A Landscape of Events (Writing Architecture) by Paul Virilio

By Paul Virilio

Creation by way of Bernard Tschumi In A panorama of occasions, the prestigious French architect, city planner, and thinker Paul Virilio specializes in the cultural chaos of the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties. It used to be a time, he writes, that mirrored the "cruelty of an epoch, the hills and dales of lifestyle, the standard clumps of behavior and commonplaces."Urban disorientation, the machines of struggle, and the acceleration of occasions in modern lifestyles are Virilio's ongoing issues. He explores them in occasions starting from media insurance of the Gulf battle to city rioting and lawlessness. a few will see Virilio as a pessimist discouraged via "the acceleration of the truth of time," whereas others will locate his recording of "atypical occasions" to be clairvoyant.

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In Blade Runner, in 1982, synthetic creatures known as “replicants” end up nostalgically declaring themselves “in love with life,” even though they are not living beings. Parallel to this constant movement that drives researchers themselves to endow robots with traces of a sentient existence, a new fashion is taking off, particularly in the United States: that of loving one’s death. ” It’s impossible not to think again of Foucault. If Western man really is only a fragile figure arising from his language, “a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea,”4 he would be the only creature who, knowing this language, could eliminate his own invention, that is, himself .

If, a contrario, the two interlocutors communicate with each other through (real-time) interactive technologies, it is the absolute speed of radiation that will facilitate their têteà-tête, their face-to-face encounter, and this happens no matter what intervals of space and time effectively separate them. Here, the event does not take place, or, more precisely, it takes place twice, the topical aspect yielding to the teletopical aspect, the unity of time and place being split between the emission and reception of signals, here and there at the same time, thanks to the power of electromagnetic interactivity.

The real space of the weapon’s technical configuration yielding to the primacy of the real time of measures said to be interactive. Whence those famous countermeasures that attack, so to speak, the integrated circuits of enemy weaponry, and to which the usual notions of offensive and defensive no longer apply: the instantaneity of the interaction of electromagnetic beams no longer participating in the strategic or tactical mechanisms of action and reaction. From that moment, the law of least effort, so crucial in any technical system, itself becomes outmoded, for, paradoxically, it is the lack of any humanly perceptible action that wins out over the customary activity of attack or defense: data input and output replace the usual notions of fight or flight, as we have seen notably with the problems posed by computer viruses.

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