AG23 is a limited edition zine series, edited by Dan Milnor and Rick Elder and published via Blurb books. For the latest issue, I created some anaglyph images from natural history image archives. I wrote the intro for the zine about the process:
Notes on the cover images
When I came across Étienne Léopold Trouvelot’s ‘Group of Sun Spots and Veiled Spots’ in mid-2020, it spoke to me as a visual metaphor for the dark chaos of that year: bushfires transformed my Sydney home into a post apocalyptic-looking hellscape and wildfires elsewhere ignited rainforests, the brutal COVID19 pandemic raged alongside race riots, and multiple political maelstroms upended notions of truth, democracy and basic decency. To avoid despair, we cast hope that this is the start of a transition; from the environmental, socio-cultural and political inferno currently illuminating humankind’s myopic and destructive greed, we may collectively find the discipline and will to transition to more sustainable and ethical ways of encountering and living with nature, in all its entangled complexity.
In addition to awe-inspiring astronomical drawings, Trouvelot is (in)famous for introducing the European Gypsy Moth to North America, in a failed experiment to interbreed them with silkworms for profit. The voraciously hungry caterpillars now defoliate more than 300 species of trees and shrubs, posing a major danger to forest ecosystems.1 The second image on the cover depicts the life cycle of these destructive pests. Together, I offer these images as a reminder that transitioning to better futures requires us all to tread the ‘good path’, always considering how convenient and self-serving decisions made today may have disastrous consequences for future generations of humans and non-humans alike.
I transformed Trouvelot’s drawing and the Gypsy Moth etching into anaglyph 3D images, by separating and warping the red and blue/green channels in Photoshop. This graphic technique makes an already unsettling pair of images more strange. 3D glasses will trick our eyes into realigning the split image, but also add uncanny depth and complexity. A novel definition of transition: Realigning, in order to see depth and complexity.
Below: Slideshow sample from Issue One, for more info and a video preview see AG23 site.