Think of this digital magazine as a snapshot in time – The Homeland Issue was conceived at a contentious point in U.S. history, and our latest collection of stories, artworks and interactives reflect both the hopes and crises our nation’s environment is currently facing. We have commissioned a wide variety of journalists, artists, scientists, filmmakers, scholars, technologists and designers across the United States to envision what the word “Homeland” means to them in 2017, and what they believe the future has in store for both the natural and societal ecosystems of our country.

Our digital cover story, Biopoliticize This! begins this journey on a rather direct note, by calling out nine major environmental policy changes the new U.S. administration has made thus far, and their potential effects on both the land we live on and the human bodies who live here. Our following journal features, Climate v. Culture, Don’t Chase Me, Life Indoors and Strange Nature dive deeper into the Homeland theme by investigating microcosms of climate change, diversity and conservation across the nation.

Issue 2’s gallery features: California, Golf Poems, Panning/Displace and Land’s End show what can happen when artists begin to traverse humanity’s more abstract and intangible connections to environmentalism and the natural world.

Finally, explore some unnerving realities about America’s past and potential future through our commentary features, A Geologist’s Reminder, Terra Firma, and Half-Life, which vary in style from the rest of the issue and help further break down the barriers between art, science, academia and environmental reporting.

To get a fully-immersive experience of the digital mag, listen to Negative Gemini’s Homeland Mixtape while you read the issue, or, skip the text entirely and listen to every article (plus a few auditory extras) for free on the Silica SoundCloud.

As always, we’re so indebted to all of our contributors who always put so much heart, thought and soul into their work. We would also like to give a huge thank you to everyone who backed our Kickstarter campaign and allowed us, for the first time ever, to produce a physical print-only version of the magazine. Thank you for being a part of the Silica ecosystem!

Google Map of the geographic sites mentioned in this issue.

Our Issue 2 Fundraising Backers:

Thank you for your support, you made this issue possible through Kickstarter!


Aaron Souppouris


Carol & Patrick Murphy

Nora Choi-Lee

Wick Temple

Janet & Joseph Draper

John & Sally Macdonald

Cathy Matthews & Gerry Halter

Liz Buyer

Margy McCay

Sammy Nave & Emily Pease

Lynda Decker

Ron Batson

Renee Marie Moulin


Wilson Ford Keithline

Alexes McLaughlin

Alexander Bush

Robert Smith

Taylor Hom

Heather Reed

Gabriella Garcia

Darwinn Sato

Marcus McDonald

Glenn Sikes

Bob Maynard

Betty Quinn

Ben Bruno

Mark Arciaga

Michele DePietro

Jim Pinkenberg

Tyler Deitz

Juliette Cezzar


Clarisa Diaz

Bryan Ma

Stephanie Chan

Howard Kistler

Lee Jordan

Elea Wilder

George Langford

Molly Goedken

Christa Hartsock

John Miller

Alex Tosti

Yixin Cen

Cyber Supporters

Kevin Knight

Josh Segal

Wolfgang Daniel

Zoe Salditch

Rory Gallagher


Albert Lee

Jordan Stern



Dear Reader,

If you feel like you have a hard time making it all the way through online articles, don't worry, it's not just you. In most cases, your reading experience has been designed to be as distracting as possible. Sponsored content and related stories in the sidebar, bright red breaking news banners, pop-up videos that start playing out of nowhere: these are all tactics to get you to click more. More clicks means more metrics, more metrics means more ad revenue. Think everything looks the same these days? Predictability leads to profit, but that gets kind of boring to us here at Silica.

“We used to have a map of a frontier that could be anything. The web isn’t young anymore, though. It’s settled. It’s been prospected and picked through. Increasingly, it feels like we decided to pave the wilderness, turn it into a suburb, and build a mall.” – Frank Chimero, What Screens Want

Our design philosophy at Silica has been to go back to the basics in order to give interesting content the spotlight it deserves and to rediscover the things that make online storytelling enthralling. We want you to be able to focus on what you're looking at and enjoy it. You're more than just a click to us ;) By building the design platform from the ground up, we have afforded a few unique elements on the site that we hope you will enjoy discovering. We've aimed to give a sense of geography and atmosphere to each article design: in some instances, stretching headlines over 3D meshes of the topography where the story takes place. In other places, we've experimented with interactive 3D interfaces and dynamic web shaders for a true multimedia experience. We've also continued using expandable drawers (like this one) throughout the issue as a way to ‘choose your own adventure’ while reading. We hope your visit is immersive and a little bit weird.

So relax, sit back, and take the time to dig into the Silica net-verse.

-Evander Batson,

Silica Creative Director

P.S. Let me know if you find a bug :)

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