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The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America

A Guide to Field Identification

A taxonomy we didn’t know we needed for identifying and cataloging stray shopping carts by artist and photographer Julian Montague.

Abandoned shopping carts are everywhere, and yet we know so little about them. Where do they come from? Why are they there? Their complexity and history baffle even the most careful urban explorer.
Thankfully, artist Julian Montague has created a comprehensive and well-documented taxonomy with The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America. Spanning the categories of Damaged, Fragment, Plaza Drift, Bus Stop Discard, Plow Crush, and twenty-eight more, it is a tonic for times defined increasingly by rhetoric and media and less by the plain objects and facts of the real world. Montague’s incomparable documentation of this common feature of the urban landscape helps us see the natural and man-made worlds—and perhaps even ourselves—anew.
First published in 2006 to great perplexity and acclaim alike, this refreshed and expanded edition of Montague’s book is both rigorous and absurd. Told in an exceedingly dry voice, with full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, the result is a strangely compelling vision of how we approach, classify, and understand the environments around us. A new afterword brings insight into why this project exists at all.

184 pages | 250 color plates | 6 x 8 1/4

Art: Photography

Culture Studies

Geography: Urban Geography

Literature and Literary Criticism: Humor

Sociology: Urban and Rural Sociology

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