Arthur Kroker on Paul Virilio

Arthur Kroker on Paul Virilio:

Considered as a talisman of the posthuman future, Virilio’s reflections open onto that truly ominous moment when oblivion falls into us, when a great neutralization of social experience takes place. In this sense, the decisive cultural contribution of Paul Virilio may be his intellectual service as a brilliant cartographer of the excesses, as well as possible wasteland, of a posthuman future that is increasingly as enigmatic in its details as it is uncanny in its definition. … Virilio can provide such profound understandings of digital culture moving at light-speed because his thought brushes the question of technology against the language of deprival…

For Virilio, like McLuhan before him, the posthuman fate is this: to be fascinated by the speed of technological devices and augmented by mobile apps to such an extent that the eye of perception is distracted just at the point when it is about to free-fall into a new epoch of “polar inertia” and “grey ecology.” Just as Nietzsche once claimed that he was writing “posthumously,” in effect aiming his thought at generations who would come to maturity in the dark days of “fully completed nihilism,” Virilio’s warnings assume the form of an exit to the posthuman future that will probably only be appreciated in their full intensity once it is too late, once, that is, the “original accident” of technology spreads out with such violent energy that everything in its wake flips into a posthuman reality, not merely an “aesthetics of disappearance.”1


1. Kroker, Arthur (2014-03-12). Exits to the Posthuman Future (p. 26). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

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