"Carbon as a project may be understood as an elegy, an epic and sometimes melancholic poem about the impact of the railroad on the geography, people, and history of America."
LIMITED EDITION, one of 1750 copies, illustrated with 118 photographs by Baumgarten. SIGNED BY BAUMGARTEN on limitation page.
"Baumgarten's newest book, Carbon, is titled after the mineral basis of life. For Carbon, Baumgarten traveled the United States, seeking out the railroads of North America, many of them now just long-lost names that once settled a wilderness." (New York Magazine, 1993).
"The photographs show railway tracks, trains, locomotives and viaducts, but also vast landscapes, run-down train yards and dreary industrial zones. Carbon offers no nostalgic railroad romance; it provides a clear account of the consequences of ‘opening up’ Indian territories. The endless freight trains seem to illustrate, above all, the excessive consumption of the new inhabitants, and in this respect the title Carbon refers to the continuous need for fuel that is meant to satisfy this hunger... For [Baumgarten] the polyphonic names of the railroad lines reveal their drama and tell the history of the meeting and clashing of different languages and concepts of thought. They call to mind, on the one hand, the Native societies with their tribal names, [and] on the other, they mark the advances of the unstoppable European settlement of the continent." (Museum De Pont, depont.nl).
New York and Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1991. Quarto, original cloth, original dust jacket. With text pamphlet laid in. A fine copy.