Download e-book for iPad: An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture by R. Malamud

By R. Malamud

How and why do humans "frame" animals so pervasively, and what are the ramifications of this behavior? For animals, being positioned right into a cultural body (a movie, an internet site, a pornographic tableau, an commercial, a cave drawing, a zoo) potential being taken out in their average contexts, leaving them in some way displaced and decontextualized. Human imaginative and prescient of the animal equates to strength over the animal. We envision ourselves as monarchs of all we survey, yet our dismal checklist of polluting and destroying huge swaths of nature indicates that we're certainly no longer masters of the ecosphere. A extra ethically actual stance in our dating to animals should still therefore problem the omnipotence of our visible entry to them.

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Is the jellyfish somehow, metaphysically, visible and invisible at the same time? Do we see some but not all of the animal? (If so, what parts? indd 19 4/4/2012 11:58:11 AM 20 An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture we can always see, and some we never see? ) What are the characteristics of the visual animal, and of its alter-ego, the invisible animal? After being warned of the tentative and limited visibility, we proceed through the poem to encounter a few brief but tantalizing cues that make the reader want to visualize the animal.

If so, what parts? indd 19 4/4/2012 11:58:11 AM 20 An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture we can always see, and some we never see? ) What are the characteristics of the visual animal, and of its alter-ego, the invisible animal? After being warned of the tentative and limited visibility, we proceed through the poem to encounter a few brief but tantalizing cues that make the reader want to visualize the animal. The jellyfish fluctuates. (How interesting – what is that like? Like a chameleon changing colors?

In other circumstances, happier circumstances for them, animals have greater self-determination and a more natural existence, but we are interested in animals mainly in terms of what they can do for us – how they can please, or amuse, or satiate us – and their own freedom and integrity are diametrically opposed to our ability to do with them what we will. * * * * Animals in the news exemplify another kind of fame, transitory media attention. Some animals, fulfilling Andy Warhol’s prophecy, will be famous for fifteen minutes.

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