Ecologies of the Moving Image
Cinema, Affect, Nature
Publication Year: 2013
Moving images take us on mental and emotional journeys, over the course of which we and our worlds undergo change. This is the premise of Ecologies of the Moving Image, which accounts for the ways cinematic moving images move viewers in ways that reshape our understanding of ourselves, of life, and of the Earth and universe.
This book presents an ecophilosophy of the cinema: an account of the moving image in relation to its lived ecologies—the material, social, and perceptual relations within which movies are produced, consumed, and incorporated into cultural life. Cinema, Adrian Ivakhiv argues, lures us into its worlds, but those worlds are grounded in a material and communicative Earth that supports them, even if that supporting materiality withdraws from visibility. Ivakhiv examines the geographies, visualities, and anthropologies—relations of here and there, seer and seen, us and them, human and inhuman—found across a range of styles and genres, from ethnographic and wildlife documentaries, westerns and road movies, sci-fi blockbusters, and eco-disaster films to the experimental and art films of Tarkovsky, Herzog, Greenaway, Malick, Dash, and Brakhage, to YouTube’s expanding audio-visual universe.
Through its process-relational account of cinema, drawn from philosophers including Whitehead, Peirce, and Deleuze, the book boldly enriches our understanding of film and visual media.
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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The world around us contains a wild phantasmagoria of images. Put more provocatively: the world around us is a wild phantasmagoria of images. We live and move in a world that swirls with tempestuous currents made of a kind of audiovisual image-substance. Photographs, films and television programs, videos and computer games—these and other moving images blend and mix ...
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Parts of this book have been presented at numerous conferences and in teaching and speaking venues, and segments have appeared in books and in journals, but all of these have been modified, some extensively, for this publication. Portions of the first two chapters appeared in “The Anthrobiogeomorphic Machine: Stalking the Zone of Cinema,” ...
1 INTRODUCTION: Journeys into the Zone of Cinema
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The cinema was a machine that, exploring the world, preserved it and made it available […], but also a machine that has revealed how the world is becoming ever more indistinct […] a device that offered us images so that they might per-petuate the presence of the real; yet one that, reducing the world to its images, also Francesco Casetti, Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, Modernity1...
2 ECOLOGY, MORPHOLOGY, SEMIOSIS: A Process-Relational Account of the Cinema
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The actualities of the Universe are processes of experience, each process an indi-viduated fact. The whole Universe is the advancing assemblage of these processes. Subjectivity and objectivity are not only superimposed but endlessly reborn, the one from the other, in a ceaseless round of subjectivizing objectivity and objectiv-izing subjectivity. The real is bathed, bordered on, crossed, swept along by the ...
3 TERRITORY: The Geomorphology of the Visible
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Our taverns and our metropolitan streets, our offices and furnished rooms, our railroad stations and our factories appear to have us locked up hopelessly. Then came the film and burst this prison world asunder by the dynamite of the tenth of a second, so that now, in the midst of its far-flung ruins and debris, we calmly and From Stagecoach (1939). Directed by John Ford. Credit: United Artists/Photofest. ...
4 ENCOUNTER: First Contact, Utopia, and the Becoming of Another
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For Kant, the world emerges from the subject; for the philosophy of organism, the From Nanook of the North (1992). Directed by Robert J. Flaherty. Credit: Robert J. [A] person is not absolutely an individual. His thoughts are what he is ‘saying to himself,’ that is, is saying to that other self that is just coming into life in the flow Films stand sill, but their subjects move on. […] Even as a film is being shot, its ...
5 ANIMA MORALIA: Journeys across Frontiers
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...[The] world does nothing but signify. To be a world is to effervesce with an excess of signification. That this should be so is the product of an apparent contradiction: Cinema is a sensuous object, but it also comes – and becomes – before us a sensing and sensual subject and, in the address of the eye, allows us to see what seems a visual impossibility: that we are at once subject and object, the seer and the seen. ...
6 TERRA AND TRAUMA: The Geopolitics of the Real
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Postmodernism is what you have when the modernization process is complete and I believe that without recognizing it we have already stepped over the threshold of This was once a forest, before it was covered with oil. Everything that looks like water is in actuality oil. Ponds and lakes are spread out all over the land. The oil is treacherous because it reflects the sky. The oil is trying to disguise itself as water....
AFTERWORD: Digital Futures in a Biosemiotic World
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According to the feeling-imbued philosophy of a pluralistic universe, to care about the diversity of humanity writ large is to take a step toward caring about the larger world that courses through and around us. It is to care about litter in motion in the creativity of a cockroach, the fecundity of rainforests, lava flows, swimming DNA, the sonority of the human voice, turbulent water flows, and the human body-...
APPENDIX: Doing Process-Relational Media Analysis
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The process-relational model follows a film through three concurrent and parallel life cycles, or three ecologies: the material, the social, and the perceptual. In this model, the focus is on perceptual ecologies, because that is where film’s main distinctiveness lies. The film experience—the experience of viewers watching and interpreting a film—is a key moment in film’s impact on ...
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Page Count: 435
Illustrations: 8 b/w
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Environmental Humanities