Region/Concept: North America, Space
Sub-Concepts: Inferno, Conflagration, Epochal Blaze
Description: Photographic images of the King Fire now spreading throughout the California canyons.

What does it mean to aestheticize ecological disaster? These varied images (of flame, ignition, and fever) cannot help but capture the visual glory of environmental ruin, the enigmatic attraction of the smoke and of the hills burning down. Inferno; conflagration; consumption; engulfing; arson; immolation; world-as-furnace; world-as-incinerator; world-of-ash. There is no speculative end to the psychoanalysis of fire, nor to the phenomenological power of the wildfire (its transmission, disquiet, and searing effects). Thought must therefore adjust itself to the rise of an epochal blaze; it must inhabit the red mosaic of the pyres.


Jason Mohaghegh