Impurities: Thinking Ecologically With Safe

Joshua Trey Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Locating in Todd Haynes's (1995) film Safe an example of “ecological art,” this essay demonstrates how formal and narrative elements of the film generate an “atmospheric rhetoric” within which audiences are invited to attend and attune to both the protagonist's and their own ecological enmeshment. These forms of attention—to the banal details of coexistence—and attunement—to the strange sounds of everyday life in postindustrial societies—provoke a mode of “ecological thought.” As this essay argues, thinking ecologically engenders a meaningful mode of political engagement that invites reflection on the consequences of impure relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication, Culture and Critique
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Communication Association


  • Atmospheric Rhetoric
  • Ecological Thought
  • Ecology
  • Film
  • Safe (1995)


Dive into the research topics of 'Impurities: Thinking Ecologically With Safe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this