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A Land Between Worlds

The Shifting Poetry of the Great American Landscape

Foreword by Garriott de Cayeux
Published by powerHouse Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

In A Land Between Worlds, poet and photographer John Mack shares his vision on that part of the human condition which brings about our disconnection from nature, its further disconnection through smart devices, and provides clues that might lead us back to our natural unity with it. Covering nearly fifty of the most iconic U.S. National Parks, Mack uses poetry, landscape photography, and an interactive augmented reality app to invite us into a deep conversation about the encroaching digital landscape, our attachments to it, and the uncertain fate of our nature.

After a four-year journey–flying more than 300,000 air-miles aboard over 200 flights, driving over 15,000 miles with the aid of over 25 car rentals, including hiking over 220 miles, 7 helicopter charters, 6 seaplane charters, 8 grizzly sightings, and 1 husky sled–poet and photographer John Mack returns with evidence of some of America's most iconic, natural sites and their current state of deterioration vis a vis the proliferation of smart devices and the encroaching virtual environment.

In an attempt to shed light on the current state of our nature, Mack completes what he calls a "reconaissance mission," having crisscrossed the entire United States of America. Covering a land with length from Maine to Hawaii, a depth from the southern bend of Texas to the far reaches of Alaska's arctic circle, A Land Between Worlds shares Mack's vision of who we are in relation to our environment and looks for clues as to whether or not a balance between nature and today's increasingly seductive technology can be attained.

Writes Mack,

Today's world finds the human caught in a balancing act between technology and nature unlike ever seen before. With the invention of the smartphone, human beings across the planet are increasingly experiencing life through their screens. With the simple click of the on button, what was once intended to serve as a mere tool now serves as our reality. Caught in this maneuver is the fate of the human soul.

As artificial as modern technology may seem, history has shown technology to be a natural and essential part of the human journey. Are we reaching a point, however, where this part of the journey might be taking over the journey's entirety? In these modern times of increasing dependence on digital devices, it behooves us to ask ourselves what, exactly, would allow such an overtaking to occur. 

Are the programmed lenses of the app-environment–gaming, social networking, news, lifestyle–so mesmerizingly colorful as to take precedent over the vibrant colors of life itself? Or, rather, is there a program already running inside our heads–one that first disconnects us from life's vibrance and only then finds us reaching for our screens to restore the vibrance for us?

Comprised of gatherings from nearly fifty iconic U.S. National Parks, Mack uses poetry, landscape photography, and an interactive augmented reality app to invite us into a deep introspection about what it means to be human: What, if anything, can our National Parks teach us about the nature within us? A Land Between Worlds is evidence of hope in a world where nature, freedom, love, democracy, and reality itself are under attack. It's interactive juxtaposition of natural sanctuaries and their digital versions reveals the encroaching digital landscape, our attachments to it, and the uncertain fate of our nature.

Available in signed, limited collector's editions and standard editions, A Land Between Worlds includes a "making of" video, reminding us of the art of human craft in an ever more digitized world.

A Land Between Worlds is the official book of A Species Between Worlds: Our Nature, Our Screens, the exhibition showcased in New York City in January of 2022. The month-long exhibition attracted some of the most influential voices at the forefront of the battle to defend human awareness from the threats that unchecked use of computer-based technologies pose to our humanity. Available in signed, limited collector's editions and standard editions, the poetry book includes not only all of the exhibition's U.S. National Park images but also the project's entire collection of poems, many of which were not on display to the public.

About The Author

Thinker and artist John Mack shares the poetry of nature as a counterpoint toward a world
that is every day becoming all the more dependent on digital devices and algorithmic
feeds. In 2021 Mack founded Life Calling Initiative, a not-for-profit aimed at helping society
to live fulfilled lives in the digital age while retaining our humanity and personal autonomy.
This is achieved through a diverse set of tools and activities, including, but not limited to,
awareness campaigns, education, art, lectures, and programming. Among the initiatives is
A Species Between Worlds: Our Nature, Our Screens, an interactive photography
exhibition that questions how a balance between our connection to nature and today’s
growing device-dependence might be attained.

In his early career as a photographer, Mack sought "real moments" of the human heart. His first publication, Xibalbá: Lost Dreams of the Mexican Rainforest (2005), exhibited in
Mexico City, tells the story of the risk to the human imagination and to sacred culture in the
wake of an environment's exploitation and destruction. A later publication, Revealing
Mexico
(2010), exhibited in Rockefeller Center's Channel Gardens, brought the soft poetry
of Mexico's land and people into the heart of New York City's bustling streets. Mack later
published Marseille: At Their Home (2018), a collection of black and white street
photography in the port city of Marseille, France.

Mack has appeared on Charlie Rose, The Martha Stewart Show, and The Today Show.
He received third prize in the category of photography at the 25th Annual New York Book
Show for Revealing Mexico. Mack’s photography is represented by the Robert Mann
Gallery in New York City.

Product Details

  • Publisher: powerHouse Books (September 6, 2022)
  • Length: 210 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781648230080

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