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Virilio and Visual Culture

Edited by John Armitage, Ryan Bishop

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The first genuine appraisal of Virilio's contribution to contemporary art, photography, film, television and more

This collection of 13 original writings, including a newly translated piece by Virilio himself, is indispensable reading for all students and researchers of contemporary visual culture.

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List of Figures
1. Aesthetics, Vision and Speed: An Introduction to Virilio and Visual Culture, John Armitage and Ryan Bishop
2. The Illusions of Zero Time, Paul Virilio
3. Towards a New Ecology of Time, Joy Garnett
4. Strangers to the Stars: Abstraction, Aeriality, Aspect Perception, John Beck
5. Desert Wars: Virilio and the Limits of ‘Genuine Knowledge’, Caren Kaplan
6. Light Weapons/Darkroom Shadows: Photography, Cinema, War, John Phillips
7. History in the ‘Mis-en-Abyme of the Body’: Ranbir Kaleka and the ‘Art of Auschwitz’ after Virilio, Tania Roy
8. Spectres of Perception, or the Illusion of Having the Time to See: The Geopolitics of Objects, Apprehension and Movement in Bashir Makhoul’s ‘Enter Ghost, Exit Ghost’, Ryan Bishop
9. The Event, Jordan Crandall
10. The Face of the Figureless: Aesthetics, Sacred Humanism and the Accident of Art, John Armitage
11. What We Do is Secrete: On Virilio, Planetarity and Data Visualisation, Benjamin H. Bratton
12. Relics of Acceleration: A Field Guide, Gair Dunlop
13. The Production of the Present, Ian James
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

John Armitage is Professor of Media Arts and Co-Director of the Winchester Luxury Research Group at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom. John’s research interests include luxury and visual culture, new media art, continental philosophy, and the critical theory of technology. He is the founder and co-editor of the Duke University Press journal Cultural Politics.

Ryan Bishop is Professor of Global Arts and Politics and Co-director of the research group Archaeologies of Media and Technology at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom. He co-edits the journal Cultural Politics (Duke UP), and is a series editor for Technicities (Edinburgh University Press) and Cultural Politics (Polity).


The diversity of the contributors in this collection testifies to Virilio’s rich life of intellectual engagement, from the 1950s and his writings on architecture through to the 1980s and his more celebrated contributions to debates on the sociocultural effects of cinematics, vision technologies, surveillance and the role of accelerated cultural developments in advanced societies ... There is much in these essays to satisfy the high theorist and researcher, and also the museum curator, painter and student of visual culture. As Sylvère Lotringer claims, this work is a ‘breakthrough in Virilio Studies’. I agree and it is long overdue.

- Enda Mccaffrey, Nottingham Trent University, Modern & Contemporary France

Finally all the facets of Paul Virilio's visionary work expertly analyzed and summarized in one book. A truly amazing project which reads like science-fiction in the present tense.

- Sylvere Lotringer, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, Founder of Semiotext(e)

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