By Paul Virilio
Creation by means of Bernard Tschumi In A panorama of occasions, the prestigious French architect, city planner, and thinker Paul Virilio makes a speciality of the cultural chaos of the Eighties and Nineteen 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 conduct and commonplaces."Urban disorientation, the machines of conflict, and the acceleration of occasions in modern existence are Virilio's ongoing matters. He explores them in occasions starting from media assurance of the Gulf conflict 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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Extra resources for A Landscape of Events (Writing Architecture)
To deﬁne the present in isolation is to kill it,” Paul Klee once wrote. Isn’t this the crime that the technologies of telecommunications commit in isolating the present from its “here and now,” and promoting a commutative elsewhere that is no longer the location of our concrete presence in the world, but merely that of a discrete and intermittent telepresence? The real time of telecommunications is thus opposed not just to the past, to delayed time, but to the present, to its very actuality; an optical switching of the “real” and the “ﬁgurative” that refers back to the observer physically present here and now, sole persistence of an illusion in which the body of the witness becomes the unique element of stability in a virtualized environment.
Standing still in front of the video monitor, Odenbach’s viewers are thus lured into a “tracking race” with the ﬂeeting image, forced constantly to accelerate their interpretation of the scenes that successively run past them. As in an eye therapy exercise, they have no choice but to train their gaze in visual economy: to economize on space and, especially, to economize on time, for the delay in appearing on the screen always prevails over the visible surface of the sequences projected. And so it is a race between the gaze’s quick “objective” survey and the “subjective” (or mental) interpretation of the images that are viewed successively through the slit— sixty images per second being the limit of conscious perception allowed by the photogram or videogram, and twenty milliseconds the time required for image recognition.
Even though there were no more than ﬁve dead and ten seriously injured in New York, the terrorist dimension of such bomb attacks no longer has anything in common with the political petty crime of recent years. The perpetrators are determined not merely to settle the argument with guns now, but to try to devastate the major cities of the world marketplace. We now ﬁnd ourselves faced with a model of “organized terrorism,” and just as we speak of organized crime as opposed to classic petty crime in matters of public safety, we 20 21 must get used to distinguishing between the “petty terrorism” of the age of nuclear deterrence and this terrorism that, with the end of the Cold War, inaugurates the age of nuclear proliferation.