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Negative Horizon: An Essay in Dromoscopy

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Negative Horizon is Paul Virilio's most original and unified exploration of the key themes and ideas running through his philosophy. Provocative and forceful, it sets out Virilio's theory of dromoscopy: a means of apprehending speed and its pivotal - and potentially destructive - role in contemporary global society. Applying this theory to Western political and military hi Negative Horizon is Paul Virilio's most original and unified exploration of the key themes and ideas running through his philosophy. Provocative and forceful, it sets out Virilio's theory of dromoscopy: a means of apprehending speed and its pivotal - and potentially destructive - role in contemporary global society. Applying this theory to Western political and military history, Virilio exposes a compulsion to accelerate, and the rise of a politics of time over territorial politics of space. In exposing what he believes to be the consequences of this constant acceleration for human sensory perception and, ultimately, global democracy, Virilio offers a vision of history and politics as disturbing as it is original.


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Negative Horizon is Paul Virilio's most original and unified exploration of the key themes and ideas running through his philosophy. Provocative and forceful, it sets out Virilio's theory of dromoscopy: a means of apprehending speed and its pivotal - and potentially destructive - role in contemporary global society. Applying this theory to Western political and military hi Negative Horizon is Paul Virilio's most original and unified exploration of the key themes and ideas running through his philosophy. Provocative and forceful, it sets out Virilio's theory of dromoscopy: a means of apprehending speed and its pivotal - and potentially destructive - role in contemporary global society. Applying this theory to Western political and military history, Virilio exposes a compulsion to accelerate, and the rise of a politics of time over territorial politics of space. In exposing what he believes to be the consequences of this constant acceleration for human sensory perception and, ultimately, global democracy, Virilio offers a vision of history and politics as disturbing as it is original.

30 review for Negative Horizon: An Essay in Dromoscopy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Coffeen

    My most recent fixation. Virilio does such a nice job of performing tight, phenomenological readings of the effects of speed. Look at his essay, Dromoscopy, where he carefully considers the car as a cinema engine. It is so smart, surprising, and thorough. One aspect of Virilio that used to throw me off is his polemic: he dreads the societal impetus for increasing speed as it leaves the body behind. That is, as we accelerate ever faster, the body and the sensual world begins to disappear. But wher My most recent fixation. Virilio does such a nice job of performing tight, phenomenological readings of the effects of speed. Look at his essay, Dromoscopy, where he carefully considers the car as a cinema engine. It is so smart, surprising, and thorough. One aspect of Virilio that used to throw me off is his polemic: he dreads the societal impetus for increasing speed as it leaves the body behind. That is, as we accelerate ever faster, the body and the sensual world begins to disappear. But where I used to think of this as kvetching, I am beginning to empathize with his angst. Al I want to do these daze is stroll, linger, savor. Films that cut every 2 seconds leave me dizzy and confused; I find myself longing for the long, considered shot. Still, I wonder what kind of new beings, new sensuality, speed brings. I do wish Virilio attempted to map that space rather than just seeing speed as a disappearance. What appears in ever accelerated space?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    In some ways, this resembles poetry. Virilio can become very abstract in places, and it sometimes feels like he's letting linguistic play and word association guide his thinking, or at least uses these as tools to generate new concepts to work back into the progression of his thought. In this way, the concepts both generate and are generated by the words that express them. This may be entirely wrong, and this is admittedly the first Virilio I've read besides assorted quotations in other works. I In some ways, this resembles poetry. Virilio can become very abstract in places, and it sometimes feels like he's letting linguistic play and word association guide his thinking, or at least uses these as tools to generate new concepts to work back into the progression of his thought. In this way, the concepts both generate and are generated by the words that express them. This may be entirely wrong, and this is admittedly the first Virilio I've read besides assorted quotations in other works. In these quotations, his thinking seems to have a crystalline clarity, as do many lines appearing within these essays, which becomes a little more fragmentary in the expansion and variation of a full exploration. I find these essays, and the independently-functioning statements that compose them, to be more spurs for original thought-direction than necessarily possessed of any absolute inherent truth. Even so, for a collection originally published in the 80s, much about space and communication retains high present relevance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Intermittently convincing. What impressed me: 1. The engine is a second sun, giving us a new kind of light by which we see. As we accelerate down the road, the engine hurries more and more of the world to us. We are seeing more, though our vision is distorted, compressed by the vehicle's speed. 2. The "pure destination" annihilates departure. The ambition of speed at its ultimate extreme is a state of ceaseless arrival, with no ability to quit arriving. As addressed below, I think Virilio overstate Intermittently convincing. What impressed me: 1. The engine is a second sun, giving us a new kind of light by which we see. As we accelerate down the road, the engine hurries more and more of the world to us. We are seeing more, though our vision is distorted, compressed by the vehicle's speed. 2. The "pure destination" annihilates departure. The ambition of speed at its ultimate extreme is a state of ceaseless arrival, with no ability to quit arriving. As addressed below, I think Virilio overstates the mechanical possibilities of this state, but as a mental condition of our lives, it seems quite correct. There are so few periods in the day in which something is not constantly being attained. 3. The screen replaces the mirror--or becomes a site of equal importance. 4. If speed offers its own kind of light by bringing the world increasingly within our horizon, albeit in a compressed and distorted way, the increased speed with which information is delivered means a corresponding massive increase in light. However, with an increase of speed in information delivery, not only is information more fresh but also paradoxically sooner obsolete: new information floods in behind the information of moments ago, superseding it. This torrential flow is dazzlingly confusing--too much light means we can no longer see by it. Some problems: 1. These observations comprise only a small part of Negative Horizon. Many essays in the book are not the least persuasive. Others would mean more more if Virilio was using them to say less. The section on the overland speed record is a great example. Virilio wants to extrapolate out from this quixotic pursuit a larger statement about our relationship with the automobile and speed. But efforts toward the overland speed record are so obviously exceptional and unlike anything to do with your morning commute that his argument-by-assertion style feels dangerously lightweight and risks charlatanism. 2. One thing overlooked: how old-fashioned fighter jets are! How old-fashioned fast cars are! They are so greasy and mechanical--Virilio ignores how heavy these vehicles are, how immensely limitingly much energy is required to power them, how little we have advanced in human transport in recent decades. He has everything approaching infinite speeds, and perhaps it is--but not in cars and not in airplanes. For all these reasons, the warping effect of the car is not an approach to the infinite but instead a toddler's dementia--the dream of the infinite in an individually dangerous yet sharply circumscribed box.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Molly Dilworth

    Virilio begins the forward (entitled 'The Enterprise of Appearances):"The nature that places the mask of the visible over the invisible, is only an appearance corrected by a transparence." (Victor Hugo), then begins talking about how he has taken up painting. He had me from the very first sentence. Many sticky philosophical problems elegantly untangled. Virilio begins the forward (entitled 'The Enterprise of Appearances):"The nature that places the mask of the visible over the invisible, is only an appearance corrected by a transparence." (Victor Hugo), then begins talking about how he has taken up painting. He had me from the very first sentence. Many sticky philosophical problems elegantly untangled.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dagezi

    Weirdly misogynist and able-bodied-ist. Open Sky was much better.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    The introduction is great

  7. 5 out of 5

    Evan Fillon

    Whoa. This one started a chain-reaction of thoughts for me that seems to be increasing in speed! Can be tough at times, but that's to be expected. Whoa. This one started a chain-reaction of thoughts for me that seems to be increasing in speed! Can be tough at times, but that's to be expected.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristupas Sabolius

  9. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gediminas

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lee Jackson

  13. 5 out of 5

    William

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vira

  15. 4 out of 5

    Haydn Sweterlitsch

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Mendizabal

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tom Lamberty

  19. 4 out of 5

    claudio moderini

  20. 4 out of 5

    cactuse

  21. 4 out of 5

    Awab AlSaati

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marcelo Joazeiro

  23. 4 out of 5

    pedro bayeux

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michele Roberto

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jed

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mae

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian Ringley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nowowow

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susanne

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