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Tag Archives: Ecology

Avatar: The Density of Being

Let’s just say that I am recovering. It is a carefully sculpted onslaught, discretely spaced with only a few flaws, but an onslaught nonetheless. And I am recovering. It’s Pocahontas meets Full Metal Jacket meets The Diving Bell and the Butterfly meets Alien meets Coming Home meets Dragonheart meets Dersu Uzala  meets Brainstorms meets Total Recall meets The Legend of Zu meets Tron meets Dances with Wolves meets Final Fantasy IV meets Logan’s Run, all of this meeting Ecological Crisis ideology meets Indigenous nostalgia meets Disney ethnic cliché and New Age ascension, and all of that sum colliding with the categorical mytho-aesthetic effect of the first Star Wars and possibly 2001. The storylines and plot topologies proliferate at animation-cell frame rates so synthesized, so graced, they are no longer borrowings, but rather operate like flipped gateways for infusions that simply cannot be qualified, nor controled. The movie downloads the viewer with such ferocity and such poetic space the film bends back cinema upon itself, and introduces its content – the question of Avatarship – into the very experience, pulling out from technological increase and its inherent relatability the buried question of sensitivity, connection and projected identification, in short, the implied organic mutuality in everything our machines have brought us. Cameron and his magicians in such a threshold defying 3D invade our bodies and throw out our affects into the arms and sinews of operators which defy all of our repeated attempts to take map of where we are. This past movie recognition, this ethnic familiarity – are the Pandorans African Maasai, elegant Native American Indians, Thai-Myanmar Pa Dong Karen, naked Amazon natives, or even cats – inundates and torques the viewer in a transport that is more than pleasured, more than reflective. It is free…free in only the sense that aesthetic renewal can be free. One is tossed outward amid the equally familiar ideological landscapes of ecological nightmare (however this reads for you), and you are vividly aware of its artifice. But in that practical synthetics the technological nervature examines you and opens you out across the help even to your well-honed intellectual compass. You rifle through cartographies, all of them familiar, all of them critically engaged, but grid on grid, none of them suffice. The imagined-to-be trite self-discovery of the main character’s authentic warrior thymotic spirit (that template) sheds all of is scales amid an interaction with image and physical movement that perhaps only equals the dislocations and alien projections of scuba or spacewalk. If anything else is communicated here, technology is sense, and sense is technology, within the scope of global concern. Nevermind that every Na’vi looks the connotations of every supermodel distortion of mundane biology. Nevermind that videogame freedoms populate with every stigma of ideological absorption. Nevermind that mythologies fragment into flattened space confrontations. The whole thing escalates far beyond its means, revealing how Ideals throw us forwards, how when technologies and techniques are sufficient, they compel the spirit into new-born orbits of extreme decay and apogee, flights that must have been there in the thousands of memory verses when one of Homer’s avatars was repeating the invented history of the Greeks with muscular hexemeter and rhythm in the residue glow of camp-fires.

Pornographic Ecology: Hearthism and the Logic of Political Action


The subject of Eco Porn came up over at Tim’s Violent Signs, as he highlights and discusses the site Fuck for forest (FFF), which touts itself as a ‘all natural” “sexy” way  save the planet. The site and project are one thing (at a few glances, too lallapolooza-burning man/member porn-site for me), but Tim’s general juxtaposition gave me to think about the possible powerful connections between Ecology and Pornography. There is something to this alliance, aside from a certain 60s liberation confluence of “free” and “love” that provokes. Unlike, perhaps Porn for Animal Rights (which brings the “animal” in human sexuality into the fore, and seems to translate violences unto each other), Porn for Nature creates other ideological ambiguities and leveragings. Instead of Herzog’s depiction of Nature as one vast chain of murders (is that how he put it in My Best Fiend?), Nature (the ideological image) tends towards one vast orgy. But porn is not an orgy. Porn consists of localized, quite staged (staging is part of its aesthetic) intensified and captured action, a kind of sitism meant to communicate itself to other sites. If anything Porn aligned with Nature gives one to see the localized eruption, the acute collision between what is supposed to be human and supposed to be natural, almost in a political sense. Nature itself becomes localizations of stagings, species collisions, environment intersexualizations within confines to be analyzed, broadcasts of itself in a heightened viability.

This leads to the immediate thoughts I had in response to Tim Matts piece, that in the very logic of Ecology and in Pornography, as both instrumentally instruct our experience and analysis of the world, the is a kind of exportation of border, a reconfiguring of Home. And, we can see, that pornography and ecology support themselves in the variety of their expansions, at least as political projects:

There is one, radically conceptual way that I can imagine that pornography (of any sort) connects itself to ecology, and that is at the etymological level. The “eco” in ecology is the study of the hearth, the home, with all its attendant social normatives, its structured persistence in every culture. Ecology is one might say, Home-ism. [And I don’t think that Idealism’s alienating and essential binaries of self/other, home/fremde are helpful here]. Pornography, the writing of prostitutes, are etched displays of that which at several levels appears to violate the home. Sex, moral sex, is supposed to occur right there at the core of the home, making a kind of double hearth. That Odysseus  is recognized as being home through the identification of his wedding bed – a great immovable tree hewn – into speaks to the anchoring of home in sexual act. Problems of ecology, we want to say in a qualified way, are problems of Home-ism, defining the Home in an incomplete and bordered way. Economics, the laws of hearths, attempts to trace out the nature of a hearth’s extension, but pornography immediate leaps and puts-out-aleady at the investigations’s limit, the sexual act, (seemingly) far beyond the terminus of the hearth. Yet the act itself is generative, is hearth-making, but in a potentially dislocating fashion. It encourages the imagination of Home-ism beyond where home might be, outside in the wilderness; and as hearth-making sexual acts (under economic auspices) are pyrophilic embers, threatening forest fires of another kind. Pornography propels the inside of the hearth to be re-started beyond the walls of home, and ecology forces the mind to expand those walls deep into systematic wholes never before imagined to be circulated. Pornography instantiates a de-centering that throws the ecological logic out into its sphere, but, as a fire-starter, also prevents (and threatens) and cohesive final vision of what a new-home might be. A fantasy flattening of hearth-making and of Home which the pornographic conflagration can tend to induce, itself is not an eco-end as it can merely dissipates the energy it generates, as well as laying its sexualized structures to appropriation.

Thoughts on Porn and the Political

There seems to me that there is found in pornography the essentially political act in the sense that it is both “framed” but also that the framing is meant to expose/reveal the absolute nexus of the human and the natural (as they are presupposed as divorced). One recalls the brute apogee of Sade’s work from the Bastille, and the presence of rampant porn publishing surrounding the French Revolution, to take the text book case. And as I discussed in the questions of freedom at stake in US versus Stevens: The Affects of Law and Protection, it is that porn takes as its mode of communications and replication the affective conduits of image, an intentful proliferation and economic bonding through the eidentic, that allows it to unnerve, literally, un-nerve the very weave of law and sense itself, on sites of the body, what each political act (conservative or liberal) threatens if for only a moment to do.