The Critter Issue

The Critter Issue

A letter from the editors


What is wildlife when the world is no longer wild?

From May 21–May 25, Silica Mag and Engadget are proud to present “The Critter Issue,” a collection of articles and artworks that explore the emergent ecologies and faunic systems within Earth’s post-internet landscapes.

In this issue, we ask: How is life defined in a world dominated by human technology? How are we changing it? How is it changing us? And what is happening to life on this planet in all of its natural, artificial, and liminal states?

Silica, define ‘Critter’:

A creature, beast or animate entity existing within a society or ecosystem. A zoological agent of change, an unwanted or unnoticed animal, an invading interloper in the age of the Anthropocene.

Silica, define ‘The Critter Issue’:

Five features: Inside the Animal Internet, Wonders of Wildlife, Ghost Media, Talk to Me and ‘Til Death Do Us Part each ponder what it means to co-exist on this planet with other species — from peering into the future of animal translation technology, to investigating how digital surveillance is transforming our relationship to the animal kingdom. On-the-ground reports pick apart our complex relationship with the life, death and conservation of wildlife, while a new media artist showcase ponders the reanimation of Earth’s extinct species through digital archiving. The articles will be exclusive on Engadget from May 21-25, after which they will be added to the Silica ecosystem.

In tandem with our launch on Engadget, we will be also be publishing a menagerie of commentary, gallery and interactive pieces on We encourage you to get lost in the wild, wild world of The Critter Issue.

Silica, define ‘Silica Mag’:

Silica Mag is an online periodical investigating the interplay between the geographic, ecological, and technological phenomena of the modern world. We are a small group that brings together journalists, artists, and academics to produce investigative long-form journalism, substantive digital artwork, and pioneering commentary once a year to help drive the discussion around Earth’s environment.

We refer to ourselves as “a travel guide to the environmental apocalypse.” Our stories seek to take readers on a journey — physically, digitally and intellectually — and redefine what it means to bear witness to the destruction of our planet’s landscapes.

Our past issues, The Lake Issue and The Homeland Issue, respectively investigated freshwater bodies and uncertain concepts of the new American frontier. This time around, we set out to ask: What is wildlife when the world is no longer wild?