CD: An idea that comes up again and again in your books is that of the TV screen, the TV screen looking out on the world like a portable window. Enlarging on this idea, one could say the world is merely retransmitted by screens and satellites. What do you mean by this idea of the portable window?
PV: I used this term in reference to architecture, because the problem in architecture is first and foremost one of doors and windows. It is not the wall which encloses, since a structure that cannot be entered is not a structure for man.
There are three windows. There is the French window (door) which serves to effect an architecture, a place where man lives, be this a city or an apartment. There is the window which renders itself autonomous, the window as a place of light or looking – here we have an extraordinary invention related to a religious problem, the problem of the cult of light, through the claustra, solar calendars, etc. The third window is the television screen … So when I speak of a window, I mean this third window. I am speaking also of another constructed space, that of telecommunications and the new technologies. Another point concerns cutting out: you only have an image if there is cutting, for nothing is ever seen in its entirety. Everything is always perceived through a frame, and it’s certain this frame existed from the moment the first eye opened upon the visible field. This process continued with the framing of paintings, the frame of the photograph, and the frame created by the television camera eye. I believe when you talk of a third window, you are talking about a new frame, a sidereal frame, since with communications satellites and live re-broadcasts, the problem of the window becomes a macrocosmic phenomenon. But, this all stems from the very first window, the porthole drilled in the megalithic tomb. In these tombs there was a tiny hole to let the sun shine in. All this goes back to the beginning of time. That’s why I call it the continuation of as tory, the after math of that first sighting.
CD: The view through this third window might represent a catastrophe of perception, because as seen through it, reality becomes blurred. We are living in this loss of the real, because we only perceive reality through images. How should we react to this third window, how should we question it?
PV: As a first step we spoke of space; I think here we should speak of time. The contemporary image is a time-image, even a speed-image. The first pictures were space images, and that’s what I refer to when I speak of an aesthetics of disappearing. I think we may come back to that in order to answer your question, but it really won’t be an answer. Until the invention of photography, there was only anaesthetics of appearance. Images only persist because of the persistence of their medium: stone in the neolithic era or in ancient times, carved wood, painted canvas. … Those are an aesthetics of immersion, of the appearance of an image which becomes permanent. The image is sketched, then painted and coated, and it lasts because its medium persists. With the coming of photography, followed by cinematography and video, we entered the realm of an aesthetics of disappearance: the persistence is now only retinal. Despite the film used in photography and cinema, there is no longer any real ‘support’. The sustaining medium is retinal persistency because there is a persistency of the image in my eye that is this image in motion. Let’s never forget that. So I believe an aesthetics of disappearing is another world, another link to the real. It is a link to the real as fleeting, as uncertain. The real in an aesthetics of appearance consists of being the solid, durable, hard real – hard in both senses of the word, i.e. hard and aggressive. So I believe that reality was a reality of solidity, of real presence, as they say. With cinematography, with photography first of all and now with infography, reality is shown as fugacious, but I think that we, too are fleeting.
CD: You have mentioned fugacity. Another very important concept in the almost real functioning of the magnetoscope is that of establishing a program of absence. What is the relationship between the idea of fugacity and the idea of a program of absence?
PV: I think the old image, the old reality, was a reality that can be presented as a space-time reality. Man lived in a time system of his actual presence: when he wasn’t there, he wasn’t there. Today we are entering a space which is speed-space. Contrary to popular belief, the space we live in is a speed-space. This new other time is that of electronic transmission, of high-tech machines, and therefore, man is present in this sort of time, not via his physical presence, but via programming. We program a computer or a videotape machine to record a telecast in our absence, to be able to watch it the next day. Here we have, I think, a discovery: the olden space-time was an extensive space, a space where duration of time was valued. Whatever was short-lived was considered an evil – something perjorative. To last a short time was to not be present; it was negative. Today we are entering an era of intensive time: that is to say that new technologies lead us to discover the equivalent of the infinitely small in time. In previous times we were conscious, with telescopes, of the infinitely large, and with microscopes, of the infinitely small. Today, high-speed machines, electronic machines, allow us to comprehend the same thing in regard to time. There is an infinitely long time which is that of history, of carbon-14, which enables us to date extremely ancient artifacts. Then, we have an infinitely short time, which is that of technology’s billionths of seconds. I think the present finds us squarely between these two times. We are living in both the extensive time of the cities of stories, of memories, or archives, or writing, and the intensive time of the new technologies. That’s the ‘program of absence’ that’s how we program our definitive absence, because we’ll never be present in that billionth of a second.
No human being can be present in the intensive time that belongs to machines. Man is present in the average time situated in the long duration of historical phenomena and the short duration of his reflexes, of the ‘twinkling of an eye’. We can say the same for the cinematographer. Beyond 60 images per second you can no longer perceive anything. Here again, you see, the problem of space is central. The new space is speed-space; it is no longer a time-space, a space where time is manipulated. What we are manipulating is no longer man’s time, but machine’s time, which I call speed-space, or the dromosphere, meaning the sphere of speed. Inconclusion, from my point of view, speed is not a means, but a milieu – another milieu, and one that tends to escape us. When we think of speed, we say it’s the means of getting from here to there fast, it’s the means of seeing the Antipodes live when there’s a game, or of watching the Olympics in Los Angeles. But I say no to this. It’s a milieu, and a milieu in which we participate only indirectly through the videotape machine after recording, through information science and ‘robotized’ systems.
CD: You have spoken of the relationship between dromospheric space – of speed-space – and an aesthetics of disappearance, in connection with the machinery of war.
CD: For you, one of the most important factors in this new time-space concept – let’s call it speed-space – is the strategic or stratifying development of war.
PV: Yes, in so far as war has always been the laboratory of the future. Because of the necessity to survive, and to face the possibility of sudden death, be it in ancient or new societies, war has always been the laboratory of techniques, of mores. I really believe this, and we must not forget it. War has also been the laboratory of speed. When Sun Tzu, the old Chinese strategist of several centuries ago, said that ‘promptitude is the essence of war’, he said it at the time of the cavalry. Now it is obvious that this saying is still true: witness the debate over euromissiles in Europe just a year ago. So, war is in fact the laboratory of modernity, of all modernities. And it is in this sense that it has been a subject of permanent study for me. It is also because I myself have experienced it. I lived through a war in my childhood, and it affected me deeply. Thus, war is not merely an a moral phenomenon, it is an experimental phenomenon in as much as it reverses productivity relations. War produces accidents. It produces an unheard-of accident, which is upsetting the traditional idea of war. Substance is necessary and accident is contingent and relative! That is the traditional story of the return to the accident. In war time the opposite is true. Here accident is necessary and substance relative and contingent. What are war machines? They are machines in reverse – they produce accidents, disappearances, deaths, breakdowns. I think war in this sense conveys something which at present we are experiencing in peace time; the accident has now become something ordinary.
CD: You have spoken elsewhere of the relationship of cinema to modern techniques of war. As you know, it is said of Viverstein’s films, and of all the products of Nazi cinema, that they were made especially for propaganda purposes. Is it not interesting to view these productions according to Jean-Marie Pienne’s theory that technology is built upon the idea that there is no such a thing as death? So here’s an immediate connection between technology and the idea of heredity. Let’s not for the moment consider this idea of propaganda and this idea of the strategy of the image from the viewpoint of atavism. Let’s say that there is a paradox: technology and atavism, an atavistic technology.
PV: I’m having trouble grasping your idea of atavism. I understand the word but I can’t grasp what you mean by it. This being said, I think we can talk of propaganda. During the Second World War, the German army with the American army – the French army was less advanced on this score – was to develop the ‘Peca’ companies, the cinema companies created to follow the divisions. Films were regularly brought into head quarters to provide a direct vision of the front. This was because television, though it already existed, wasn’t ready to do this yet. The camera operators of the land army and airforce served as on-the-spot reporters where the war was actually taking place. But it is certain that the Second World War was essentially a radio-telephone war for the whole population. Nonetheless, we see Nazi regime dignitaries conducting research into colour as opposed to Technicolor. At the beginning of the war, Agfa-colour pictures were earthy and yello wish in hue, where as Technicolor reds and blues were already bright. You have the Germans of the era saying, ‘Ah, those colours are distinctly better than ours, and we’re going to have to get ours to look much more lifelike.’ I think this is important, especially for propaganda.
CD: Is there a difference between the idea of developing the cinema and the statues of Arno Breker? Technology is based on the idea that there is no such thing as death. It’s the same thing as Arno Breker’s statues. At that point, technology becomes atavistic. There is a paradox in cinema production.
PV: Well, here I’ll begin with an anecdote about General Macarthur. When he was leaving his post in Korea, because he had planned to use nuclear arms but was refused and demoted, he said in his last official words, ‘Old soldiers never die. They just fade away.’ I think this expression is very cinematographic and very ‘disappearance-aesthetic’. It is true the new technologies allow the dead man to live again, allow the duration of what has disappeared. There is a sort of universal conservatory, when you watch an actor on TV. You can see Mussolini, Hitler, Jean Gabin, Claude François, live again. It is in fact a form of conservation. I’ve always been amazed to see to what extent cinema is a sort of temporal porthole, as if there were a porthole in time. To be able to write ‘War and Cinema’, I was looking at the archives of the Army Cinematographic Services at Fort d’Ivry, and I had asked to see films of the 1914– 18 war. I was chiefly interested in the fact I’d be seeing soldiers of that war in their youth, in their vitality, in their illusion – and they couldn’t see me. As if it were a time-porthole which reverses the arrow (the direction) of time. So I said to myself that now, perhaps, in looking through this lens, we’ll see people who do not yet exist. I have to ask myself that question.
Yes, I think cinema is a sort of porthole into the past, and this porthole is through the camera lens. Recording myself today is, I believe, to make myself particular to a time which will not be my own. Through this viewfinder, this porthole, people yet unborn will see me, but I have no way of seeing them. The arrow of time is reversed. And indeed we have here an event of the cinema, an event of this speed-space. We are no longer in time-space. It is, in fact, an illustration of what I was talking about earlier. We are in a speed-space: it is the recording capacities of a machine which will allow people of the future to see me. I had the privilege of seeing myself twenty years after, in my friend Eric Rohmer’s film Le Marbre et le Cellulo. I had been interviewed in 1965 and I saw a projection of this film in 1985. It had an awful effect on me, because to see this man who had existed twenty years before, to see him again today, was in away frightful. It wasn’t a problem of the beauty of youth, it was a problem of identity – it wasn’t me. Not at all. That man quoted the word time-space continuum even, and that was the only word which allowed me to connect myself to him, for everything else – the clothes, the tie, the hairstyle – everything was wrong. If I had known twenty years ago, I would certainly have said something else!
CD: There is also another reversal, that of day and of night. Is there a link to be made between the day–night relationship and the night bombings of the Second World War and the idea of night as a black hole, in ‘Star Wars’ [The Strategic Defense Initiative]?
PV: There is much to be said here. It is certain that technological war allowed us to continue to make war at night, in other words, we’re performing theatre. Then, after that, in 1914, 1925, those same projectors were used to pick out the planes coming to bomb in order to shoot them down. So here we have a whole light-war; tracer-bullets will be used to make night-time shooting possible, and flares to light up the troops’ night chargers (flare revolvers and rifles). And I myself saw those special effects in the Second World War. During the bombings of the city of Nantes I saw those projectors, those tracer-bullets, those rocketparachutes tossed out of bombers to light up the bombing zone. It was a fabulous show of unheard of and even tragic beauty. It was Rome burning. So it’s certain the use of new technologies extended war to the totality of time, not only as in the past wars in summer time, but also war in wintertime. In antiquity war was waged starting in March, and then stopped in September–October. The new technologies have allowed us to wage war year round. But up until 1914 no one made war at night, they stopped at nightfall. Now, with the new technologies, not only do they make war all the time, in all seasons, but non-stop, day and night. We have a totalizing phenomenon that is also a phenomenon we experience daily with live broadcasts from the four corners of the earth, which allow us to watch a festival or a ballgame. There is therefore a cancellation of the daytime. In the same way that there is a cancellation of timespace, there is a cancellation of daytime as a way of dividing up time. Daytime is no longer the astronomical day, it is the day of techniques. With astronomical daytime, chickens went to sleep when Man did. Today, chickens continue to go to sleep when the sun goes down, but men no longer do. When the sun goes down, electric light and television go on. It’s another time, another day beyond the solar day. I think that’s new.
CD: Now that war takes place beyond the horizon, can we still speak of war or of a war?
PV: Indeed, now they are talking of a trans-horizonal weapon – the term is a technical one. But I believe that war has never been linked to the horizon. It always was, even when geographical, a war of time. Its territory was always temporal. When Sun Tzu said, ‘Promptitude is the essence of war’, he meant war is not simply a problem of hills,valleys and mountain passes which have to be defended, it’s a problem of time; hence, the invention of the cavalry. Cavalry was its strike force, the strike force of that time. Afterwards, it was the artillery which replaced this strike force. Every war is a war of time, and I think there have been profound changes, changes which brought about the invention of new weapons and which today are reaching a limit. ‘Star Wars’ is also a war of time, but it is no longer the time of decision. If you take the history of decision in war, war was first delegated to commanders, great captains of the Middle Ages, then afterwards, with the invention of headquarters, the decision was concentrated in individuals – the ministers of war, chiefs of staff, who concealed the decision. There was a phenomenon of concentration–the dispersal, the diaspora, of decision disappeared. Then, with the Second World War, there was the creation of the general headquarters, a headquarters of armies and groups of armies, whose great strategist was Eisenhower. Here again you had a phenonemon of retention of power over a chief of general headquarters who made the decisions concerning a half a continent or half a hemisphere. With nuclear weapons, this retention of the time of war, of the time of decision, became even more concentrated in one lone individual, the head of state. Presidentialism in France is connected with nuclear power, the strike force. Presidentialism in the US is similar, even if its origin is not exactly the same. Nuclear weapons demanded there be just one decision-maker. This, moreover, is one of the major handicaps to the creation of Europe: if we want a nuclear Europe, there will be no Europe, because we’ll never manage to agree on a President.
In fact, this moment is in the process of disappearing too. The supreme decision-makers, François Mitterand, Reagan, Gorbachev himself, are in the process of disappearing. Why? Because now with ‘Star Wars’, trans horizon and transcontinental weapons, the decisiontime to fire will drop to a few milliseconds. With laser weapons that work at the speed of light, 300,000 kilometres per second, there’s no question of saying, ‘Mr President, it seems that some rockets have taken off on the other side of the Atlantic’. No, they would already be there before you could say so. So now the formidable idea is taking hold in the US and the USSR, around the ‘Star Wars’ debate, of the automatic responder, meaning the idea of a war-declaration machine. Why? Because man’s time is no longer the time of the speed of light. Man cannot intervene: he may have been elected and hold supreme political and military powers, but he does not have the power to act at the speed of light. Today a drama is being played out. But no one is talking about it, despite the demonstrations I participate in, despite Clifford Johnson’s court case, which has been launched in the US.
A computer expert at Stanford says, ‘the new concept of firing on alert is a mad concept, for it delegates the declaration of war to a machine’. Now, constitutionally, the commander has no power to delegate. Reagan does not have the power to delegate the decision to declare nuclear war to a machine. For what reasons? Quite simply because a computer breakdown cannot be identified as the free act of an individual head of state. I think that between the commander of the Middle Ages and Reagan or Gorbachev today, and finally the automatic responder, it’s clear that promptitude is the essence of war. That essence of war eliminates man from the system. First the big battalions are replaced by materials, then big materials are replaced by very small, sophisticated materials (satellites or MX missiles), and finally man, the supreme decider, is eliminated in favour of a responder which will, of course, be coupled to another responder.
CD: Will the idea of speed-space instead of time-space influence the means of representation in the cinema and the artist’s image?
PV: I think it’s already had an influence. We witnessed the shift from extensive to intensive time with cinema. We experienced it first with cinema of 16 images per second, then 24 images per second, then tracks, then reels; we had films which lasted a few minutes – I’m thinking of Meliese’s films – then we had films lasting half an hour, then films one and one half to two hours, which is the average length at 25 frames per second. With the new machines today we are in fact playing with the subliminal. We are in the process of reducing the length of films to half or three quarters of an hour, but projected at 60 frames per second. We are going from the extensive films of Abel Gance and Eisenstein, whose films lasted up to ten hours, to the intensive film – the video clip or halfhour film. I think that there’s a movement here; more goes into speedspace, 60-image per second films than went into time-space, 24 frames persecondfilms, but we are at the limits of the subliminal. We know that beyond 60 images per second there will be no more viewers, since nothing more will be perceived. Here, again, intensiveness is confirmed–the shift from extensiveness to intensiveness. It’s certain that artists, be they film-makers or video-makers, use this. They play in this dromospheric space, in speed-space. I think special effects are one of the most interesting areas in cinema. I remember coming back when Alien was released. It was made and shown before Star Wars. I remember viewers, young people, coming in and saying ‘fasten your seat belts’. What they were coming to see wasn’t a story. It was a movement. They wanted to be carried away in the special effects. They were disappointed. Though Alien is a good film, it’s not one where you fasten your seat belts. It’s another film which tells a story about monsters, whereas Star Wars was a film where you fastened your seat belt. Now it seems to me cinema is fastening the viewer’s seat belts, via video clips, special effects and through infography and synthesized images. We saw this in Tron, and other films. There is a cinema beyond the 24 frames per second one, a speed-cinema, which is no longer a time-cinema, a tale. I don’t think that’s bad. What is bad is that we lack a Meliesse. Meliesse was the inventor of telescopic effects, of montages of different temporalities. Today, it is unfortunately too commercial, and I regret the lack of a Meliesse of electronic effects.
CD: You say that we lack a Meliesse, but the story has become less and less important. Therefore, we also lack a Roland Barthes, since without one, we can’t go on telling tales. What are the consequences of this?
PV: That’s the moral position I’ve always wanted to avoid. It’s true that speed is a drunkenness, a drug – there’s no doubt. It has the same effects. You vomit, you get a headache, just as when you get drunk or take other drugs. That’s the negative aspect I’ve developed in my books. But I don’t think that anything’s ever totally negative. The world is not so simple. At one and the same time, it is dreadful, in that it causes us to lose the relationship to the subject. But it also teaches us about our fragility, our fugacity. That is perhaps the moral lesson of that which has no moral.
CD: Then special effects become a homeopathic means, a vaccine. Is that why special effects have been so exaggerated, and that an artificiality beyond artificiality has been created?
PV: For the moment, it’s indeed the commercial system and therefore a system of facility. As for me, my preoccupation is that, behind speed-space, another relationship to the real is hiding. It’s just as humanistic, just as moral or ethical as the other. Only no one has yet been behind that mirror. For the moment they’re playing the way they played with the first cinema, the first films. It wasn’t cinema, it was effects, effects you’d see at a country fair. They showed films at fairs. I think this is just a stage.
CD: What remains to us is the idea of editing, of arrangement. The idea of original creation no longer exists, no longer counts. In that case, when we are editor–arrangers, do we have to create or exaggerate the artificiality, as we would the story?
PV: The model is the speed composition. Now there is a very old model of speed composition and that’s music. Music has confused speeds in harmonics in an extraordinary fashion for a very long time, to use only Western references. Speed-compositions were very well developed, through Bach, Handel, Mozart etc. in the universe of sound. Intervals of time were extraordinarily well developed and utilized. In the optical system, it hasn’t happened yet. Abel Gance hoped for it. He hoped to make the music of images, but I think the means of his time did not permit this. Transparencies and superimpositions were not sophisticated enough. Today I believe we are about to enter a time of compositions in optical speed and special effects. These are the rather spectacular aspects of this music of the eye. For the moment we just have vulgar things, but there’s a possibility here, which will or won’t be realized. We see the video clips being used for ads, and the films being made with fantastic special effects, but, alas, for the moment, we are not moving towards the realization of that potential. But it could happen, and I believe there will be a [Guillaume de Nacho] or a J.S. Bach able to do the same thing with pictures and light. The new techniques allow it.
CD: Another consequence: in video and cinema, we’re seeing more and more violence and hard-core pornography. I’m thinking of the English expression ‘video nasty’. Isn’t there a desire for images which still have this notion of reality?
PV: Yes, absolutely. Pornography is an example of retrogradation. The body only appears through obscenity. Now there exists this retrograde vision of the body. Personally, I think the word ‘obscenity’ corresponds to its etymology, which we often forget is ‘ill omen’. It is curious to see that Sun Tzu – who I quote a lot, as I believe his is the only philosophy of war – says ‘weapons are tools of ill omen’. I’d like to say that through unrestrained pornography, there is a return to the body, which is a lost body. This obscene body is not a body to come, it’s a lost body. It’s the equivalen to facadaver, the putting to death of the body. I admit it bothers me profoundly. What shocks me in pornography is that in it, boredom is weeping. There are the tears of boredom, not those of pleasure.
CD: Listening to you, you seem to be attached to the idea of the ‘Immaterialists’, of Lyotard – the possibility of developing a new idea of the material, of material representation. Do you think that the use of the term the ‘immaterialists’ is correct?
PV: I’ve used that term for a long time, saying that war went from the material of war to the immaterial of war. That seems completely coherent to me. I feel we have indeed tended to forget everything that’s invisible. Now, with the aesthetics of disappearance, we are obliged to care about all things invisible. In the past, the invisible was present through religion and mythologies. When we read in the third epistle of St Peter the sentence, ‘One day is … as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day’, we have a vision of relativity that was the vision of the whole of antiquity. Even if here it is expressed through Christianity, this vision of relativity was present in ancient history – the invisible peopled the world. The invisible world was an important element of reality. With the onset of materialism, of the Age of Enlightenment, of the political history of the nineteenth century, the invisible was, I would say, censored. It signified the old customs; it was an archaic vision. The visible and the material were priviliged to the detriment of the invisible, as the deeds of society are not all visible.
CD: This notion was also to change the idea of the essence of being.
PV: Certainly. Besides, it isn’t by chance that we are seeing a powerful return of religious ideologies. Personally, I’m religious, Iam a Christian. You are obliged, as I’ve often said to non-believing friends, to reintroduce only the question of God, not the answer, which is a personal problem. If not, don’t speak of the immaterial. You cannot speak of the ‘invisible and immaterial’ if you continue to censor the question of God. When you talk of the Big Bang, of the creation of time and space through the theory of the Big Bang, you’re talking about the question of God. So, let’s call a spade a spade: the Big Bang is about God who has come back among us. And in fact here I think it’s one of the positive aspects of the new technologies. They reintroduce the question of God, and I mean The Question and not Khomeni’s or anyone else’s answer.
CD: You were saying that it’s important to ask questions. When does one see this change of solutions toward questions?
PV: I think it’s our generation. Our generation has to return to questions. Why? Because the preceding generation had all the solutions – the economic solution through capitalism and the consumer society; the political solution through Marxism or capitalism; the military solution through dissuasion. All the solutions were there. Now we’ve seen the results and are experiencing the drama of these solutions, so I believe our generation must again find the questions, and that’s not easy.
CD: The last question: what are the consequences of this dromospheric space, speed-space, for the workings of the city? I’m thinking especially of the difference between urbanity and suburbanity. Does it still exist?
PV: It’s important to return to the city. To return to the city is to return to politics or to the political people. It’s not by chance that in Greek the city is called the ‘polis’. The city was created in a relationship to territorial space. It is a territorial phenomenon, a phenomenon of territorial concentration. Old villages are spread over a territory which is not a territory but a field, in all senses of the term. There is creation, from the old villages, through what has been called kinesis, of an urban territorial unit – the Greek city-state, to take a well-known reference. Since politics and the city were born together, they were born through a right: the creation of a territory or of an estate by right, being established, the right of autochthonism. There are rights because there is territory. There are rights and therefore duties – he who has land has war, as the people of Verde said. He who has rights in an urban territory has the duty to defend it. The citizen is also a soldier-citizen. I feel this situation survives up to the present; we are experiencing the end of that world. Through the ups and downs of the state, the city-state, the more or less communal state, and finally, the nation-state, we have experienced the development of politics linked to the territory; always down-to-earth. In spite of railroads and telephones, we experienced a relationship to the soil and a relationship to a still coherent right. There was still a connection to territorial identity, even in the phenomenon of nationalistic amplification. Today, as we saw earlier with the end of time-space and the coming of speed-space, the political man and the city are becoming problematic. When you talk about the rights of man on the world scale, they pose a problem which is not yet resolved, for a state of rights is not connected with a state of place, to a clearly determined locality. We can clearly see the weaknesses of the rights of Man. It makes for lots of meetings, but not for much in the way of facts. Just take a look at Eastern European countries or Latin America. It seems to me that speedspace which produces new technologies will bring about a loss, a derealization of the city. The megalopolises now being talked of (Calcutta, or Mexico with 30 million inhabitants) are no longer cities, they are phenomena which go beyond the city and translate the decline of the city as a territorial localization, and also as a place of an assumed right, affirmed by a policy. Here, I’m very pessimistic. I feel we’re entering into a society without rights, a ‘non-rights’ society, because we’re entering a society of the non-place, and because the political man was connected to the discrimination of a place. The loss of a place is, alas, generally the loss of rights.
Here, we have a big problem: the political man must be reinvented–a political man connected to speed-space. There, everything remains to be done, nothing’s been accomplished. I’d even say the question hasn’t been considered. The problem of the automatic responder we were talking about earlier, the legal action which Clifford Johnson is taking against the US Congress, is in my opinion the trial of the century. The problem of rights there is the right of the powerful man, the last man, he who decides. Now, he too will no longer have the right, if he delegates his right to an automatic machine. We truly have here a political question and an urban question, because at present the cities are undone by technology, undone by television, defeated by automobility (the high speed trains, the Concorde). The phenomena of identification and independence are posed in a completely new way. When it takes 3 hours to go to New York, and 36 to New Caledonia, you are closer to American identification than to Caledonian or French identification. Before proximity, there was territorial continuity. We were close because we were in the same space. Today we are close in the speed-space of the Concorde, of the high-speed train, of telecommunications. Therefore, we don’t feel conjoined to people, the compatriots of the same people – the Basques or the Corsicans. We no longer have the time to go to Bastia, because practically, we are closer to New York, because you can’t go by Concorde to Bastia. We have here a phenomenon of distortion of the territorial community that explains the phenomenon of demands of independence. Before, we were together in the same place, and could claim an identity. Today, we are together elsewhere, via high-speed train, or via TV. There is a power of another nature which creates distortions. We are no longer in space, but in speed-space. Because of speed-space there are fellow countrymen participating in the same nonplace who feel close, whereas one’s own countrymen in Corsica or New Caledonia are in reality so far away in speed-space, so beyond 36 hours or 10-hours, that they arest rangers and therefore desire their autonomy. There’s a logic there, and it’s a logic which poses problems.
Impulse and Paul Virilio. Interview with Chris Dercon, in Impulse, 12 (4), 1986.
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Jose Rosales - BERGSONIAN SCIENCE-FICTION: KODWO ESHUN, GILLES DELEUZE, & THINKING THE REALITY OF TIME
Obsolete Capitalism - THE STRONG OF THE FUTURE. NIETZSCHE’S ACCELERATIONIST FRAGMENT IN DELEUZE AND GUATTARI’S ANTI-OEDIPUS
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 1)
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 2)
Obsolete Capitalism: Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 3)
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 4)
Obsolete Capitalism: Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 5)
Steven Craig Hickman - David Roden and the Posthuman Dilemma: Anti-Essentialism and the Question of Humanity
Steven Craig Hickman - The Carnival of Globalisation: Hyperstition, Surveillance, and the Empire of Reason
Steven Craig Hickman - Shaviro On The Neoliberal Strategy: Transgression and Accelerationist Aesthetics
Steven Craig Hickman - Hyperstition: Technorevisionism – Influencing, Modifying and Updating Reality
Terence Blake - CONCEPTS OUT OF THE SHADOWS: Notes on Deleuze and Guattari’s “What is Philosophy?” (2)
Terence Blake - GUATTARI’S LINES OF FLIGHT (2): transversal vs transferential approaches to the reading contract
Himanshu Damle - Games and Virtual Environments: Playing in the Dark. Could These be Havens for Criminal Networks?
Himanshu Damle - Hegelian Marxism of Lukács: Philosophy as Systematization of Ideology and Politics as Manipulation of Ideology.
Nick Land - The unconscious is not an aspirational unity but an operative swarm, a population of 'preindividual and prepersonal singularities'