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.
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- Atmospheric Rhetoric
- Ecological Thought
- Safe (1995)