Presenter: Adam Laity
Presentation title: Framing the Anthropocene: cinematographic approaches towards the ecosublime landscape.

Abstract: If the concept of landscape is concerned with aesthetic ideologies of how we frame nature, environment and the world around us, the sublime landscape is essentially a romantic ideology that stems from philosophy, painting, poetry and photography, very specifically concerned with the idea of ‘the human’ within or against an epic natural landscape that they truly cannot comprehend or effectively describe. While the painted and photographic sublime landscape depicts a transcendent moment, cinematography enables the capture of a moving physical, emotional, creative and spiritual journey towards, through and beyond the sublime landscape moment. Where once the sublime signified the human fear of nature and what it represented in spiritual and philosophical terms, the advent of the Anthropocene suggests that it is now nature that needs to be fearful of us. In this way it is impossible to reference the sublime landscape in the 21st Century without alluding to this ecosublime landscape.

In this paper I will discuss my own landscape cinematography practice and producing moving ecosublime images that are affective within a world over-saturated with imagery of ecological and humanitarian crises. I will explore the relationship of Romantic and Realist approaches within my practice; touch upon the importance of auto-ethnography and the use of affect theory in my research; discuss how advances in digital technology are altering cultural perceptions of landscape; and explore the balance of creative environmental activism and the value of making peace with the Anthropocene through art.


Adam Laity: Framing the Anthropocene: Cinematographic Approaches Towards the Ecosublime Landscape from on Vimeo.