September 17, 2012
When I first started reading Welling's "Ecoporn" it took me a while to grasp what the actual definition of the term was. It wasn't until page 57 that I was able to put different pieces of the definition together to form one whole, encompassing idea. What I gathered is that ecoporn is "a type of contemporary visual discourse made up of highly idealized... views of landscape and nonhuman animals" and that it "supplies viewers with a fantasy of... total visual power over these nonhuman creatures and habitats that are both comforting humanized and pleasingly untainted by humans." This goes back to the idea that we have covered in other readings, the idea of "power." Welling mentions how ecoporn creates this role for the viewer as the "male surveyor," or the overlooking male subject to nature's unseeing female object. This also touches on the concept of feminism that we have been noticing in the past couple weeks with Campbell and Heilbrun's readings. There are many different ways in which one could read into connecting ecoporn and feminism, but one of the ideas that Welling mentioned that stood out to me was this idea of a fantasy of "wild animal woman" or the "sexual beast." This concept branches into what Welling calls a "truly hardcore obsession with the explicit sexuality and violent death." I find this interesting because it seems so primal, when the idea of ecoporn is relatively modern to my understanding. But this might just be another example of how ecoporn is, in itself, contradicting.