A. – We may be one of the last generations with memories run through by trains.
In my two posts called Railroad Conversations, I’m looking at two books of prose and photographs about railways that each began as site specific artworks before being transformed into books. In both cases, the creators of the performed artworks and/or the publishers opted not to produce a publication that would serve as traditional documentation for the performances, but instead chose to create new literary works that would stand on their own. This might have something to do with the fact that the performances were created by people who are primarily writers: Lavinia Greenlaw in the case of Audio Obscura (discussed in part 1 of Railroad Conversations) and Anne Michaels and John Berger, discussed below. In each of these books, it is also curious to note that the photography was not part of the original performances but was newly added, undoubtedly to give the book some sense of its origins in the performative world. Read more