1. A Geography of Digestion. Published in 2017 by the University of California Press. It describes the emergence of modern American health food-ism from the perspective of the Kellogg's cereal company. The development of health foods at the Kellogg's "sanitarium" clinic in Battle Creek, Michigan during the late-nineteenth century was predicated on the use of nutritional science and a hyper focus on the process of digestion. Digestion, though, was not just confined to the epidermal borders of the body. The book shows how the digestive system was extended into space, connected with various machines and infrastructures to make it function as it did. An early form of biotechnology, asking "where is it?" with respect to the digestive system has led me to unravel a surprising story about the links between "eating right" and creating healthy landscapes in a modernizing nation. In 2011 I published an article based on some of this work in Cultural Geographies.
2. Enchanting the Desert. The project is published by Stanford University Press (2016), with whom I have worked to create a means by which scholars can create born-digital work that is peer-reviewed and published under the Press’s imprimatur, just as any print book would be. Enchanting the Desert is a born-digital, peer-reviewed, book-length project that offers spatial analysis and historical interpretation of the 40 landscape photographs included in Henry Peabody’s circa 1905 slideshow of the Grand Canyon. Peabody was a prominent commercial photographer who sold his slideshows around the United States, setting a visual template for what one would see when one saw the Grand Canyon. Where he stood when he took his photographs, and what he captured with his camera, would decades later help the National Park Service determine where to construct walking paths and lookout vistas. Through mapping software including ArcGIS, Natural Scene Designer, and Google Earth, my research team and I have reconstructed Peabody’s images from the god’s-eye view, creating a cartographic portrait of the specific areas of the Grand Canyon were visually consumed by tourists. Far beyond an object lesson in geology, the Grand Canyon was, and still is, an inhabited landscape. The project brings the thickness of meaning that sits in these places in conversation with what has been visually consumed by billions of eyes over the past century. Please feel free to peruse this PUBLICITY PAGE that I've put together for the project.
3. Geography of the Internet. This research is driven by the question "where is the Internet?" With the growth of cloud computing, the storage of electronic information in locations distant from our personal computers is re-making landscapes in urban and rural settings around the world. The project interrogates this phenomenon from a humanistic geographical perspective, specifically addressing issues about the materiality of electronic data, virtuality & reality, Internet landscape forms, and environmental impacts. With a case study focusing on electronic medical information systems, I borrow from the object-oriented philosophy of Graham Harman to discuss how human life can exist in the electronic data we create about ourselves. In 2013 I published an article in GeoJournal about this very topic, which has been re-worked as a chapter in the 2015 volume "Regulating the Cloud" with MIT Press.
4. Los Angeles Urban Rangers. The L.A. Urban Rangers is an art performance collective that offers public ts of metropolitan areas (mostly Los Angeles) in the guise of U.S. National Park Service Rangers, with the aim of showing that cities deserve the same amount of environmental care and attention as is normally reserved for places codes as wilderness, like Yosemite National Park. We address issues of environmental history, legal history, public access, and the meaning of Los Angeles - a place that is so often challenging to make sense of. I worked intimately with this group between 2007-2012, and in 2012 co-authored an article about this practice with Emily Scott in the journal Cultural Geographies.