Triple Canopy issue 8, now online

The issue includes an Internet play based on an apocryphal heretical text; an immersive multimedia exploration of Japan’s “Sea of Trees,” a forested mecca for suicides; a reading of the world’s first artificial color, Prussian blue; an illustrated essay on the coincidences of American Western films and the past and present marketing of the Arabian Gulf; and much more. 

Below are descriptions of some of the projects that readers might find particularly interesting.

Molly Springfield, “Inside the Mundaneum”
Washington, D.C.-based artist Molly Springfield delves into fin-de-siècle Belgian information scientist Paul Otlet’s proto-Internet—a vast card-catalogue archive called the Mundaneum—and parses its significance for the digital age. “Thus, in his armchair,” Otlet wrote, “anyone would be able to contemplate the whole of creation.”

Joe Milutis, “R, Adieu”
A harrowing alphabetical excursion into the world of the rolled r. Milutis tracks—and, through sounds and videos, shows—the primal violence and utopian trill of “the most rrresilient of locutions” in sound poetry, regional dialects, and televisual affects, from Kurt Schwitters to Georges Perec to Rodgers and Hart to Charles Bernstein. 

“Thirty-Six Shades of Prussian Blue,” by Joshua Cohen
Cohen, a novelist and critic for Harper’s, explores the history of the world’s first artificial color (and the painter’s first “stable blue”). His blueprint tracks its origins and use in chemistry, painting, photography, industry, warfare, Holocaust, and nuclear terrorism.

“Sea of Trees,” Joshua Zucker & Nine Eglantine Yamamoto-Masson with Jacob Kirkegaard
For hundreds of years, people have made the pilgrimage to Aokigahara Jukai, a dense forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, to end their own lives. The authors present an interactive map that allows readers to journey through the terrain, its history, and its mythology, with videos, images, and texts.

“Crude Meridian,” by Sophia Al-Maria with Manal Al Dowayan & Tor Eigeland
Since the 1930s, the Saudi oil company Aramco has been marketing the region as “America’s last frontier”—a mirage of fantastical Arabia and the Old West, drawing equally on British Orientalists and John Wayne. The author traces the history of the imagery of the region and the experiences of her own father, a Bedouin who went to seek his destiny as a Montana cowboy.

Additionally, Triple Canopy recently published a number of podcasts : a conversation between Cohen and author Joseph McElroy; a performance by musician and artist C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core); and the first episode of “Bangkok Is Ringing,” a series exploring the politics of urban sound.