Fields of Presence: The Photograph, Trauma and the End of the Natural

    Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    In this paper creative immortality and experiential transcendence as forms of symbolic immortality are placed within a contemporary photographic landscape context and analysed for their relationship and usefulness in illumination of ecologically focused trauma. The proteanism/fundamentalism self-duality is explored in specific regards to nostalgia and other eco-anxieties towards a furthered intention for contemporary photo-documentation and acts of remembrance. It is noted that these forms remain tenuous and inherently mutable, particularly those subject to the forces of nature. Investigations into the sense of loss of self inherent in landscape imagery are defined as a sort of experiential transcendence and an approach to the sublime from a position of perceived personal narratives. An argument is made for the return to a level of reverence and understanding of our place within the role of the landscape system and to increase our understanding and awareness of its melancholic beauty. The larger implication of the findings is a need to reassess our expectations of wilderness and landscape futures and is particularly pertinent to our current poltico-geographical climate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventUnnatural Futures Conference - Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
    Duration: 03 Jul 201404 Jul 2014 (Conference website)


    ConferenceUnnatural Futures Conference
    OtherFrom genetically modified foods to zombie apocalypse, concerns about the future are increasingly reflected in contemporary media, policy and culture. An "unnatural future" is being shaped by rapidly escalating anxieties about the social, cultural, environmental and technological risks that now pervade everyday life. This climate of fear and uncertainty about the future requires careful consideration around how best to respond and intervene in debates, discussion and media representations around our "unnatural future".

    This conference brings together researchers from a range of academic disciplines, including those from the social sciences, humanities, and agricultural and environmental studies, to address the following questions: how do we imagine the future? What are the methodologies or theories that may help navigate these potential futures? The intention is to share and explore views of the possible natural and unnatural futures that loom large on the horizon.
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