It’s high time for an update here… I’m in Malibu for Nature and the Popular Imagination (conference program here), where I’ll be giving a keynote on “The Age of the World Motion Picture.”

I blogged about this part of the California coast the last time I was out here, and my thoughts there have worked their way into my talk here. The talk lays out a Peircian-inspired approach to thinking about moving images, and specifically images of the earth and its cosmic environment (black void, or otherwise) as found in movies like 2001, Solaris, Contact, Melancholia, and others.

(Yes, that image above is Earthrise upside down… Survey question: does it feel vertiginous, or not?)

The conference locale is worth commenting on: it’s a beautiful campus, which happens to be that of an evangelical Christian university (Pepperdine). A faculty member here was kind enough to co-organize and host the conference so that we could all be (a) near Hollywood, (b) near surf, (c) in a beautiful place, and (d) in Malibu. The irony is that the references to Christianity in the conference program are limited to no more than two sessions. There’s almost as much on zombies…

I will keep posting, but it will probably not be the kind of detailed live-blog I did the last time ’round.

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Related posts:

  1. Nature & the Popular Imagination
  2. Nature & the Popular Imagination (redux)
  3. Zoosemiotics & Animal Representations
  4. more ASLE observations