Popular Media and Animals (The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series)
Posters, Pets, and Pornography: A Review of Malamud’s An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture
This contrasts with more fanciful and sanitized references to bestiality in popular culture, myth, and art, which are numerous and go back to the Stone Age. Bestiality and animal pornography more directly pose the question, as Malamud suggests, of human limits and borders.
Clearly, framing animals in various ways isolates them into particular roles, often for human desires and consumptions. This fixedness and objectification causes abuses of all kinds.
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But, in another light and one I will return to later with Elizabeth Grosz , we have framed ourselves apart from nature and, thus, animals. So, as Malamud asks, is there perhaps something helpful that might be learned from a male voyeur of animal porn who identifies with the animal actor on screen?
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He argues that the purported positive impacts of zoos have little to no standing; education cannot truly be gained from zoos when people zip past enclosures where animals are stripped of natural contexts and placed in artificial environments. Zoos are an example of one of the most tragic frames in which we place animals: frames with real bars and borders in which the animal body is physically contained. But not all these cages render animals visible: the meat industry comes to mind, though it is not a frame Malamud directly discusses.
It would be interesting to consider this type of framing—one that makes the animal body invisible —in comparison to the framing of zoo animals, for once these sequestered animals are forcibly made visible in their horrid and often abusive conditions, there is, like pornographic animals, an instinctual turning away. Why do we look in some contexts and not others? Malamud suggests and questions how animals may be incorporated into a more ecologically advanced future worldview. Our relationships with rabbits, cats, dogs, and cattle are given the same scrutiny as our relationships with other animals; Malamud insists they are decontextualized in our cultural frames.
Such a distinction is important when considering how animals are framed and whether they are, in fact, displaced. But now we have domestic animals with different behaviors, different emotional lives, different characteristics from their wild counterparts. We cannot put the domestic rabbit back into the wild; it is no longer its natural habitat. In his introductory chapter, Malamud explains the inherent power of all this framing.
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Perhaps there is more to be gained from this comparison. In Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth , Elizabeth Grosz argues for the sexualized, intimate nature of art between the body and the earth. Art arises from animals as a force of sexual selection by framing territories. This can be seen in the specific example, as provided by Deleuze and Guattari, of the Australian bowerbird or Scenopoetes dentirostris , a bird that creates for itself an artistic frame from different leaves, flowers, and found objects in its environment to visually attract a mate Grosz So, this framing—while it can certainly incite segregations and power relations—also connects us to an inherent animal, biological impulse that offers its own hope for representing more than what is held inside the frame itself:.
If framing creates the very condition for the plane of composition and thus of any particular works of art, art itself is equally a project that disjars, distends, and transforms frames, that focuses on the intervals and conjunctions between frames. In this sense the history of painting, and of art after painting, can be seen as the action of leaving the frame, of moving beyond, and pressing against the frame, the frame exploding through the movement it can no longer contain. Art and the framing of art is a useful way of thinking animals and how we might as a culture continually press against the frames that have been constructed around animals.
Many examples of animals in cultural frames given by Malamud are negative. But, as in the case of meat production and animal pornography, even not looking at animals does not guarantee their safety from exploitation. Framing is not limited to the visible. Rather, let us consider the examples of how to frame and reframe animals in a way that challenges the current hegemonic cultural frames. The animal in visual culture is not an easy body to dissect for answers, for it is not just any animal body: it is a human-imal body.
Reframing animals perhaps begins there. Grosz, Elizabeth A. Lisa Johnson.
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Animals and Sociology. Description Animals and Sociology challenges traditional assumptions about the nature of sociology. Sociology often centres on humans; however, other animals are everywhere in society. Kay Peggs explores the significant contribution that sociology can make to our understanding of human relations with other animals.
Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Illustrations note VIII, p. Other books in this series. Animals and Sociology Kay Peggs. Add to basket. Animals, Equality and Democracy S. Animals and Public Health A. Animals in China Deborah Cao. Popular Media and Animals Claire Molloy.
Power, Knowledge, Animals Lisa Johnson. Animals and the Economy Steven Mcmullen.