Ecologies of the Moving Image
Cinema, Affect, Nature
Paper 435 pp.
Online discount: 25%
This book presents an ecophilosophy of cinema: an account of the moving image in relation to the lived ecologies – material, social, and perceptual relations – within which movies are produced, consumed, and incorporated into cultural life. If cinema takes us on mental and emotional journeys, the author argues that those journeys that have reshaped our understanding of ourselves, life, and the Earth and universe. A range of styles are examined, 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, Malick, and Brakhage, to YouTube’s expanding audio-visual universe.
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
“Adrian Ivakhiv makes a major contribution to eco-film studies and film philosophy by proposing a process-relational theory of cinemas. The first two chapters give a lengthy exposition of the book’s theoretical and philosophical position. Central to a process-relational approach to cinema is the idea that ‘a film is what a film does’ (48). This includes the complex interaction of several processes, ‘from its making to its viewing to its after-effects, including its reverberation in viewer’s perceptions, sensations, conversations, motivations, and attunements to one thing or another in the social and material fields that constitute the world’ (48). A.N. Whitehead’s process philosophy and Charles Peirce’s tripartite phenomenological theory of semiotics provide a complex vocabulary to understand the way cinema creates worlds.... A useful Appendix gives a bullet-pointed summary of its main points and lists pertinent questions that students can ask of a given film in order to do process-relational media analysis.... Ivakhiv’s film analysis is superbly researched and insightfully synthesises existing criticism of his chosen films with his Peircian conceptual framework.... The range of reference make it indispensable for anyone interested in studying film from an ecocritical perspective.”
— David Ingram, Brunel University, London, UK, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism