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Confronting Theoretical Boundaries of Alternative Energy Representations in April's Extraordinary World

Reuben Martens (UGent)
(2018)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Avril et le monde truqué (France/Canada, 2015, dir.: Christian Desmares & Franck Ekinci) is an animated, alternative history film that pictures a world where the World Wars have not happened, the Industrial Revolution has halted, and the transition from coal and steam to oil and petroleum as main resources of energy production never took place. The film's organizing conceit--a pre-oil society that (for contemporary viewers) at the same time also figures a post-oil one-requires the development of novel aesthetics, narratives, and representations of energy to move beyond petromelancholia (LeMenager). At the same time, like many such aesthetic and imaginative exercises (as Rick Crownshaw has shown), the film fails at certain moments to escape a petrocultural perspective. In my presentation, I will argue that the affordances and failures of this particular film are symptomatic of certain liabilities of the theoretical framework of 'resource aesthetics' more generally. Having originally emerged from within the energy humanities, the framework is arguably not fully capable to deal with depictions of alternative energy resources. Apart from pointing at these limitations, the case of Avril also suggests new opportunities for research regarding alternative energy in contemporary culture.
Keywords
Ecocinema, alternative energy, object-oriented ontology, resource aesthetics, material ecocriticism

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Martens, Reuben. 2018. “Confronting Theoretical Boundaries of Alternative Energy Representations in April’s Extraordinary World.” In .
APA
Martens, Reuben. (2018). Confronting Theoretical Boundaries of Alternative Energy Representations in April’s Extraordinary World. Presented at the Energy humanities: What we know and where we are going.
Vancouver
1.
Martens R. Confronting Theoretical Boundaries of Alternative Energy Representations in April’s Extraordinary World. 2018.
MLA
Martens, Reuben. “Confronting Theoretical Boundaries of Alternative Energy Representations in April’s Extraordinary World.” 2018. Print.
@inproceedings{8549966,
  abstract     = {Avril et le monde truqu{\'e} (France/Canada, 2015, dir.: Christian Desmares \& Franck Ekinci) is an animated, alternative history film that pictures a world where the World Wars have not happened, the Industrial Revolution has halted, and the transition from coal and steam to oil and petroleum as main resources of energy production never took place. The film's organizing conceit--a pre-oil society that (for contemporary viewers) at the same time also figures a post-oil one-requires the development of novel aesthetics, narratives, and representations of energy to move beyond petromelancholia (LeMenager). At the same time, like many such aesthetic and imaginative exercises (as Rick Crownshaw has shown), the film fails at certain moments to escape a petrocultural perspective. In my presentation, I will argue that the affordances and failures of this particular film are symptomatic of certain liabilities of the theoretical framework of 'resource aesthetics' more generally. Having originally emerged from within the energy humanities, the framework is arguably not fully capable to deal with depictions of alternative energy resources. Apart from pointing at these limitations, the case of Avril also suggests new opportunities for research regarding alternative energy in contemporary culture.},
  author       = {Martens, Reuben},
  keyword      = {Ecocinema,alternative energy,object-oriented ontology,resource aesthetics,material ecocriticism},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Bratislava, Slovakia},
  title        = {Confronting Theoretical Boundaries of Alternative Energy Representations in April's Extraordinary World},
  year         = {2018},
}