Category: EcoCulture

Let the hobbits live


Glandwr councillors, don’t do it. It’s a beautiful, sustainably designed home. Let them live there.

See Couple lose fight to save ‘hobbit house’ eco-home from demolition. And Charley and Meg’s Facebook page for updates.

Then sign the petition.

More pictures here.


Nice or what?


The above is

(a) beautiful,

(b) ugly,

(c) neither beautiful nor ugly in itself (nor anything else in particular), or

(d) _________ (fill in the blank)?

It’s a view (on a particularly hazy day) of the Sheffield wind power project in northeast Vermont, as seen from Crystal Lake State Park beach outside the town of Barton.

The view itself View full article »

Sighting Oil

While it’s been out for several months now, the current issue of Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, a special issue on Sighting Oil, deserves more press than it’s gotten.

The journal is housed at the University of Alberta, which makes it particularly well situated to critically observe the development of Alberta’s infamous Tar Sands. The issue features several critical as well as visual essays on oil (including one by Allan Stoekl on peak oil), tar sands and pipeline politics, visual representation, “dark ecology,” BP and its Gulf Oil Spill, and much else.


(And here’s one thing we’ve been doing about it: Vermont towns say no to Tar Sands oil.)



Bruno Latour’s upcoming Gifford Lectures sound remarkable. See ANTHEM for the details.

There could be no better theme for a lecture series on natural religion than that of Gaia, this puzzling figure that has emerged recently in public discourse from Earth science as well as from many activist and spiritual movements. The problem is that the expression of “natural religion” is somewhat of a pleonasm, since Western definitions of nature borrow so much from theology. The set of lectures attempts to decipher the face of Gaia in order to redistribute the notions that have been packed too tightly into the composite notion of ‘’natural religion’’.

[. . .]

A search for collective rituals should begin with works of art and experiments able to explore in sufficient detail the scientific and political composition of the common world.


Perhaps the promise of Latour’s work — aside from its sociological and science-studies import — is reaching a new culmination as the religious and ecological threads he’s been toying with for so long come to their mutual fruition.


Thanks to Adam for the head’s-up.


Take-home message

… from Bill McKibben and’s new roadshow, “Do The Math,” previewed tonight here at the University of Vermont:

If climate scientists (and climate change modelers) are correct that the burning of more than a small fraction of the world’s available fossil fuel reserves will trigger changes that will induce paroxysms of preventable suffering, then prudence, honor, and justice dictate that we should act to prevent that from happening.


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The wound of eco-trauma

My article “The Wound of What Has Not Happened Yet: Cine-Semiotics of Eco-Trauma” appeared in the trilingual (English-German-Czech) arts journal Umelec late last year. (It kicked off the issue, followed by Mark Fisher’s wonderful “Terminator vs. Avatar: Notes on Accelerationism.”)

The editors illustrated it with photos from David Cronenberg’s Crash, which I found funny. The online version doesn’t quite capture the effect. The English version is now available open access here and here.

The article is a remixed outtake from the final chapter of my book Ecologies of the Moving Image, which is scheduled to come out in Spring 2013 in Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s Environmenal Humanities Series.



Here’s the abstract for the keynote I will be giving at Nature and the Popular Imagination in Malibu this August. It builds on my recent talk at Bucks College, but without the nod to pop-cultural interest in Avatar.


starring the Cinematic Earth, with cameo appearances by Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, Martin Heidegger, C. S. Peirce, Gilles Deleuze, Lynn Margulis, James Cameron, Stanley Kubrick, Donna Haraway, and Koko the Gorilla

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I received my copies in the mail this week of the book that arose out of the School of Advanced Research seminar on “Nature, Science, and Religion: Intersections Shaping Society and the Environment.”

It’s a handsome volume, whose contents provide a level of cross-cutting conversation that, I think, is rare among edited collections. Catherine Tucker did a fabulous job editing it.

She and I co-wrote the introductory chapter, which can be read here.

I don’t yet have an electronic version of my closing chapter, “Religious (Re)Turns in the Wake of Global Nature,” but I’d be happy to share a pre-publication version of it upon request. An excerpt of it can be found here.

We are the 1%

The other 99% have apparently gone extinct. (The estimate is actually closer to 100% than 99%.) This I just learned form Joshua Schuster’s talk on “Digital extinction.”

The earth’s biological diversity is also the highest it’s ever been. We are living between the achievement (of speciation to tremendous levels of flourishing) and the projection (that up to half of species will go extinct in the next hundred years, massive extinction being underway). Celebrate the moment.

Appropriate thoughts for Cinco de Mayo (and belatedly for May Day and Beltane).


Tim Morton, “They are here”

Talking Heads video “Crosseyed and painless” (dir. Toni Basil, featured the Elecric Boogaloos). Is the non-national anthem of global anxiety. The sound of the end of the world and beginning of history. The first moonwalk is here (not Michael Jackson). The Levinasian “il y-a”, environmental creepiness, but we don’t know what yet. The dancers are suspended in claustrophobic white space, in their world.

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