For the last twenty years ecology, the last great political movement of the 20th century, has fired the imaginations not only of political activists but of popular movements throughout the industrialised world. EcoMedia is an enquiry into the popular mediations of environmental concerns in popular film and television since the 1980s. Arranged in a series of case studies on bio-security, relationships with animals, bioethics and biological sciences, over-fishing, eco-terrorism, genetic modification and global warming, EcoMedia offers close readings of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, Miyazake's Princess Mononoke, The Perfect Storm, X-Men and X2, The Day After Tomorrow and the BBC's drama Edge of Darkness and documentary The Blue Planet. Drawing on the thinking of Flusser, Luhmann, Latour, Agamben and Bookchin, EcoMedia discusses issues from whether animals can draw and why we like to draw animals, to how narrative films can imagine global processes, and whether wonder is still an ethical pleasure. Building on the thesis that popular film and television can tell us a great deal about the state of contemporary beliefs and anxieties, the book builds towards an argument that the polis, the human world, cannot survive without a three way partnership with physis and techne, the green world and the technological.
Sean Cubitt is Professor of Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand. He is the author of Timeshift: On Video Culture, Videography: Video Media as Art and Culture, Digital Aesthetics, Simulation and Social Theory, and The Cinema Effect and co-editor of Aliens R Us: Postcolonial Science Fictions (with Ziauddin Sardar), Against the Grain: The Third Text Reader on Art, Media and Culture (with Rasheed Araeen and Ziauddin Sardar) and How to Study the Event Movie: The Lord of the Rings - A Case Study (with Thierry Jutel, Barry King and Harriet Margolis).
1. Introduction: Secular Virtues
2. Mediating Middle Earth: Talking to Trees in The Lord of the Rings
3. Drawing Animals: Zoomorphism in Princess Mononoke
4. The Blue Planet: Virtual nature and natural virtue
5. Ecology as Destiny: The Perfect Storm and Whale Rider
6. Edge of Darkness: eco-terrorism and the public sphere
7. Are we not men? X-Men, X-2 and GM apologetics
8. Always Take the Weather: green media in global context
9. Conclusions: biopolitics and ecommunication