In Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (ed.), Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory Beyond Green. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 290-310 (2014)

Levi Bryant
Loyola University, Chicago
This chapter argues that the color black offers a unifying thread for thinking the ecological in contrast to spiritualist visions prominent in green, deep, and other popular ecological discourses. Black has connotations of despair and abandonment, fitting for both the ecological circumstances we find ourselves in today, as well as an ecological vision that abandons comforting spiritualized conceptions of nature as a warm and inviting place outside culture to which hominids can go. Black also draws attention to issues of race, minoritization, and second- and third-world countries, underlining how these groups are often disproportionately affected by climate change. The nonreflective nature of black for things visible in the human color spectrum draws attention to the power of entities to surprise when circumstances change. Finally, the color black raises associations to things like black holes and the mysterious dark matter and energy, which provide nice metaphors for all those things that powerfully contribute to organizing the world in the way we find it while often going unnoticed as if they were invisible.
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DOI 10.5749/minnesota/9780816679973.003.0015
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