“What does it mean to live in a time where the world as we know it is both dying and being born again?”

This issue is a collection of speculative tomorrows — good ones, bad ones, ones that stir the heart or electrify the mind, and ones beyond our wildest dreams. Some are hellscapes hunting us for retribution, while others are paradises designed to satisfy our every whim and fancy.

In 2022, we occupy a troubled place in history, where amid socio-political upheaval and continued environmental crisis, it can feel like the very soul of the earth is slipping from our grasp. The world is changing. We feel it shifting beneath our feet and hanging heavy in the air, flashing its warning to us. As Bridget Beecham writes: “Time is running out. Beauty is running out.” At the same time, this is an era of unprecedented technological progress. The internet is realer than real life; shiny new things continue to get shinier and newer; our advancement as a species seems to know no bounds.

What does it mean to live in a time where the world as we know it is both dying and being born again? What power do we hold over the future? And what power does the
future hold over us? These are the central questions sitting at the heart of Deathless. In this issue, we explore them over the course of three chapters: Man, Spirit, and Machine.

We’ve also made some exciting new additions to enhance your reading experience, including a series of short films, a companion podcast featuring feature story subject Austin rapper Mama Duke, and the first installment of work by M.E.D., SPARK’s inaugural design technology team spearheaded by Creative Director Alex Cao.

We elected to elevate our issue theme this season by designing a conceptual world for our staff to explore, with a sharpened focus on issue cohesion and thematic complexity. We challenged everyone to ideate, create, and execute within the parameters of this world, and I’m proud to say that they’ve risen to the occasion by delivering a body of work that is as whimsical as it is macabre, as cohesive as it is original, and as true to SPARK’s long-standing values of innovation and creativity as it is expectation-defying.


Kai-Lin Wei
Editor In Chief

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