Ethics & the Environment, Volume 9, Number 2, Fall 2004
ENVIRONMENTAL VISIONS: DELEUZE AND THE MODALITIES OF NATURE
This article examines the role of vision in the construction of "nature." It is suggested
that how nature is "seen" is inextricably tied to how such a space is named, traversed and
experienced at particular moments. A key contention is that the lens of modernity has for
too long adversely impacted what it is possible to see, say, do, and feel with respect to
"nature." The force of this statement is borne out with reference to orthodox envisionings
of forest conflict in Australia. The article concludes by calling for an environmental
ethic(s) which puts into critical relief the discursive, trajective, and affective
dimensions of vision.
INTERFACING THE ENVIRONMENT: NETWORKED SCREENS AND THE ETHICS OF VISUAL CONSUMPTION
The screen continues to be the primary generator of visual imagery in contemporary culture,
including of the natural world. This paper examines the screen as visual interface in the
construction and consumption of physical environments. Screens are increasingly incorporated
in our daily habits and imbricated into our lives, especially as mediating technologies are
embedded into the surfaces of our physical surroundings, shaping and molding our interactions
with and perceptions of those environments. As screens become increasingly portable and
digitized, they further modify our relationships with environments, projecting multiple images
and imagery which fracture and layer visual consumption. And as screens become ubiquitous in
urban environments, they network into maps of information control and consumption. We need to
fully understand these processes of screen-mediated representation and interaction in order to
be able to comment on the ethics of contemporary practices of visually consuming physical
environments. In particular, the paper will argue that processes of consumption and their
interaction with visual interfacing technologies are not simple or straight-forward, but
nevertheless pose ethical questions about the relationship between visual and material
circuits of consumption.
THE AESTHETIC TURN IN GREEN MARKETING: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSUMER ETHICS OF NATURAL PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
Anne Marie Todd
Green consumerism is on the rise in America, but its environmental effects are contested.
Does green marketing contribute to the greening of American consciousness, or does it
encourage corporate greenwashing? This tenuous ethical position means that eco-marketers
must carefully frame their environmental products in a way that appeals to consumers with
environmental ethics and buyers who consider natural products as well as conventional items.
Thus, eco-marketing constructs a complicated ethical identity for the green consumer.
Environmentally aware individuals are already guided by their personal ethics. In trying to
attract new consumers, environmentally minded businesses attach an aesthetic quality to
environmental goods. In an era where environmentalism is increasingly hip, what are the
implications for an environmental ethics infused with a sense of aesthetics?
This article analyzes the promotional materials of three companies that advertise their
environmental consciousness: Burt's Bee's Inc., Tom's of Maine, Inc., and The Body Shop Inc.
Responding to an increasing online shopping market, these companies make their promotional
and marketing materials available online, and these web-based materials replicate their
printed catalogs and indoor advertisements. As part of selling products to consumers based
on a set of ideological values, these companies employ two specific discursive strategies to
sell their products: they create enhanced notions of beauty by emphasizing the performance of
their natural products, and thus infuse green consumerism with a unique environmental
aesthetic. They also convey ideas of health through community values, which in turn enhances
notions of personal health to include ecological well-being. This article explicates the
ethical implications of a personal natural care discourse for eco-marketing strategies, and
the significance of a green consumer aesthetic for environmental consciousness in general.
ZOOTYCOONTM : CAPITALISM, NATURE, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
Andy Opel and Jason Smith
This paper is a cultural studies analysis of the Microsoft computer video game, Zoo TycoonT.
Through a critical reading using the "circuit of culture," questions of the gamer's subject
position, the role of wildlife and implicit and explicit messages about contemporary attitudes
toward the environment are explored. Drawing on Susan Davis' book, Spectacular Nature: Corporate
Culture and the Sea World Experience (1997), this paper unpacks the virtual theme parks created
in Zoo TycoonT for their (dis)continuities with Davis's findings. The virtual animals are found
to serve as both labor and products in this game that teaches capitalist business strategy and
managerial skills. This popular culture text is an example of a product that harnesses the
environmental impulse and redirects that impulse back into commodity capitalism.