- The Vision Machine
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"Virilio offers a cool, precise look at an impending future in which reality shall simply cease to exist. Highly recommended." —Choice
Surveying art history as well as the technologies of war and urban planning, one of France's leading intellectuals provides an introduction to a new "logistics of the image."
PAUL VIRILIO is the author of War and Cinema and the former director of the École spéciale d'architecture in Paris, where he is Professor of Architecture.
"We live in an age dominated by the visual, but we have little understanding of what this means. The past two centuries have witnessed the development of photography, film, video, and holography, yet scant attention has been paid to the social and philosophic implications of a culture that is now devoted to the generally uncritical consumption of processed images. In this slim but amazingly provocative book, Virilio (architecture, Ecole Speciale d'Architecture, Paris) attempts to outline the intellectual ramifications of technological development upon visual perception. He traces an elusive yet freewheeling path from the Renaissance to the computer age and pursues his quest in a manner that challenges many basic assumptions about perception and social structure. For Virilio, the visual image is not simply a construct of a predetermined ideology. Instead, the perceptual process is a two—way street in which the social structure is being overrun by various new visual technologies. He subtly debunks the democratic myths about the new technologies and strongly suggests that the very concept of being human is threatened by the advent of digital images. Virilio brings to this thesis a unique perspective that virtually transcends traditional theoretical lines. But he has produced a book that is an essential text for all scholars of mass media. Virilio offers a cool, precise look at an impending future in which reality shall simply cease to exist. Highly recommended. General; upper—division undergraduate and above."~D. Toth, formerly, Columbus Museum of Art , 1995feb CHOICE.