images and assemblages: possible worlds

A soot sprite from Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro, gif. from gify.
A soot sprite from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro, gif. from gify.

This week we launched issue 24 of the Fibreculture Journal: Images and Assemblages. This is the second issue resulting from the huge response to the open call we put out last year. From the call I selected six essays that approached the notion of the image in new and exciting ways. What I like the most about these essays is that they do not all agree with each other, but that together they demonstrate different ways to understand the digital image without fixing images into essential binaries with other things. Instead, across all these essays, the image begins to roam into assemblages of possible worlds.

I wrote a rather contorted editorial that attempted to connect my readings on the anthropogenic climate change and soot. Its an indication of how much more reading I still have to do.

Just like those tiny particles of soot that I probably should have noticed earlier, the unintentional monument is trying to tell us something. What these images want us to know might be found at the limit edge of these assembled monuments. The question is how to track them amidst such violence. And, is there such a thing as a degree zero; an image that can stand up as the defining unintentional monument of the early twenty-first century?
If inciting attacks by humans wielding large machinery is the marker of a shared or defining border, then one contender must be Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph. Named “MBH99” and labeled by Scientific American an “iconic symbol of humanity’s contribution to global warming”, the hockey stick has been brutally threatened since its prominent inclusion in the summary documents of the IPCC in 2001. The “hockey stick” is an image of information and biology together, documenting both the acceleration and limits of growth. More than this, the hockey stick is a critical material assemblage formed from tree rings, ice cores, lake sediment and coral. It is an image that has stood up for itself in the face of relentless attack. – See more at: