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New Work: Special Issue of ‘Animation’ on Space and Scalar Travels

2015 January 28
by Steve Rust
Now available:
Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal (SAGE)
Volume 9 Issue 2
July 2014

Animating Scale and Scalar Travel
Guest Editor: Sylvie Bissonnette (UC Berkeley)

The collection of articles in this special issue of animation: an interdisciplinary journal examines conceptions of life and the universe at a variety of scales in animated media. In our era of media globalization and bioengineering, recent modes of visualization have offered the opportunity to experience the world at microscopic and macroscopic scales. Explorations of the body’s interior, visual flâneries of miniaturized urban spaces, journeys through cosmic landscapes, reanimations of the genomic data of marine microbes, and mobile visions of protein folding in video games all challenge viewers’ spatio-temporal frame of reference and produce novel embodied experiences that transform our understanding of the physical limits of the body and its agency. The nine articles in this issue consider a range of visual styles and techniques that influence our understanding of the limits of animation and the particular ways in which each style or technique animates space, including cel animations, hybrid animated films, computer animations, CG cinema, and online video games.

“Introduction to the Special Issue: Animating Space and Scalar Travels”

Author: Sylvie Bissonnette

“Never Quite the Right Size: Scaling the Digital in CG Cinema”

Author: Adam Davis

“Scalar Travel Documentaries: Animating the Limits of the Body and Life”

Author: Sylvie Bissonnette

“Remediating Panorama on the Small Screen: Scale, Movement and Spectatorship in Software-Driven Panoramic Photography”

Author: Jihoon Kim

“Tilt-Shift Flânerie: Miniature View, Globalscape”
Author: Jennifer Lynde Barker

“Ecology without Scale: Unthinking the World Zoom”
Author: Chris Tong

“The Multilocal Self: Performance Capture, Remote Surgery, and Persistent Materiality”

Author: Drew Ayers

“Reach In and Feel Something: On the Strategic Reconstruction of Touch in Virtual Space”

Author: David Parisi

“Proteus and the Digital: Scalar Transformations of Seawater’s Materiality in Ocean Animations”

Author: Melody Jue

“Playable Virus: HIV Molecular Aesthetics in Science and Popular Culture”

Author: Tim Seiber

Call for Film Reviews for the Journal ‘Resilience’

2015 January 27
by Steve Rust

The Media Review section of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities calls for reviews that apply ecocritical and Green cultural studies approaches to the field of Japanese animation.

2014 was a watershed year for Studio Ghibli, arguably the leading anime studio, because it marked the retirement of the founding directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. who issued their swan-songs The Wind Rises and Princess Kaguya. To honor this moment and attract more critical attention to anime, we are soliciting reviews of the following:

Miyazaki’s films, especially Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Ponyo.

Takahata’s Ken the Wolf Boy, Heidi: Girl of the Alps, Pom Poko aka “Tanuki Wars,” Grave of the Fireflies, and Princess Kaguya.

We are also interested in work inspired by or intertextually related to Studio Ghibli, such as Disney’s Lilo and Stitch; Irish director Tomm Moore’s The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea; and the animated version of Avatar: The Last Airbender (including its sequel, The Legend of Korra, which is a gold mine for feminist, post-colonial, eco-cosmopolitan, and queer ecocriticism, just sayin’).

Reviews of other anime films, TV series, and manga unrelated to Ghibli will also be considered.

Reviews should be 500 to 2,000 words long. Final drafts are due April 16, 2015.

Please send inquiries or brief proposals to Anthony Lioi at alioi [at] juilliard.edu.

CFP: Asian Ecocinema Studies: Edited Collection

2015 January 22
by Steve Rust

Call for Chapter Contribution
Asian Ecocinema Studies: Edited Collection
Book Editors: Scott Slovic, Kiu-wai Chu, Winnie Yee.

We are seeking original articles for an edited collection about ecological and environmental issues in contemporary Asian cinema.

With increasing awareness of global environmental issues, and an attempt to address growing interests in the study of Asian films in relation to ecocritical theories and concepts, this book project seeks to expand the field of ecology and film towards a broader coverage in its Asian contexts. From cinematic depictions of Asian environmental crises, films revealing environmental impacts brought about by transnational networking and exchange, to artistic representations of human, nature, wilderness and ecology, ecological and environmental issues in Asia have increasingly been exposed to the outside world through fictional films, documentaries and various forms of media.

Specific recent environmental issues in wider Asian context
This book aims to focus on contemporary, region-specific ecological and environmental issues represented in films, such as consequences of Bhopal gas leak, Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, Fukushima nuclear disaster, pollution and toxic issues, environmental challenges for Taiwanese aborigines, and cross-regional environmental problems.

New ecocritical approaches in Asian cinema
There is an emergence of new critical approaches that are shaping recent scholarships in ecological/environmental study of literature and film. Such approaches include neo-bioregional studies and eco-cosmopolitanism (Ursula Heise), slow violence and environmental justice (Rob Nixon), the study of affect (Deleuze and Guattari), the age of the Anthropocene (Dipesh Chakrabarty, Bruno Latour), Object-oriented Ontology and Speculative realism (Graham Harman, Timothy Morton), new materialist and posthumanist turn towards nonhuman agencies (Karen Barad, Jane Bennett, Stacy Alaimo, Cary Wolfe), and process-relational philosophy (William Connolly, Adrian Ivakhiv). This book aims to reflect efforts that have been made towards redressing the differences of approach and inadequacies of the scholarship in Asian film studies.

Exploring eco-film language and conventions, genres, and religio-philosophical implications
This book aims to explore how film genres define different ecocinemas, particularly with reference to specific Asian genres such as Martial art films, Japanese anime, Bollywood musical, and/or Thai experimental and independent art films. Do religious and philosophical traditions of Asia facilitate in defining different sets of eco-film language and conventions? Are some film conventions more likely to represent ecological consciousness/sensibility than others? How do slow cinema, long takes and film language in Asian film genres facilitate conveying ecological issues?

We seek contributions for book chapters that address one or more of the above mentioned issues. Broad topics may include, but not limited to:
– Nature/Post-nature
– New materialism/ material ecocriticism/ science and technology
– Interconnectedness, assemblage, networking
– Climate change, the age of the Anthropocene
– Pollution, toxicity, risk, slow violence, environmental crisis and sustainability
– Postcolonial ecocriticism
– Globalization, transnational networking and ecocosmopolitanism
-Comparative ecocinema studies, conceptualizing ecocinema in Asia
– Environmental aesthetics and ethics
– Animals, plant sentience, posthumanism, postanthropocentrism
– Body/nature, transcorporeality
– Study of scale
– Specific filmmakers/auteurs’ works
– Genre studies (documentaries, martial arts, sci-fi, horror, anime, etc.)
– Eco-Film festivals
– Audience reception studies

We currently have a number of confirmed contributors and several publishers have shown interest, but are particularly looking for contributors working on films produced in the following regions: Korea, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

Please submit a 300-500 word abstract, a brief bio, or any question to
Kiu-wai Chu @ kiuwaichu@gmail.com or Winnie Yee @ yeelmw@hku.hk. Deadline for proposal submission is 28 February, 2015. Full paper will be due in 15 August, 2015.

Monstrous Cockroaches and Horror Film: New Essay by Heumann and Murray

2015 January 21
by Steve Rust

The latest issue of the highly regarded online film and media journal JumpCut has just been published. Among the contributions is ““As beautiful as a butterfly”? Monstrous cockroach nature and the horror film” by ecocinema scholars Joseph Heumann and Robin Murray.

Here’s a short excerpt (click the title above to link to the full text).

Typically, then, altered and enhanced roaches are presented as horrific monsters that must be destroyed, perhaps because they too closely resemble the monstrous side of humanity. Damnation Alley illustrates how cockroaches might transform into killers after a nuclear holocaust, and The Nest explores the possible disastrous consequences of a biological experiment that turns roaches into flesh-eating fiends. Mimic and Bug, on the other hand, examine the destructive repercussions of genetic engineering meant to alter cockroaches for human benefit. Mimic explores the long-term effects after entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) creates a mutant breed of cockroach, the Judas Breed, to offset an epidemic spread by the common cockroach. Bug also examines the ramifications of developing a new breed of cockroach, in this case showing the roaches’ growth both in intelligence and destructive force. Cronos more explicitly highlights the symbolic value of the cockroach as a seemingly immortal survivor. All these films, however, demonstrate a similar perspective on the cockroach, suggesting that manipulating nature, even for beneficial results, ultimately leads to destructive ends.

Eco-Comedy Video Competition

2015 January 15
by Steve Rust

Eco-Comedy Video Competition

Spring 2015 – CALL FOR ENTRIES

“Clean Water, Clean Air”

Sponsored by:

American University Center for Environmental Filmmaking

and

The Nature Conservancy

 

**$2,000 Prize**

The 2015 Eco-Comedy theme is “Clean Water, Clean Air.

Produce a short, humorous video for YouTube tackling this year’s theme. The contest is open to anyone worldwide who has a flair for producing videos and something to say about conservation.

Submissions must:

  1. Be humorous!
  2. Communicate a clear (and funny!) message around the broad theme of “clean water, clean air” and overall environmental conservation.
  3. Reach a broad audience.
  4. Be an original production.
  5. Be less than three minutes (including titles and credits).
  6. Be posted to Eco­Comedy Video Competition 2015 YouTube Channel at:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWFuA_JundApDudndM2XB4g
  7. Be submitted by 11:59pm Eastern Time Zone on Sunday, March 1st, 2015.

A panel of five judges representing The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking will determine the finalists and grand prize winner. The decision of the judges is final. Awards are based on overall merit of the entries. The organizations listed above reserve the right to post submissions on their websites and social media channels.

Submissions that are not received by Sunday, March 1, 2015, will not be accepted. Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. The winner will be announced at American University on Tuesday, March 24, at the DC Environmental Film Festival at 7:00 p.m., in the Forman Theater located in the McKinley Building on the American University campus.

For more information regarding submission guidelines and contest rules, visit: http://www.american.edu/soc/cef/eco-comedy-film-competition.cfm

Please address questions to Professor Chris Palmer at palmer@american.edu 

Salmon Doc ‘The Breach’ Available to Stream Today Only

2015 January 12
by Steve Rust

Mark Titus’ salmon-loving documentary, The Breach (2014),  will be made available for free online streaming on Vimeo with the use of an access code today only, Monday, January 12, 2015.

 

Here’s the film’s storyline from IMDB:

“When fishing guide and filmmaker Mark Titus learns why wild salmon populations plummeted in his native Pacific Northwest, he embarks on a journey to discover where the fish have gone and what might bring them back. Along the way, Titus unravels a trail of human hubris, historical amnesia potential tragedy looming in Alaska, all conspiring to end the most sustainable wild food left on the planet.” (IMDB)

 

The film runs approximately 90 minutes and is set for theatrical distribution this April 2015.

 

To see The Breach, use the URL and password below (VALID UNTIL 1/12/15):

 

URL: www.vimeo.com/augustisland/palmsprings

Password: thebreach15

Geography of Hope 2015 Conference Announcement

2014 December 28

If you’ll be in the San Francisco area in March you may want to check out the Geography of Hope 2015 conference, which will focus on the topic of Women and the Land.

Geography of Hope 2015 Logo

Since 2008, Point Reyes Books has sponsored one of northern California’s most exceptional literary gatherings. The biennial Geography of Hope Conference brings together leading writers and activists in the coastal village of Point Reyes Station for a three-day feast of readings, discussions, and activities to inspire and deepen an understanding of the relationships between people and place.

Authors Robin Wall Kimmerer and Kathleen Dean Moore will co-chair the 2015 gathering. A fierce compassion for the well-being of the Earth illuminates the writing of both women and helps deepen an understanding of the relationship between people and place. They will be joined by a dozen or more of the country’s most admired writers who also use language—whether poetry, fiction, or literary non-fiction—to express a sense of urgency about environmental concerns.

The conference takes its name from Wallace Stegner’s famous “Wilderness Letter” to Congress in support of the 1964 Wilderness Act. In it he described wild landscapes as part of our “geography of hope.” Building on that, the 2015 gathering will be a conversation about how to map out a new geography of hope.

“To create this new perspective,” says GOH co-chair Kathleen Dean Moore, “will take every point of view and every imaginative power. So we are listening particularly for voices that might offer useful perspectives. That means we want to listen closely to women. We want to listen to people of color and to the poor. We want to listen to future generations. And we want to listen closely to other voices that offer new directions, new compass points, new trails across new terrain.” 

Working with Nature Symposium CFP

2014 December 12
by scubitt

10 April, 2015
Massey University, Manawatu Campus
Palmerston North, Aotearoa-New Zealand

Keynote: Sean Cubitt (Goldsmiths College, University of London)

Nature is one of those ever-present yet somewhat uncomfortable words that structure our everyday lives. In the twenty-first century it is becoming increasingly apparent that whether we consciously address it or not, human cultures and societies are entangled with nature and vice versa. Entanglement is a useful concept here, insofar as unlike terms such as interconnection, it suggests that these terms cannot be considered in isolation from one another. Recognition of this state of affairs has given rise to a new language of the Anthropocene: a new era of history that recognises the ability of humans to intervene and alter the non-human world. However, even as recognition of climate change and man-made extinction become commonplace, and concepts such as sustainability and resilience enter into the conversations of state and corporate actors, it remains unclear how those ideas might speak to our everyday practices and behaviour.

In this symposium, we seek to explore what it might mean to conceive of this environmental entanglement in terms of ‘working with nature.’ Are there more or less preferable ways of working with nature? What forms might this work take and how do we distinguish between them? Is the idea of ‘nature’ even sufficient to approach such questions, or do we need to reconsider such a question in terms of environments, ecologies or the broad notion of the non-human world? With a mind to bringing together a range of contributors and stake-holders from across the tertiary sector and the wider community, this symposium seeks to examine  how such questions might help us understand and assess the different ways in which humans transform, engage and interact with the nonhuman world.

On a global scale, we are witnessing an increasing concern with the different ways in which human behaviour works to shape nature. From climate change to drives towards sustainable communities and ongoing concerns with waste and pollution, the interaction between human and non-human worlds looks set to be a central concern of the twenty-first century. Such concerns have particular resonance in Aotearoa-New Zealand, where there is a long history of direct and directed human interaction with nature: from the introduction of flora and fauna by European colonists, to contemporary efforts to conserve and re-establish threatened ecosystems and, just as importantly, to the role of farming and other primary industries as cornerstones of the national economy and culture.

We welcome submissions that engage with human-non-human interactions in any number of theoretical, scientific, ecological, sociological, anthropological, textual, historical, political, ethical, or other methods. We would especially like to encourage submissions from artists and activists whose practices converge with notions of the environment and nature. Areas of inquiry for submissions may include, but are not limited to, the following topics and questions:

·         Different disciplinary approaches to working with nature
·         How might different human-nature interactions (agriculture, environmentalism, leisure, pollution) be conceived as ‘working with nature’?
·         What are the possibilities and problems of conceiving of nature as something to be worked with, on and around?
·         Existing and potential frameworks for assessing the desirability of different ways of working with nature
·         What does it mean to engage with nature in the specific context of the Anthropocene?
·         How might artistic or expressive practice contribution to a re-imagining of the complexity of entanglements with nature?
·         How might different forms of ecology (Cultural, Social, Deep, etc.) inform our entanglement with nature?
·         Environmental and/or Ecological Activism as forms of entanglement.
·         Working with nature in indigenous, post-colonial and anti-colonial contents

The Working with Nature Symposium will take place on 10th April 2015 (with the potential to extend the event to include 11th April, dependant on interest) and is sponsored by the Massey University W. H. Oliver Humanities Research Academy and the Massey University School of English and Media Studies.

Abstracts for academic papers, creative proposals and experiential presentations are invited from scholars, artists, activists and scientists. If you are interested in presenting at the symposium, please send a 400 word abstract with contact and institutional affiliation information to n.h.f.holm@massey.ac.nz by February 10 2015. Any other enquires regarding the event should also be addressed to n.h.f.holm@massey.ac.nz.

Organisers: Sy Taffel, Nicholas Holm.