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FAR FROM IMPACT – EVENT 5 : 1984
January 22, 2008, 1:37 pm
Filed under: IMPACTOLOGY, PAUL VIRILIO, WARUM 2.0

WHY WE MEN LOVE THAT MUCH TECHNOLOGY

FAR FROM IMPACT – EVENT 5 : 1984. ‘1984’ is not only Orwell, it is also the year Paul Virilio published his book ‘The negative horizon’. As I interviewed Paul Virilio again a few months ago, for the installation project Warum 2.0 (after the first interview we did together nearly 25 years ago), I read the book again. I had read it at the time, of course, but now reading it again (in the wonderful translation by Arjen Mulder and Patrice Riemens), it was as if I read a new book. Obviously because I had changed, my understanding had changed, but also because the times have changed. Today the book reads like a prophecy that came true.

http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=566 

In the book I even found descriptions which were like literal descriptions of the main element of the physical installation-arena Warum 2.0. At one point he describes the ‘dromosphere’ (the sphere of speed) as a ‘centrifuge’, a stadion for one person, in which one is witness of the anamorphosis of the speeded up reality, a with technology driven environment in which one experiences the grotesk deformations of what we once called ‘reality’.

FLOOR PLAN WARUM 2.0

In the interview (of which excerpts are posted here, and of which a dvd is on offer), Paul Virilio again and again repeats a quote by Octavio Paz, and keeps on expanding on it: ‘The impact of the moment is as uninhabitable as the future’. ‘L’impact de l’instant est aussi inhabitable que le futur’.

And he goes on saying that life in the impact means futurism. When we say that an artist is an impact-maker, we actually are saying he is a futurist. And remember, he says, futurists inspired fascism. Futurism leads to fascism, to new kinds of fascism which have nothing to do with pantzers, Mussolini or Hitler, but to Fascism linked to technical achievements.

“Why do men love that much technology? If you would ask me that question again”, Virilio says, “I would answer: because they think they are God! They have gone beyond the mastery of knowledge, towards an illusion of divinity. They create accidents of knowledge.”

That is the reason, after having introduced before the ‘musée des accidents’ (the museum of the accident), Virilio now calls for a university of the accident (une université du désastre), a contra arsenal.

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