Pietari Kääpä edits Ecomedia Audiences - a special issue of Interactions: Studies in Communications and Culture
Pietari Kääpä has edited a special issue of Interactions: Studies in Communications and Cultures with the theme of Ecocinema Audiences.
Far from reproducing appreciative odes to the nature sublime or constructing ideological critiques of the exploitation of nature, studies of ecomedia proliferate in scope and intent. Media ecologists such as Matthew Fuller (2005) and Jussi Parikka (2010) provide complex assertions of the media’s material and social role in the world, while interventions in materialist media studies by Maxwell and Miller (2011) and Bozak (2012) encourage the environmental humanities to venture in new directions. Drawing on Guattari’s three ecologies (2000) of nature, society and the mind, this materialist turn contributes much to exploring the relationship between natural resources and the society in which the media operate as well as the material realities with and within which the media work.
While the three ecologies hold central roles in ecosophical debates by Ivakhiv (2013) et al., the study of audience responses and their material implications remain somewhat ignored in all this. Reception practices are very much implicit in much of the work of media ecologists as well as ecomedia scholars, but even as we outreach into the realms of theory-becoming-material, we need to get a better understanding of the different forms of impact the media have on their viewing publics. This is not intended as a call for simplification of theoretical advances, but as a means to ensure a place for thorough studies of audience understandings and appropriations of environmental messages in film and other media. Thus, while it is clear that audiences in general have been a central concern for ecomedia scholars, the cognitive and socio-political processes of reception are still not thoroughly understood. Thus, it is necessary to consolidate these brief observations into more systematic approaches to studying both hypothetical and actual audience responses to environmental communications, a concern this issue aims to address.
Understanding the audiences of ecocinema
Author: Pietari Kääpä
Ecocinema for all: Reassembling the audience
Author: Chris Tong
Towards a political economy of ecodocumentary
Author: Megan Selheim
Princess Mononoke and beyond: New nature narratives for children
Author: Benjamin Thevenin
Audience responses to environmental fiction and non-fiction films
Authors: Pat Brereton And Chao-Ping Hong
Review: ‘Greening the Media’
Author: Kiu-wai Chu