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Archive for the ‘Visual culture’ Category

Here’s a preview in section headings of the book I’m currently writing. It presents a way of thinking about images, what they’ve done for people, and how all of that figures into the contemporary world of digital media. It then applies that way of thinking to three sets of images: about humans as the stars […]

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This past week has seen a firestorm of reaction among environmentalists and climate and energy scientists to the online release of the film Planet of the Humans. Written, directed, and produced by first-time director Jeff Gibbs, but — much more importantly — executive-produced and actively promoted by Michael Moore, the film is incendiary and intentionally […]

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An article of mine by that title has appeared in a special issue of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture on “Popular Culture, Religion, and the Anthropocene.” The article contains the theoretical core of the book I’m currently writing on image regimes. It builds on my work in cinema and media […]

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“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…” 62 moons orbiting in and around the grooved rings of Saturn. Winter and spring, hurricanes, jet streams, and auroras. Rivers and deltas pelted by methane rains on Titan. Hydrothermal vented oceans, and geysers shooting plumes of water that fall back as snow on Enceladus. Moons forming spiral waves cresting […]

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I’ve written about ethical witnessing before — both in the eco-trauma chapter of Ecologies of the Moving Image and in my reflections on Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing. Seeing Serhii Loznitsa‘s latest film, Austerlitz, at Kyiv’s Molodist Film Festival a few days ago, prompted me to think some more about how a seemingly neutral camera, […]

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With reality like this, who needs fiction? It’s from Fort McMurray, last week. Harrowing. While the impact of such images is undeniable, the debate over whether and how they are related to climate change is a debate the rest of us should not shy away from.

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One of the best ways to respond to the Bubble I mentioned in the last post is through the arts. Here’s the poster for my summer course examining artistic responses to the global crisis.

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How to die in the Anthropocene

He left us with this to mull over. (Thanks to Roy Scranton for the title idea.)

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A journalist asked me to say something about the use of animal mascots for commercial purposes. In an email, she wrote: “What does a brand owe an animal mascot, especially one at risk? For instance, polar bears face rapid habitat loss, yet Coke has only donated $2 million to the WWF for conservation efforts. There’s also Kellogg’s […]

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This week’s theme in my “Environmental Literature, Arts, & Media” class is apocalyptic rhetoric. (I’m loosely following Greg Garrard’s list of tropes in Ecocriticism, but adding, amplifying, and amending to be more artistically inclusive.) Because it’s a fun topic (and deadly serious, too), I thought I’d post a few of the videos we’ve been watching […]

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Cross-posting this piece by Emil from A(s)cene. Taylor’s coral reef art is beautiful. See also the discussion of Donna Haraway’s “String Figures” lecture and Bruno Latour’s 11 theses on capitalism.   

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Apocalypstickle?

Just as environmental media have a penchant for the spectacle of “disaster porn,” so does political media reveal a strong attraction to what Politico’s Sarah Kendzior, in “The Day We Pretended to Care About Ukraine,” calls the “apocalypstickle.” An ugly word for political observers’ weird fascination with apocalyptic imagery. Brueghel, Bosch . . . and […]

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