Category: MediaSpace

Thinking through media ecologies

On e²mc we’re thinking through the various meanings of “media ecology.”

The first, chronologically, is the medium theory of Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, and others — sometimes called the Toronto School of communication theory. Neil Postman’s “New York school” can be considered a more critical and pessimistic adjunct to this tradition.

As a second tradition I’ve lumped together View full article »

Introducing e²mc

e2mc, short for “evolving ecological media cultures,” has gone online.

e2mc begins as the class blog for the University of Vermont course “Media Ecologies and Cultural Politics.” Its long-term goal is to become the online face of the UVM Ecomedia Studies Lab, which is still in development.

The blog is open to anyone interested in participating, provided that you share its goal of open and respectful discussion of issues related to the intersecting themes of media, ecology, culture, and politics.

The blog’s design is still in progress; at some point we intend to unveil a more interesting and interactive format. But for now, it looks like this.

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Immanence goes to

The Immanence Shadow Blog — that space where I scoop up little things of interest found on the internet — has been reinvented and reloaded as You can subscribe to it here.

The latest piece I’ve added is the following bit of prescient (or perhaps eternally relevant) American humor:

H/t to Jon Cogburn at APPS. And thanks to Antonio for the scoop on

WLU Press catalog out

The Wilfrid Laurier University Press page for Ecologies of the Moving Image is up, here. Their Spring catalogue, which can be downloaded here, includes two new books on Jean-Luc Godard (adding to an impressive back catalog of film titles), as well as Gary Genosko’s When Technocultures Collide, Kamboureli and Verduyn’s Critical Collaborations: Indigenity, Diaspora, and Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies, and other good titles.

The Environmental Humanities series continues to grow, with books on Sustaining the West and Avatar and Nature Spirituality. (I had to excuse myself from the latter, since my Avatar material was already appearing in two other books, though I had co-written the introduction to the journal issue from which this volume grew. The book is an impressive volume, which Bron Taylor poured a lot of hard work into.)

You can already pre-order EMI from Amazon, but has it priced more reasonably. It won’t be out till May, and this web site will tell you about good deals as they arise. (It’s 435 pages, which accounts for the high price.)

I’ll be adding video clips to go with the book, either here or on a separate web page for the book.

Ecologies of the Moving Image is a book of ecophilosophy that happens to be about cinema, and about the 12-decade history of cinema at that.

What makes it ecophilosophy? It is philosophy that is deeply informed both by an understanding of ecological science and an interdisciplinary appreciation for today’s ecological crisis.

Why cinema?

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Illienko’s poetic cinema

The following is an article I originally wrote in 1989, or maybe 1988, after seeing three films by Ukrainian poetic cinema master Yuri Illienko (a.k.a.  Iurii/Yurij/Jurij Ilyenko/Ilienko/Illyenko/Il’yenko). Two of the films — A Well for the Thirsty and Eve of Kupalo Night, or St. John’s Eve — had languished unseen under Soviet censorship for some twenty years. They are screening this coming week at New York’s Lincoln Center.

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These are some of my favorite films of all time. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” was groundbreaking and the 3 Illienko films rarely get shown anywhere. (“Eve of Ivan Kupalo” is one of the wildest rides on celluloid.)

See them on the big screen — at the Lincoln Center this coming week — if you’re in the New York City area.

James Steffen has a useful write-up on the series. And see my obit for Illienko here, with a couple of clips. I promised there that I would try to make available an old article in which I analyze three of Illienko’s films — all of which are showing at the Lincoln Center. I will do that shortly.




Post-Soviet riot grrls

While this doesn’t have much to do with the usual themes of this blog, it is an interesting case study of media culture and political protest (and one that my Ukrainian studies background qualifies me to comment on).

It’s the case of Pussy Riot supporter Inna Shevchenko, an activist with the Ukrainian feminist protest group Femen. Let’s figure it out:

A (western-style) feminist activist-performance group best known for (literally) exposing themselves to gain media exposure (with the help of happily obliging male photographers) chainsaws down a cross commemorating Stalin’s Ukrainian victims as an act of solidarity with anti-authoritarian punk-feminists Pussy Riot. (Those are the three musicians recently sentenced to two years in jail for their “sacrilegious” anti-government performance in a Russian church. More on them later.)

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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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Bogost’s talk not being streamed (by his request).

Ian Bogost, “The Aesthetics of Philosophical Carpentry”

A talk about philosophy and the objects of which it’s made, in 12 parts (first 11 are pretend)

I. Enjoying This Presentation

II. The Things We Do: Airport tarmac. Philosophers in a lecture hall not unlike an aircraft approaching the runway. Multiple dancer airport performances. Air traffic controllers and graduate students. We do the things we do. Questions, comments. Thank you for flying.

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