Ecologies of the Moving Image
Cinema, Affect, Nature
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$48.99 Paper, 432 pp.
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 to westerns and road movies, and from sci-fi blockbusters and eco-disaster films to the experimental and art films of Tarkovsky, Herzog, Greenaway, Malick, Dash, and Brakhage as well as YouTube’s expanding audiovisual universe.
Through its process-relational account of cinema, drawn from philosophers such as Whitehead, Peirce, and Deleuze, the book boldly enriches our understanding of film and visual media.
Adrian J. Ivakhiv is professor of environmental studies at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, where he coordinates the graduate concentration in Environmental Thought and Culture. He is the author of Claiming Sacred Ground: Pilgrims and Politics at Glastonbury and Sedona (2001), and of numerous articles in geography, environmental studies, film and cultural studies, and religious studies. His blog, Immanence, can be found at http://blog.uvm.edu/aivakhiv/.
“Adrian Ivakhiv’s Ecologies of the Moving Image: Cinema, Affect, Nature (2013) is a book that pushes beyond conventional reflections on film and environmental thought. It is, significantly, a book where ‘the conceptual’ and ‘the material’ enter into co-productive relationships in and through Ivakhiv’s examination of cinema and the worlds it creates.... Its scale and scope exceed the purview of the humanities and offers far-reaching conceptual and methodological insights of interest to anyone attempting to make sense of our contemporary environmental condition.”
— Harlan Morehouse, Society and Space
“Ecologies of the Moving Image is an ambitious book, and a capacious and satisfying one. In addressing ‘the wild phantasmagoria of images’ among which we live today, Ivakhiv gives us an account that is at once systematic and brimming with rich detail. Moving-image forms both render imaginative worlds to us and help to constitute the world we live in; this book gives us a brilliant process-relational account of both of these dimensions of media experiences.”
— Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University
“Ivakhiv, a leading light in the emerging eco-critical film studies, wraps two themes around each other, the cinema of and as ecology. His concern is with how cinema produces worlds, lives, and human subjects intricately implicated in the processes of Earth. Marrying Whitehead, Peirce, and Deleuze with eco-philosophy, Ivakhiv gives us a rich, eloquent, wide-ranging, and moving account of movement: as world, as cinema, and as hope.”
— Sean Cubitt, Goldsmiths, University of London