of environmental engagement and teaches readers to be visually literate. Based on more than seventy hours of taped interviews with the artist spanning more than a decade, pioneering ecocritic Cheryll Glotfelty narrates the arc of Goin's career, sharing excerpts from their conversations that embody an understanding of visual literacy. In twenty chapters, each readable at a single sitting, Glotfelty illuminates the trail of eco-consciousness that runs through Peter Goin’s oeuvre. Her fascinating captions lucidly explain the artist's visual Zen koans, as she unpacks the multi-layered complexity and celebrates the poetry of each carefully wrought image.