Insect Poetics

Nausicaä with baby ohmuStudio Ghibli’s bizarre but lovely Japanese anime Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is set in a world 1000 years after the collapse of the ecosystem. Armies of gigantic insects inhabit a toxic forest and sort of reflect how the characters treat the earth: their eyes red with rage, they attack when harm is being caused, but they immediately calm down around the gentle, peace-loving Nausicaä.

Anyway, watching the movie reminded me of recommending and linking to the following recent publications on insects in relation to visual culture and science:Antennae, Insect Poetics 2

The articles, essays and interviews, which cover several fields and centuries, largely focus on the insect as “the other” – the monstrous, invasive, menacing, disintegrating, alienating creature that, due to its boundary-threatening and boundary-crossing nature, forces us to reconsider issues of identity and order; but they also dwell on the insect’s mysterious attraction and beauty.

It’s pretty cool.


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