Heroic Habitus vs.

Sustainable Cyborg or Specularity and Heroism: The role of role-models in James Cameron s Avatar

Govinda Dickman, Feb 2011 University of West England

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Once upon a time, the word creativity was used only to denote one of the divine characteristics of one being single being: The Creator, aka God. At that time, the notion that humans (His creatures) might be creative was both morally and grammatically absurd, and to attempt to use the word in most of its now current nuances would have resulted in either confusion or anger, depending upon the listener. The term Avatar has been subjected to a very similar semantic shift it is a Sanskrit word, originally used to denote the manifestation upon earth of a God.

The Avatar par excellence is the infinite, revealing itself to finite human perception in terms it can comprehend.

This observation is the crux of my review of the film Avatar (20th Century Fox, 2009), and is in fact the basis for a radically intercorporeal and ecological mode of cultural criticism, which has no name as yet but which has become my standard method for analysing cultural production in general. This is a broadly ecocritical way of looking that tries to bring into focus the material ramifications of the manner in which language and representation affects the way that bodies relate to each other in time, space and being. My intention is to make obvious the interlinked systems, the vast network of human and non-human entities, which constitute the matrix of every medium and are, essentially,

the medium in which all media are suspended, and then to ask why this rather selfevident observation is systematically suppressed by nearly every mode of cultural utterance.

This focus upon the causal and proximal connections, which are made and broken by every utterance, every medium, every message, is my attempt at a radically ecological revision of cultural studies, and of the manner in which culture is traditionally conceived within this field. The etymological root of the word ecology is the Greek word (oikos) means home . To those who work in the field of cultural studies, and who have read Raymond Williams essay on the etymological root of the word culture , perhaps it will not seem so radical if I say that an ecological approach is the logical extension of the revolutionary move away from the study of high culture toward a more democratic focus upon the ontologically plural Everyday, whose radical multiplicity is the basis of pretty much all contemporary cultural studies. The attempt to value the broad spectrum of lived experience of people other than the cultural elite of any given society, actually leads inevitably to a critical re-evaluation of the anthropocentrism of the term culture itself. Even once it has been stripped of the classism, racism and sexism inherent in the term high culture, the term culture implies and cannot avoid the nuance of what is valued , and so remains vulnerable to facilitating new forms of ideological victimisation, new ways of delineating boundaries between what is crop and what is weed, what is preserved and what is destroyed, what is hidden and what is shown, what is normal and what is abject, what is Us and what is Them.

I believe, as an object of study, culture must be contextualized, grounded in an awareness of where this growing, where this preserving and destroying actually occurs. What follows is my attempt to move towards a kind of ecological mode of cultural studies, one that situates culture firmly in the bodies it encompasses, and the actually existing world in which it inheres.

I m going to try to demonstrate and explain this method in the form of a critical response to the notion that James Cameron s epic ecofiction in any way presents a viable role-model for environmentally friendly human practice what Karol & Gale (2005) term a sustainable habitus . I ve chosen this film as the focus for this experimental critical gaze for a number of reasons. The first is that one of the more important meanings of the rather poetic and enigmatic italicised statement, with which I begin this essay, is very well exemplified by this ubiquity: Avatar is an immensely popular film, one which all of my undergraduate and secondary school students will have heard about, and which most will have seen.

The second reason is that it would be insane to pass up the opportunity: The ironies which accrete around this film, the bizarre tension between its ostensible message and its elided medium, the simple fact that it is called Avatar and that the avatar to which the title refers is at once (and in so many ways!) both digital icon and physical entity I

can think of no mass produced and mass marketed product of popular western culture, which so crisply exemplifies the schizophrenia that I wish to bring into view, or which so clearly mirrors the main themes of my critical method, which are: 1. The manner in which the ephemeral nature of the spectral and specular things we encounter in cyberspace, and the insubstantiality of cyberspace itself, has a strong tendency to elide the speculum in which they appear. By which I mean, the material and technological substructure, in which the spectre consists, is always rendered invisible by the presence of the spectre itself. What is lost or circumscribed - what subjectivity is alienated from in the moment of its encounter with the avatar - is the invisible matrix of sentient bodies and actually existing things that brought them together: the ecology that sustains them. The essence of my argument is that the aforementioned schizophrenia is analogous to (and caused by) a lack of ecological awareness, and it is an inherent potential

in all avatars, or at least in the subjectivities that are constructed by their encounters with avatars; e.g. it often arises as a false utopian/dystopian tendency to dichotomically oppose cyber spaces and physical spaces, wherein we fantasise the virtual word in order to semantically elide the phantasmatic nature of the real world . The avatar is not what appears instead of reality it is, or partakes in, the very essence of phenomenal reality itself, and the fact that this is not part of how we perceive them raises serious ethical and ontological questions about the nature and essence of what, in an attempt to dissolve the facile dichotomy of real vs. virtual, some theorists1 are now calling actuality . 2. The equal and opposite manner in which the immersive and pervasive nature of cyberspace, the over-determined phenomenological presence (or pseudomateriality, or hyperreality) of the spectres we encounter in cyberspace, elides their basic ephemerality and technicality Culture is the first cyber-space, the

prototype if you will for the computer-based digital cyberspaces, which most people think of when you say the word cyberspace . As I m fairly certain many cultural theorists2 would unhesitatingly agree, cyberspace is any intersubjective consensual space that is networked by language and protocol. The hidden and crucial role of fantasy and desire in the construction and maintenance of cyberspace: In cyberspace, from the very beginning, Time & Space are permeated by Desire. What I mean by this is that cyberspace is ontologically an intersubjective or consensual space, wherein the matter in which the space consists models the minds in which it inheres, and vice versa. I intend to argue that this dualistic perception of space, time and being is basically a cause and effect of a culturally normalized schizophrenia which results in false perceptions of false objects, a process called identification that it might well
1

The focus upon the ergodic phase-space that is created in human subjectivity by games, rituals and social orders has become a crucial area of study in play theory and game studies, for instance, and is one of the clearest expressions of this insight that I have yet found. The distinction between real and virtual is basically irrelevant at the level of the haptic a cue is a cue is a cue
2

e.g. Bernard Steigler, Jean-Jaques Barthélémy, Dona Harraway, Espen Aarseth, Helen Kennedy, Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, David Gauntlett

result in ecological disaster in the very near future. Very simply, I believe that the problem lies in manner in which most human cultures3 ascribe and deny identity to Self, to Other, and to other than Other: The way we identify affects our ability to understand the nature and essence of the space and time, which these two imaginary entities are meant to share.

The third reason I ve chosen this film as the focus of this analysis, is the aggressively publicized notion that Avatar is an environmentalist project of some sort, and that it

in some way exemplifies a new and ecologically sustainable attitude toward nature that we might want to inculcate as a permanent part of our psychic and physical comportment toward the planet. As well as being a very carefully established aspect of the Avatar brand identity, this idea has been the text and subtext of many of even its most negative reviews4, and is moreover a claim implicit in Cameron s own account of the ecosystemic representations to be found in this film5. When he tells us that a certain (read miniscule ) proportion of the film s theatrical revenue will be dedicated to environmental causes, he presents this as proof that leftist environmentalism is what the film has always been all about . This claim is absurd, because his statements deny (or elide) both the very undemocratic cultural semiotics in which the film consists,
3

This statement is not intended to elide the violent history of globalization, nor to compound the process by which alternative modes of being have been systematically wiped out or warped by progressive patriarchalism, which manifests most frequently as aggressively expansionistic imperialism. War and oppression have set the tone for the development of every culture on this planet in one way or another, even those that were not built on this model. We must not forget the reasons why human beings of so many different kinds and conditions all come to partake in the schizophrenia that is characteristic of the imperial weltanschauung does not mean that they are all alike, or that globalised neoliberalism is in any way the natural evolution of human culture , as some people seem determined to infer from the fact that it has, effectively, rendered every other option unviable or invisible.
4

The bibliography includes a cultural reference section where you ll find a list of URLs whose intention is to give a sense of what Avatar means to people by illustrating some of its actual cultural impact. This does include some reviews of the sort just described, but it focuses more upon identifying the actions, habits and perceptions, which this film has induced or inspired. I find this collection of ramificatory and indexical signs, of tangible results and palpable resonances, more eloquent than even the most delicate analysis could ever be.
5

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xd21he_avatar-sequel-to-be-a-deep-sea-affa_news and http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/jan/25/james-cameron-avatar-2-3 and http://patdollard.com/2009/12/say-it-aint-so-james-cameron-admits-avatar-fuels-left-wing-agenda/

the quintessentially hierarchical nature of the systems of both its production and its consumption, and the much greater stream of revenue that will be generated by the gigatonnes of decidedly non-eco-friendly plastic merchandise and spin-off tech, which must be factored into any realistic picture of what the film actually is6.

It may come as some surprise that I consider this eco-critical method appropriate for a secondary school syllabus, when one considers the range of influences that have gone into shaping it. One of the greatest technical and ethical difficulties I have faced in writing this essay has been trying to decide on whether to just do the critique, so that it s evident that this complicated mish-mash of idiosyncratically interpreted theory can actually result in a valid and rigorous analytic method that is also actually quite simple to teach and do, or to explain the method, so that the analytic gaze itself is more available for evaluation and critique. I hope that you will find the balance I have settled upon satisfies both the practical need for clarity and the ethical need for transparency. I feel I am impelled to address the latter point, because I really do have an odd take on some of the theories I deploy here: I m a community film-maker and sometime political activist turned academic; I ve come to the ideas I use here by strange paths, and am by no means an expert in many of the fields upon which I touch. It is an ethical tradition in cultural studies writing to account for one s subjectivity before embarking upon an ideological discourse, and so I feel morally obliged to begin by admitting that this method, this way of looking, is what happens when someone who is hired to teach a critical and culturally embedded mode of media production feels obliged to understand more about the field in which they work, but is too embarrassed to ask explicitly, in case people accuse him of being a fraud, and begin to ask uncomfortable questions about
6

greenwash |gr n wä sh; -wô sh | noun

disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image : the oil company s highly publicized campaign to preserve the 12 remaining plants of a rare species of cactus which once grew abundantly in an area whose ecosystem their operation has irreparably compromised, is yet another example of their corporate greenwash.

what he s doing teaching in the first place. It is a very idiosyncratic synthesis of some of the most notoriously difficult areas of cultural theory, most of which I ve encountered autodidactically, outside of the cultural and pedagogic frameworks of the disciplines wherein the theories themselves pertain. The sea in which I flounder is a very heady interdisciplinary brew: 1. A lot of phenomenology, but in the mode of Emmanuel Levinas or Julia Kristeva, rather than the closed egological loop of Heidegger and Husserl s philosophy. Egology is a term coined by Levinas in his critique of philosophy in general and Heidegger in particular, whose focus upon the primacy of what he perceived (and I assume experienced) as a sort of primordially alienated human subjectivity led both him and Husserl to what Levinas perceived as serious errors in thought and judgment, not the least of which is blindness to the ontologically intersubjective (or ecological) nature of their own subjectivity. 2. Donna Harraway s cyborg theory, but filtered and modified by a slow and difficult familiarization with certain elements of post-humanism and the postanthropological philosophy of Stiegler and Barthélémy; 3. Deleuzian ontology, insofar as I understand it; my first philosophical training was in Buddhist Abidharma, and I found Deleuze and Gauttari s approach to language (especially the idea of the rhizome) instantly recognizable, which led me to grapple with their frankly mind-boggling and often incomprehensible texts, and whatever commentaries upon them, which I could find. Deleuzians around the world will probably howl in horror to hear me say this, but I ve come to the conclusion that his anti-taxonomic ontology is extremely close to the Mahayana Buddhist teachings on emptiness and form , up to and including the ethics he and Gauttarri felt were implied by it a theory for which I present as proof the whole approach to perception and the question of what therapy ought to be that is implied in the term schizanalysis . 4. I also make extensive use of Charles Saunders Pierce s semiotic method, though it must be said that my use of this system is extremely idiosyncratic, and I am not

certain that the gentleman in question would recognise or approve of my interpretation of his taxonomy of signs. The main difference between my approach and CS Pierce is that, having read Deleuze, I began to believe that Pierce s taxonomic approach was fundamentally, indeed radically misled, and that in fact what Pierce had stumbled upon was an interesting series of observations about modalities of signing, in which subjectively apprehended individual signs may participate, given the right contexts and conditions. His taxonomy is useful to me only on the understanding that a) the type of sign which appears to appear is actually a modality of signing that is allowed to dominate in any given sign process, and the dubious entity status of the sign is a culturally and contextually specific construct, and b) in fact, all signs, always, in all ways, participate simultaneously in all modalities of signing. 5. Baudrillard s taxonomy of simulacra has received a similar treatment; I love it but I use it with great care. Baudrillard s taxonomy can easily be deployed in a rather paranoid attempt to take control of our encounters with simulacra that effectively places us at odds with what simulacra (and we) actually are. From my experience of teaching this very valuable theory at undergraduate level, I have found it can allow the analyst to deny the fact simulacra are primordially authentic part and parcel of subjectivity itself. This can lead to errors that

equate to scapegoating hyperreality by semantically constructing a non-existent Them and accusing them of trying to pull the wool over an equally nonexistent our eyes by creating this or that simulacrum These errors can be

avoided if one has a more nuanced appreciation of the relationship between perception and reality that is inherent in intersubjectivity itself; and if one is aware that the 4 orders of simulation are inevitably and inherently synchretic, inseperable, the same. The first thing I teach is that any to attempt to distinguish categorically between types of simulation present in any given sign, is to enter in conflict with the nature of the sign itself. 6. The area I have studied most thoroughly and systematically are the post-

structural approaches to cinema and media-in-general, which ultimately led away from a linguistic approach to language. You could interpret everything I write here as a sort of radically post-Marxist version of Baudry s apparatus theory, since it emphasizes the importance of tearing one s gaze away from the spectacle and looking at the whole speculum instead, I suppose I ve been very

influenced by post-Marxist critiques of Marxist critical theory and the closely related tradition of psychoanalytically informed cultural critique, especially insofar as this approach was applied by Kristeva, Barthes, Derrida, Said (and others) to a systematic critical appraisal of the methods and aims of anthropology and sociology, and as it is deployed in the post-colonial critique of language and identity to be found in the work of bell hooks, Elspeth Kydd, Thomas Laqueur, (and others...). 7. Pierre Bourdieu s theory of habitus is one of the key ideas in this essay, but viewed very much in the light of feminist and post-feminist phenomenology, especially Luce Irigaray s wonderful critique of Lacanian psycholinguistics and her writing on the speculum . In the end, though I have no formal training in it, I would say that this body of psychoanalytically informed writing has been the most influential upon me. I cannot imagine thinking about culture without thinking about Michel Foucault and the critical debates his sometimes-flawed but always brilliant insights have initiated. I cannot imagine imagining without Judith Butler and Elizabeth Grosz s (to me) revolutionary focus upon the materiality of subjectivity, first encountered via Gail Weiss s writings on intersubjectivity. These are the people who taught me that bodies think space and vice versa, and while I own that I might well have totally misunderstood all of them, I remain grateful to them for the language they have helped me to develop, and for the thoughts this language has allowed me to think, and for the things which these thoughts have allowed me to realize, for better or for worse

Culture is medium and medium is culture. What I mean by this is: Not only are all

media culturally embedded techniques of utterance, they are, primarily, the technological utterance of cultural itself; every utterance utters culture. This is because, in cyberspace (and culture is the cyberspace par excellence) identity circumscribes, or precedes and defines, entity. Therefore, to make an utterance is either to iterate the culture in which the medium of that utterance is embedded or consists, or it is to change it, challenge it, baffle or elude it. Cultured subjectivity is, and always has been, the quintessential cyborg, for one of the prerequisites of its being is that it has internalized the social gaze upon itself, and more-or-less successfully habituated the techniques and technologies by which it becomes intelligible to itself and its field.

Donna Haraway makes a very useful distinction between this kind of cyborg the pretechnical, or proto-technical, or primordial cyborg we all already are by virtue of our intersubjective natures - and the phallological cyborgs, the attempts to literally become embodied as the phallic power of technology itself, that are exemplified by the more conventionally understood half-man-half-machine model. The latter she characterises as a kind of spectre, a fantasy that can never actually be realized, for they are the overdetermination of a very masculine conception of the super-ego, which results in an attempt to reify a phantasmatically male super-self, via technique and technology. One of the reasons I so like post-humanism is that it has given us the basis of a fairly good working definition of sanity to add to Freud s list of socially viable socialized subjectivities: the ability to clearly distinguish between egological cyborgs, who neurotically literalise (fetishise or internalize) technologies in order to increase their material agency, and ecological cyborgs, who embody and embrace their intersubjectivity, their permeability, their specularity.

If mediation is how culture utters itself to its selves, then avatars (identities) are the medium/message, which entities must utter within culture in order to be and be understood. To make a non-cultural utterance, to appear not as an avatar, but as

alterity itself

is difficult to imagine. Indeed, it is the very definition of unimagineable. This observation is arguably the basis of both feminist phenomenology and post-colonial critical thinking, which in pointing out that when we explore the envelop of the intelligible, we discover the boundary beyond which lies the abject - both in their way seek to remind us that, in reality if not in actuality, we encounter alterity all the time: The internal and external truth of each object we encounter in experience, including the self who encounters, is genuinely alternative to what we imagine. It s right there, in front of our noses. Why do we see spectres instead? It is because, from the very beginning, the Time & Space in which identity is constituted are manifestations of Desire We see spectres, because we are cyborgs regarding (ourselves in) a speculum.

What is a spectre? Avatars are spectres, as I ve already suggested. Heroes are spectres, as are villains. Selves are spectres, and so are Others. When it comes right down to it, you would be hard pressed to identify a single object in your phenomenological sphere that is not a spectre, because identity itself is spectral, and all processes of identification are specular. For this reason, the most I can assert about any given spectre / avatar / thing, is that to encounter it is to encounter a sign, albeit be a sign that upon closer inspection appears to be without clear referent or referee, whose precise modality and location is necessarily unclear because part of the task of such signs is to create modality and location.

If it is a sign, it will be what all signs always are: a phenomenological complex of the indexical, the iconic, the symbolic and the diagrammatic.

Index What are the material and phenomenological prerequisites for what you are

looking at? What is this direct evidence for? A whole material history is always masked or encoded in what appears, as are the corporeal and cultural schemata of perception itself: To seek for the index is to consider everything that had and has to happen in order to make this trace, this HereNow, here, now It is to regard all things as causes

and effects, within an infinitely receding web of causes and effects. As an example, the film Avatar exists only by virtue of its reference to (or deference to) a vast technical, technological and cultural superstructure some call history : it would be both unimaginable and unachievable outside of the very specific physical and psychological contexts of its production, viz. the technosphere of globalised post-modernity.

Icon What does it look like? To which senses does it appear, and how is it brought there? An example, from the film under discussion: The megarealistic iconography created via a stereoscopic fusion of video footage of the actress Zoe Saldana and some mighty clever CGI is also a fusion of symbolic memory-cognition and corporeal perception-synaesthesis. The 10ft tall blue-skinned Pocahontamazon who appears instead of Saldana and CGI, the character Neytiri, is a synaesthetic spectre, or simulacrum. That she is spectral is an inevitable artifact of her synaesthetic essence; that she is simulacric is an artifact of her specularity, and of the manner in which spectators are conditioned to relate with synaesthetic spectres. My point is that icons are actually intertextual symbols, in both the semiotic and psychoanalytic senses of this term; they are syntheses of realistic and phantasmatic cues, that create in an appropriately conditioned subjectivity the experience of a quasi-encounter with a hyperreal spectre (presence-that-masks-absence-of-self-and-absence-of-indexical), which we experience as both new and uncannily familiar: sacred, mesmeric, erotic, threatening, phantasmatic, cool, huge, tiny etc.

Symbol What does it mean and to whom? What kind of tool is it, and what systems of representation contain or sustain it? What is it for, and who has found uses for it?

Symbols are tools - both technological and abstract and so always serve a generalisable function within an apparatus of some sort In Peirce s definition, the

symbol par exellence lacks direct correspondance with the referent it hypothetically indicates / discursively assumes, but this does not (necessarily) mean that symbols are artificial in the sense that s implied by the convention of using words and abstract designs as examples of the symbolic. The symbol may simply be an instrumentalised icon, or a generalised index! In the symbol, there is always a tension between the general and the specific, the homogenous and heterogenous, the homogenic and schizogenic. As an example of what I mean, the physical realism of Avatar s iconography also functions a symbolic iteration of a very culturally specific distinction between the real and the imaginary .

Diagram Diagrams are instructional, structural, and technical. Diagrams are maps, techniques, paradigms, and programs. Diagrams are ontological (in Heidegger s sense of this word), and as such all diagrams may be regarded as programmatic what Deleuze and Guattarri called biogrammatic. This modality of signing, which might also be termed ergodic signing, or haptic signing is the least studied, the most mysterious, and indeed has only recently been identified as (ahem) significant. In a nutshell, the study of signs required the challenge that post-modernity brought to the whole notion of significance before it could become evident how crucial it is to engage with signs at this level of operation. CS Pierce, whose taxonomy of signs I have hijacked in here, thought diagrams were merely a special class of icon. What he failed to grasp was that the meaning of diagrams is not significant , in that it is not innate in the sign itself and so will not be found if it is sought there. As has now been noted in many fields (psychoanalysis, game studies, play theory, intercultural communication studies) the classic linguistic and literary-studies approach to the study of signs has suppressed awareness of the importance of the physiological and psychological responses that are triggered in the body that perceives the cue, and of the dynamic context in which those signs appear. To identify the diagrammatic/biogrammatic aspect of a given sign allows

you access to both of those suppressed realities, for it is to ask What does this sign program or entail? What do the manners in which it appears to a given subjectivity, and the manners in which it does not appear to that same subjectivity, simply imply about itself, the perceiving subjectivity, and the world where they both seem to appear?

Though I call it a sign in order to foreground the interplay of index, icon, symbol and diagram which is common to all signs, and which will prove so useful in my critique of Cameron s film, the more conventional definition of the spectre is a phantasm a desire-born pseudo-entity (identity), a cathectic symbol whose job is to shape and mobilize libidinal energy, that can appear only in a speculum. What, then, is a speculum? It is mirror, and it is probe. Fundamentally, specula are, or inhere in, techniques: they re ways of seeing that instrumentally manipulate/mitigate the ever present tension between mimesis and poesis that is ontologically innate to interpretive perception. Their function is to triangulate subjectivity in relation to the environment: to tell us who and where we are. We may say that specula are ontologically ecological (or ecologically ontological?), if we recall that ecoin = home, surrounding, context, connective system, matrix.

That all perceivable or imaginable things are spectres is not, in itself, a problem except to petulant philosophers or belligerent demagogues who refuse to accept what that implies for any project that has absolute objective understanding as its goal. That phenomenal reality (Deleuze s plane of immanence) is primordially simulacric only becomes problematic when hyperreality ceases to be a genuinely ecological process, and becomes what Levinas called egological instead. This is why Levinas always insisted that ontology doesn t inform ethics: it is ethics.

To clarify: Whilst specular techniques can be purely ideological (technical), they re more often quite manifestly technological. Specula always at least partly create what they

appear to reveal, and that is why both they and the spectres that appear to appear within them fall into the category of simulacra, or hyperreality. However, it s important never to lose sight of the fact that, while the spectre will always be spectral and specular, this does not imply that it is ephemeral: The hyperreal may be illusory7, but that does not mean it is immaterial! I therefore tend to define specula either as materially manipulative ways of looking that make some things visible and other things invisible, or ways of seeing that bestow and deny material agency.

It is this link between specularity and agency that is important here. There is a rich and deliberate controversy in Vedic and Buddhist philosophy about whether, when one regards the phenomenological manifestation of a deity (called an avatar), one regards the God itself, or merely encounters some aspect of its agency, its manifest power. I don t intend to provide a solution to this metaphysical puzzle here; I mention it because I wish to point out that the answer to the question of what, precisely the worshipper encounters when they encounter an avatar very often boils down to a prescription, a foreclosure-via-description (or discursive circumscription) of the worshipper s agency: Avatars are phenomenological phenomena they don t appear to worshipping subjectivities; they appear as the subjectivity called worship .

When we regard James Cameron s Avatar, there is a world of difference between what we are seeing, and what we are looking at. What we are looking at is a gargantuan material and ideological apparatus that extends way beyond the frame in time, space, and matter; what we are seeing is a megarealistic diegesis, a hyperbolically realistic NowHere whose pseudo-immanence is phenomenologically over-determined: it
7

For me, the most useful definition of the ontic/ontological status of phenomena is to be found in Mahayana Buddhist abhidharma (the metaphysical branch of Buddhist philosophy). Specifically, I refer to the unbreakable link between ethics and ontology that is implied in the Heart Sutra, and in the M dhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna, which describe phenomena as empty of inherent existence, but warn against both materialistic and nihilistic interpretations of emptiness .

envelops our sensorium, and so transfixes our attention upon the spectacle of the present moment. This misleading disjuncture between what is, and what is revealed may be characterized as a none-too-subtle conflation of the iconic and the indexical (realistic vs. real), or the symbolic and the indexical (truth vs. proof). The main effect of this conflation, this masking of the symbolic nature of the signs and techniques the film deploys, is to elide the material, social and psychological preconditions of those signs and techniques. This elision is an essential part of both the ideological and aesthetic impetus of the film, for without it, the illusion would have no power, no impact, no meaning: no value.

This notion of value is essential to Pierre Bourdieu s theories about social identity performances, which focus upon the interdependence of the habitus (the habitual complex of behavioural and attitudinal comportments adopted by individual subjectivities), the intersubjective socio-cultural field in which those subjectivities subsist/consist, and the relative capital, or status, or value, which may be ascribed to identities within that field. The identities performed, perceived or embodied by habitus are durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures (Bourdieu, 1977, p.72), by which he means that cultivated performances express a learned, conditioned or contingent belief in the value or identity of the things we perceive and project. For a social being, the meaning or cultural capital of any given object, practice or attitude is inextricable from the field where it has value. Though he himself is very vague on what precisely might be the social and psychological mechanisms that define the relationship between habitus, capital and field, Pierre Bourdieu s model of enculturation implies some form of speculum: The ascription of value implied in the term capital seems analogous with the Freudian notion of libidinal projection and cathexis, and the unconscious (or un-selfconscious) internalization of the value system, implied by the term habitus, seems to imply that we have become some ambulent form of technical gaze or gazing technology . How else are we to explain the manner in which external/cultural value

systems become manifest as behaviours, comportments, attitudes?

Prior to Bourdieu, the term habitus was used, primarily, in the field of orthopaedic medicine: Its first meaning, the meaning which synchretically circumscribes its use in cultural studies and psychoanalysis, is the way we tend to hold our bodies (in certain situations) . In psychoanalysis and cultural theory the focus shifts from the actual physical comportment that it originally denoted, to the contextually specific performance: the situation. This shift in focus from comportment to situation reflects the decentralization implicit in Lacan s theory of the Gaze, and indeed habitus has been presented as symptom, proof, performance or manifestation of the internalized Gaze. It has come to denote the learned attitudes and predispositions we carry into archetypal situations (or by which we perceive those situations): our cultured habitual perceptions of things and our resulting habitual comportment toward them.

If habitus is a kind of synaesthetic speculum - a culturally constituted cyborg that sees, embodies and enacts identity - then perhaps an ecotopian revolution begins within the feedback loop between individuals performative attitudes towards things, and the manner in which these things are represented in their cultures? This, I think, is the intuition that has led Cameron and others to claim that Avatar is eco-friendly: Integral to the much hyped notion that there is an ecological message to the film is the claim that the Na vi - the aliens who seek to protect their planet from rapaciously capitalistic human invaders - are performative exemplars of an ideal ecological habitus.

Certainly, most reviewers seems to concur that Avatar is a mainstream ecofictional epic, with a barely concealed anti-colonial (or racist, depending on how you spin it) subtext

but, although its makers are acutely aware of the changing cultural capital (ahem) of environmentalism in the shadow of climate crisis, a conservative and realistic response is not what Avatar the film, Avatar the cultural fairground, induces in its audience. Despite its ostensible ecological and colonial topicality, the behaviours and attitudes, the comportment-towards-things, the habitus that Avatar mediates in all its intertextuality, is denialistic consumer frenzy8

Ecstasis is the centrifuge of the Elysian aesthetic that seeks to transport the spectator to a world made by lightning , which I call megarealism.

What are you looking at? What are you seeing? What are you looking for and what are you being shown? No matter how perceptive you are, most of what you are looking at is invisible to you: either imperceptible, or occluded, or simply elided by the very act of seeking. Lens, screen, mirror, telescope, microscope, language, taxonomy, paradigm, theory, toy, story, quest: All representational or simulatory techniques and technologies inevitably repress/elide some phenomena whilst foregrounding / magnifying others. They appear to do this in order to bring something into focus for someone , but as Irigaray points out, their true and secret activity is to bring the gazing someone into focus, by locating them in relation to the gazed-upon. The entire corporeal and cultural field of the spectral/specular subjectivity - the matrix of power relationships which gives both the someone and the something their intelligibility is implied by the speculum: a taxonomy implies taxonomists and everything required for them to taxonomise; gynecological specula imply prostrate and passive women and probingly active doctors; megareal cinematic icons imply synaesthetic corporeal subjectivities capable of comprehending synaesthetic symbols, and somewhere for their
8

I refer you again to the list of URLs at the end of this essay, which provides specific examples of the kind of cultural practice that have been inspired and facilitated by the film.

encounter to occur etc.

The kind of spectre seen relies upon what kind of spectator you are, and what kind of speculum prefers you. Or is that vice versa? In the case of Avatar, the spectre appears to be a synaesthetically megarealistic cinematic simulacrum which is both aesthetically and ideologically focused upon ecstasis, transport: a quintessentially technical fictional world (or NowHere) called Pandora , which Cameron s very large production team and 20th Century Fox s equally impressive marketing department have applied every effort to render (sic) immersive, pervasive and ubiquitous in the HereNow of the audience s everyday. I say appears to be because the hyperbolically real NowHere of Pandora both is and is not the true spectre, in the same way that any given simulacrum both is and isn t the hyperreality in which it inheres.

The hyperreality created by megarealistic (hyper-technical) systems of representation is, emphatically, not the spectral dreamworlds that appear to appear in the speculum of the cinematic apparatus. Nor is it the illusory sense of always-already-thereness bestowed upon the specular subjectivity that believes it regards the spectre, but is in fact invoked by it. Ultimately, the hyperreality is the HereNow beyond the frame, the world where something like this film can exist, and make sense as a cultural utterance. More brutally: the hyperreality is the world where intelligent analysts purport to regard Avatar as an example of ecologically sensitive storytelling, or where people are encouraged to regard taking a ride on a roller-coaster through a digital simulation of a phantasmatic wilderness, as a form of nature worship!

Can a megarealistic representation of pure fantasy ever constitute an ecologically and environmentally sustainable ideal for the mental and physical disposition of human beings toward the objects that comprise their reality? Do any of the characters in Avatar represent a credible model for a sustainable habitus (Karol & Gale, 2005)?

The real question, of course, is How are people likely to interpret and respond to these representations? sustainability) are In the end, it really depends on what you think heroes (or

By this I mean three things: 1. what you think is representative of the heroic, and why? 2. what you think heroes are made of, and why? 3. what do you think heroes are for, and why?

If the Na vi are exemplars of a sustainable habitus, it behooves us to ask: What is the identity of the Na vi? What do they embody for us?

Regarded narratalogically, taken at face value as fictional characters in a story, the Na vi may be heroes, but they re not the hero! They are the human protagonist s enemies-turned-mentors/lovers, in heroic contention with (mirrored by/opposed to) the technological forces of the acquisitive and destructive capitalist war machine, which has brought the true Hero to their planet: Jake Sully, a paraplegic mercenary seeking legs.

In the story the Na vi are real, and the Avatar of the film s title is a mixture of human DNA (Sully) and the DNA of an unrevealed Na vi donor: a suit for Sully to wear so that he can breathe an atmosphere poisonous to humans a wilderness so wild it is anathema to human life, Otherness epitomized as space. The avatar bestows agency, and we may recognize it as a speculum. It is designed to fulfill a fantasy, a desire: it will allow the hero to go where humans may not, to spy among the Na vi, and basically

perform superhuman feats of physical and cultural prowess

This element of superness

is important: Avatar s plot and mise en scene more or less entirely consists in intertextual references to other Hollywood movies, and to genres whose primary function has been to iterate the cultural superiority of white folks, to be easy on the eye and mind of the spectator/consumer who is basically a prisoner of their own privileged immobility.

In reality, which does and doesn t have any relation to the diegesis, the Na vi continue a long line of exoticised Others in post-colonial narratives, which provide both the racial and gender stereotypes for Avatar: They re not real alterity, they re what the white protagonist wishes he was, when in truth he is / regards himself as the bad guys They re the Tonto who exists to valorize (and serve) our Lone Ranger. Reading the racial and political semiotics of Avatar, we find that the film is a matrix of references to popular culture; it contains characters and narratological tropes from well-known westerns (especially Pocahontas and Dances With Oscars), post-digital war movies, a whole host of sci-fi & fantasy films and computer games, and is structurally identical to deep cover thrillers. Its aesthetic impact inheres in the same racist and sexist binarisms that define urban paranoia, nationalism, and the post-colonial condition in general

Since Na vi culture is an idealisation of, rather than an alternative to, the colonial worldview whose actual manifestation is abhorrently performed by the humans , it may or may not be genuinely sustainable (or even feasible!) The Na vi exist only as a reflective duality, troped by comparison to the brutal technological agency of the humans in the story. It s clear from this comparison that Cameron wishes us to regard the use to which the Na vi put their environment as the epitome of an humble and skillful self-sufficient habitus, but if we actually seek a coherent system of planet-saving practices here we d be very hard pressed to find it: The Na vi are competitive, and have

a very technologistic relationship with their environment. The key metaphor is the weird conflation of control and union symbolized by the very literal manner in which the Na vi bond with the planet, by literally jacking in with their capital phalli. The horses and dragons with whom they thus bond become their mounts, not vice versa, and the ritual by which they bond with the earth itself is based upon the Balinese performance of the Ramayana, which is a performative metaphor for the ego itself! The centre directs the circumference, the ego is at once transcended and iterated in the waves of energy projected by the collective. Very beautiful to behold and surely better to participate in, but not alterity, not yet Though they worship via union with the planet,

by jacking into it in the manner just described, it is not the planet which they worship, if the form of that worship is any evidence: what they worship is the tension between ecstatic individuation and oceanic immersion the need to be vs. the urge to merge. And indeed, from the evidence of the rest of the film, the Na vi seem to regard Pandora mostly as a kind of dangerous playground: Potentially lethal, but great fun, if you know the rules and if you ve developed the mastery (sic) required to survive a basically poisonous and inimical wilderness

If the Na vi are role-models, what they actually embody and perform is dichotomy: They are made of the same stuff as what they ostensibly oppose!

This schizophrenia is present on every level of signification: Regarded as iconic symbols in a megareal story that is and isn t about how we should relate with the environment, they re tragic 10ft tall superwarriors, ecosensitive dragontamers who are more than human, and yet who exist to serve humans they re love interest, they re psychotherapeutic healers, they re sexual competitors. The question, which the film refuses to beg: What is it that makes Neytiri such a willing mentor to the story s flawed/broken/seeking protagonist, Jake Sully? What has she, or the Na vi, to gain from this transfer of agency, in a battle against the technologistic agents of human greed?

Regarded indexically they are, of course, technology incarnate: pure tool, pure user, pure player.

Regarded as diagram

When you look at what the Na vi are actually made of, they are an amazing synaesthetic synthesis of the inner and outer reality of the urban proletariat who comprise the film s target audience. As such, the spectre which appears ought to be completely unique in each person who perceives them, for what appears when we regard them will depend upon how we are situated within the field of cultural memory where climate crisis and 10 ft blue ecowarriors and Pandora and dragons and augmented reality and pervasive locative media and 3D BluRay find their meaning Surely, we will each

relate differently with amazing CGI depending on for instance - whether we regard it in the capacity of consumer, producer, or outsider? Even the shot of adrenalin and seratonin which human bodies produce in response to the scale and speed and volume of such techonological extravaganzas will ramify something very different to say, the teenaged 21st century urbanite whose excitement will induce them to buy the DVD and the virtual reality toy and the collectors cards, and the person whose job it will be to make those things

True, but not true enough. I say ought to be rather than is because I believe that any genuine plurality or multiplicity of meaning that the film s content and form might achieve is suppressed in a number of ways, and that perspectival homogeneity is one of the primary aesthetic effects of megarealism, and of spectacle. In explanation, I return to the specular nature of Pandora, and the objects that appear to appear within

it: They are symbols in both the linguistic and psychoanalytic sense, whose function/action is to create what Judith Butler calls intelligibility - a coherent and circumscribed reality, complete with someone to experience it. I may safely categorize them as spectres in the spectatorial (egological, rather than ecological) sense, for three reasons:

1) Pandora, and all it contains, is spectral, insofar as (if I am one of the people at whom the film is targeted) every character, every event, every aspect of the design and plot, is part of a pre-existing moral or aesthetic spectrum: the sphere of intelligibility. Everything in this film is instantly recognizable, either reassuringly similar to, or not-unpleasantly different from, something I already understand if I am a certain kind of subject used to relating in certain ways to certain predefined objects. The formulaic plot, the ever-so-conventional power relationships embodied by the ever-so-conventionally gendered characters Even what is new in this film is new in a way that is pleasantly intelligible a logical progression of existing ideological and aesthetic codes. For me, this is especially and ironically true of the ideology of technological progress that is evidenced and exemplified in the physical realism of the next level computer generated imagery, but it pertains in truth quite fractally: in the design, in the plot, in the performances, in the bone and flesh of the film It s there in the night-club naturalism of the colour schemes; it s evident in the fauxrevolutionary manner in which the heroic and the villainous are troped; it s implicit in the design of the alien race , the Na vi, the oh-so-hip quasi-ethnic stereotypes who seem custom-made for the sensibilities of a computer gaming generation used to precisely this kind of patronizingly racialised trope: majestically endowed ecowarriors, blessed by nature and rendered heroically tragic in the image bows and arrows against gunships . They re a kind of sexy blue phantasm, a not-quite-alien who (ostensibly) performatively and narratologically symbolises a naturalness reminiscent of other autochthonous

Others we have known: Native Americans and Indian Indians, and Africans and Rastafarians, and the Elves in Lord of The Rings, and pussycats... The story happens very far away in time and space (NowHere, here pronounced nowhere), but it s set in an uncannily familiar place, for NowHere is topologically (in Homi K Bhaba s rather poetic sense of the word topoi) identical to HereNow. On every level, we find that spectrality, or intelligibility, is the ideological and aesthetic centrifuge of the film.

2) Pandora, and everything that occurs there, is specular, insofar as every aspect of the plot and mise en scene is reassuring or pleasing to the white heterosexual spectator for whom they have been contrived it makes me feel good about being who I am, reflects me back to myself in a flattering way. Zoe Saldana, who plays the native Neytiri, for instance, is the perfect not-too-Exotic Other to serve as love interest for the not-too-conventional white male hero, Jake Sully. Judith Butler would, I think, be quick to point out that Sully s is the only body that matters on Pandora, in two senses. Firstly, it is the safety of Jake s body that is what is always at stake, and secondly, it is the agency of that body, its capacity to affect other matter, which is what the story is all about... Jake Sully s status as hero and of the white male body as natural site-of-heroism is iterated and validated by the love of Neytiri, an aesthetically idealized Pocahontamazon whom I know is not real, but may experience as an almost-real 3D 10ft tall tribal killer witch from Hollywood heaven, who willingly abdicates her personal and social power for love of some indefinable quality embodied by the white protagonist If I stop and ask what that quality is, it appears to be the very

same competitive agonistic striving which, for instance, drives the films villains, but part of the pleasure of this kind of film is that it allows me to deny the fact that the only difference between heroes and villains within an agonistic framework is that heroes win. Heroes are allowed what the villains are denied.

3) Finally: Pandora, Neytiri, Sully et al can be recognized as spectres because, like all spectres, their very immanence suppresses the conditions of their appearance megarealistic symbols are haptic icons, pre-eminently (indeed, spectacularly) immanent: they re loud, they re huge, and they re sexy. They are hyperbolically phenomenological, and they are everywhere. Avatar really is all around you, and I m not referring only to the 3D audio-visuals. Each medium creates a massive network of people and things, linked and defined by (visibilised and invisibilised by, uttered into and out of being by, cultured by) countless thousands of synchronized technological performances, or habits. The system of systems of habits and things linked by Avatar is vast, to say the least. James Cameron is everywhere that Rupert Murdoch, media and memory are

and Murdoch, media and memory are everywhere.

Megareal avatars are phantasmatic as well as representational technology. They utter culture, and are uttered within culture: Not only the digital and narratological wizardry that produces ecstasis but also the whole material and immaterial world that such wizardy implies, or entails.

What is the absent, unseeable god whose manifestation is the avatar: Visible only to the cyborg, and all that is visible to the cyborg?

It can only be the matrix itself, the whole assemblage of material and psychological techniques each of us is linked into, which creates spectatorial cyborgs, hungry and ready for the appearance of phanatasmatic Avatars in the pervasively megareal medium of culture

and which elides the whole rapidly diminishing world of material things, the real world which invisibly becomes subsumed by the rapidly expanding matrix in which the medium is embedded. The 3D film had the longest and largest ever cinematic release in Hollywood s history, running up to the day of the DVD/BluRay release, and it was sold out every day in many places. It has earned more than any other film, ever, and it has given birth to a new era of 3D digital cinematech, interactive domestic merchandise, computer games, VR toys, the next generation of televisions and- an industry, basically. A whole new industry of hyper-immersive 3D mediatech.

The aesthetic centrifuge of megarealism is ecstasis, the rollercoaster from HereNow, to a NowHere very like it, and Back Again, and this centrifugal force is present in every aspect of the film and its merchandising carnival. Avatar is a hyperbolic happening in the pervasive medium of culture itself: It s an intertextual cultural fairground and marketplace that proliferates around the 3D rollercoaster ride of the film, which is, absolutely, for all its patent fiction and impossibility, loosely based on real events : Both inside and outside the film, Avatar creates a hyperreality where the insubstantial is made substantial, and the material is rendered immaterial: The sheer presence of hyperbolically realistic ecological icons and environmental sounding symbols, systematically veils their decidedly non-ecofriendly material and historical indexicality. Avatar is, without doubt, a structuring structure that tends to structure people and their habits regarding things and each other, on an enormous scale. The number of people involved in making it a cultural reality, whose days and nights and thoughts and actions it defined and continues to define, is only partly revealed by the very long credit sequence. In so many ways it exemplifies what I mean when I say All media are modes of cultural utterance, as well as being culturally embedded modes of utterance. Moreover, it is of course inseparable from other cultural structures that iterate the same identity patterns (because it arises from them, and feeds back into them).

In so many ways, it is true to say that Avatar exists in the form that it does, appears as it does where it does and when it does, because some things and people have been made visible and others invisible, in order that a hyperbolic megareality could appear The

visible is made invisible, and vice versa; the material is made immaterial, and vice versa; the near is made far, and vice versa.

On the eve of total climatic disaster, there are many possible roles an ultrarealistic ubiquitous synaesthetic representation of an ecological Hero in 10 dimensions could play, will play, especially since there are millions of them: it will be drug, living, inspiration, model, exemplar, ally, crutch, hurdle, gatekeeper, competitor, enemy, friend, proxy, scapegoat, tool, target, treasure, toy...

Ultimately, though, tool is the key word: Heroes, like all avatars, are tools to lead subjectivity in the direction of certain attitudes and behaviours they create the reality that requires them, and are created by it. Megareal digital eco-warriors are both more and less diagrammatic than the term role model implies: they show the way or open the door to many things, each of which will be sustained, but not one of which is actually notably sustainable.

Buy me, I m ecological!

This fantasistic denial of material reality via the megareal representation of the realish is the precise antithesis of sustainable behaviour, but it should not come as a surprise: How can a role-model that is fundamentally alienated (i.e. competitive and manipulative) and a system of representation that is ontologically simulacric (i.e. specular and phantasmatic) be deployed in communicating either the real or the notion of interconnectedness, which many now recognise as an essential characteristic of any

truly sustainable human ethos?

Jung regarded Heroes and hero-worship as an ineluctable aspect of corporeal subjectivity, believing that they are primordial archetypes whose function is to embody good . Post-structuralist theorists regard them as historically contingent entities, believing that both heroes and the good they embody are cultural constructs - hyperreal stereotypes that are part of how culture inculcates a consensual ideal of mental and physical comportment. Whether they re naturally arising archetypes or culturally defined stereotypes, heroes may be regarded as specular figures, because they are a) the product of a Gaze, and b) a mirror in which we discover ourselves.

If we are truly lucky, our heroes will lead us gently and wisely to the present moment and demand no fee for it, for we have no choice but to follow them (in our way) once we perceive them (in our way) and that is what the heroic archetype means, in its most basic sense...

Spectres are always simulacric. Hero worship and the representation of heroic acts for emulation or adulation tend to reify both the phantasmatic hero and the reality that demands their being. If the hero is a spectre then the quest is the speculum in which they appear, and the quest is a mirror whose egocentric logic subsumes everything into an antagonistic framework: Quests both linguistically and performatively construct the Other as mere shadow of the Self

The autopoetic dialogue of Self and Other is instrumental in the means by which social beings are cultivated by their perception of their existential field and the relative value of objects within that field, and so develop the orthopedic habitus that

Pierre Bourdieu describes. The rhetorical impact of heroic narrative is that the ethos embodied by the heroic habitus is somehow absolute, a good that pertains equally in all possible circumstances. Yet, as the material exigencies of cultures change, so the behaviours and attitudes expected and required of the ideal citizen also change, and so the Hero is a role-model always in flux The hero of one era (or age) frequently reappears as the villain or victim of another, and in a sense this recycling is the inevitable destiny of all heroes:

The cultural capital of the Hero depends on whether the actions and attitudes they epitomise are deemed by those in power, to be "sustainable"

By "sustainable" I do not (unfortunately) mean ecologically sound, except insofar as the hero iterates and polices the dominant paradigm of the ecoin; I simply mean that the ethical paradigm embodied by the Hero is valued by those dominant within a given field of cultural production, who wish to sustain that ethos because it is advantageous to them, or to the stability and growth of said culture. Historically, it must be observed, the Heroic paradigm has not been notably sustainable in either the current environmental or the strict semantic senses of the word! Considering the agonistic nature of the conventional heroic paradigm, it is debatable whether the conventional Hero can be considered sustainable at all: I repeat - How can a role-model that is fundamentally competitive, alienated, and contentious be deployed in communicating the notion of interconnectedness, which many now recognise as an essential characteristic of any truly sustainable human ethos?

We are most fortunate, then, that the antagonistic or manipulative/acquisitive relationship with Other is not true of all heroes. It is far from true of truly heroic people, and this is the real problem: Agonistic heroism has a tendency to repress the very existence of the truly heroic, for in a cultural marketplace where the cathectic power of

the heroic archetype has become the central commodity of a multi-billion dollar industry, it is in competition with it.

The truly heroic worldview really embodies interconnectedness. The subjectivity it implies would be barely recognizable as subjectivity, for it imagines Selves and Others and Time and Space very differently from the alienated individual who, for instance, needs and perceives agonistic heroes. Truly heroic people embrace a union with alterity that is grounded in the present moment, not the ecstatic/phantasmatic HereNow, and so in the truly heroic habitus, fantasy and perception are not opposed, and bliss (or fulfillment) is sought/found, not in the nihilistic frenzy of conflict and catharsis, but in the boundless openness of the present moment

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Cultural Reference

L.A.R.P (Live Action Role Playing) Microcultural: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk2vR8w2sjc Macrocultural: http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=avatar+costumes&um=1&ie=UTF8&ei=cAtUTdmSLImJhQeQmsTrBQ&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=3 &ved=0CGEQrQQwAg

C.A.R.P (Computer Assisted Role Playing) Microcultural: http://vimeo.com/8306210 Macrocultural: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKrx82WfCXo Hypercultural: http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Avatar_Wiki

Previews: Culture is medium http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xd21he_avatar-sequel-to-be-a-deep-sea-affa_news

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JWk_JIE3Ow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w8f0gtq5No&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKrx82WfCXo&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRdxXPV9GNQ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/dor/objects/800318/avatar/videos/avatar_hardware. html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2_vB7zx_SQ http://uk.movies.ign.com/dor/objects/800318/avatar/videos/avatar_trl_082109.html;js essionid=aj0tfmwvyawb?show=hi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJKxcbcvxa4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrzOUA3z9vA&feature=related

Reviews: Medium is culture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themes_in_Avatar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dIOw2sffHI http://vimeo.com/groups/5484/videos/9389738 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXraSkgssFk http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1208038/Avatar-How-James-Camerons3D-film-change-face-cinema-forever.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rBAooEJRTU

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