This collection emerges from a panel hosted by the Modern Language Association's MS Forum on Visual Media (http://naturalmedia.org/titles/) in 2017. "Natural media" re-valuates the communicative potential of natural spaces, especially in instances where symbolic import collides with raw matter in a manner that hides from, disguises, or elides stark reality. It considers intersections, collisions, tensions, opportunities, and affordances that arise in the discussion of "Natural Media," both broadly conceived and in its contributors' particular areas of research. It is also in close conversation with research inspired by a previous gathering on a closely related topic: Digital and Natural Ecologies.
In this review of Timothy Morton's Hyperobjects, Robert Seguin contemplates the implication of the text's eponymous subject on art, philosophy, and politics. The "hyperobject," a hypothetical agglomeration of networked interactions with the potential to produce inescapable shifts in the very conditions of existence, emerges as the key consideration for the being in the present.
Bruce Clarke reviews Stephan Harding's Animate Earth and James Lovelock's recent book on Gaia, the mother of all systems.
Laura Dassow Walls explores how 'deliberative' reading practices may allow us to weigh the words we hear against the world we cognize - keeping alive the possibility of reading as a moral act.
Elizabeth Wall Hinds reviews Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, winner of the James Black Memorial Fiction Prize and the 1999 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
An art installation as much as an "issue," the original site for ebr4, Critical Ecologies, used variations on a concrete poem by Daniel Wenk to guide readers through the "green" and "gray" essays. Another innovation was the introduction of the riposte section.
Linda Brigham works through Embodying Technesis by Mark Hansen.
Claire Rasmussen on geography and the social theory of Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Mike Davis, and Edward Soja.
Cary Wolfe reviews Luc Ferry's The New Ecological Order.