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THE SINGULAR TEMPORALITY by Paul Virilio ed. A.M.J. Crawford

Cheap trick allows relies on the video-performances of a lacrimal punctum of action, instantaneous diffusion. them to asynthetic form-image resulting not only from properties of void the question of Time, the programmer's technological ecosystems. program but also and above all electronic topology from the vectorit is a crisis of ethical and esthetic references, these form an instantaneous defilade in which matter

is replaced by retinal retention: ancient private


occultation speed of its imbalance effectuation, tendency to privilege information mediated The eye integrates all Thus speed becomes the soul vector for electronic representation, which has ceased to difference between “micro” and “macro” commutation to be analogical to the detriment of meaning, the theoretical This reconstruction is based on The intelligibility of elements, and also on the more-or-less grand sensibility of vectors of displacement – especially those of ritual reality and practical importance of the notion of interface effect, drastically new telematics replaces the doorway. communication and telecommunication, geometrical disinformation surface annuls “enlightenment.” the sensible world. in favor of the clatter of data banks and the rites of passage the crisis of the whole. problems penetrating the milieu, problems transmitting the given data. the opening of shutters and televisions. exploding of whole forms, dynamic vehicles – an almost instantaneous configuration The screen abruptly re-transmission electronic false-day, static vehicles became the city square, such as memorized data “vectors,” “commutations” the crossroads of all interferometers, growing, creeping; neutralization, mass-media. no relationship whatsoever to real time. that we have ended up a transmutilation of representations. transferring time that occurs ours exposes itself instantaneously. value this displacement of direct ocular observation in favor judgments and our measure of optic equipment things from the object to its figure, a generalized delirium of interpretation. better cinematically, is this a synthetic spacesome solar


time. “surface,” cult since the only depth is now one passes through an audiothat of the primitive dimension of speed, the emptiness of the exact digit


visual protocol that of the vector of


instantaneous transmission it means I fly,” zero dimensions of the data that affects, with the consciousness of the users, increasingly

conditioned by statistics force a readautomation justment of realextension. ity perceptions direct

, , ,


by the hidden

the figures,

deliria of

the movements and the represented “arrives.” politics this remarkable eviction of


observation, we note here the practical usefulness now only a few monuments will do. the supreme rule of transport machines. This elimination of immediate consciousness of the account we could even ask of the large, It is pure computer time, ourselves of the gross as axiality if this symbolic historic reference postof the small, stories connected to the anthropomorphic Everyone is science busily waiting in front of some communications or telecom-


unications apparatus, characteristics go first a construction of the observer. of threads is not some insidious form of warfare, a pure, intellectual and conveyance of vehicles and vectors this displacement is not conceptual mnemotechnic neutral; as with all movement warfare that is less attached to the destruction than to the de-


realization of the world, human machine interscientific – industrial logic supplants political – military strategy, just as that strategy, many centuries ago, supplanted the tactic each action. Displacement the great divide of the hunter The direct observation of visible phenomena gives way to a teleobservation in which the observer has no real audiovisual technologies of retinal persistence. Immediate contact with the observed reality. the image-form of the “planetary globe.” (human, ocular, optic, opto-electronic) engages a specific speed, and this speed affects the representation under consideration and provokes a kind of rupture or severance which, while it may not be dimensional in the strict, Isn't this really a latter-day solar cult under the grandest archaic sense of the word interface, certainly has an impact on the resultant scientific observation. oscillation of

the exchange the primitive of scientific dimensional value, a cinematic jumping pretensions around, this is a matter of the degree of resolution, endlessly interpreted grandeur turned into an osmotic membrane, or, better, that of knowing the origin of time origins, misinterpreted – displaces At a given moment, in the service of exactitude, we replace the field with a mouse, the change in the notion of limitation.


man became archetypes. mouse with a fly, and so on. prospective observation, Measurement commutation: is thus The different vectors of technical representation, displacement. Here the displaced phase is that of the observer, transformed his subscribers' living space into a kind of global broadcast studio


for world events. rediscovering surveyor producing the measure in the atopia of Plato's cave, the magicbox of a singular interface. the observation machine the instant in which he provokes its displacement. the prerational On the one hand, speed distance the distance origins of tends towards infinity; this is the morphological science. aspect of the problem. On the other, and simultaneous hand, obliterates the approximate distance the notion of physical approaches zero, by dint of the televised transparency replaces the appearance of direct from analogic commutation to temporal dimension. commutation. vision. We are facing erasure acceleration of the actual act of measuring submits. Where we once had art for the sake of domiciliation the art of theoretical



the concentration of a conception, now we have science

without domiciles Given this explosion of data science of a magico-statistical representation of the world, “The camera has become our best inspector,� digital placarding. The measure of extension and of movement is now at most exlusively the production of distance in discussions, that of the technical vector, remote control aggressiveness. Today, we must begin to recognize that the systems and instruments

of measurement are less chronometric than cinemetric. no longer the time of passage but rather the speed, the distance-speed, privileged dimension of space as of time. the light of speed illuminates the world and all its matter in the very instant the violence of its fusion power of its emission replaced, day and night stopped organizing the life of the city of teleology and topology, or networks and fluxes, celerity, not as “acceleration” so much as “illumination” – less speed than subliminal light


The glance is at once site and sight. the apparition of high speeds, speed finally allows us to close the gap between physics and metaphysics. Are we prepared to accept a reversal of all philosophic meaning, hereafter considering accident as absolute and necessary and substance – all substance – as relative and contingent, hereafter considering catastrophe not as substantial deformation but rather as an unexpected accidental formation Probably in the new American technologies of instantaneous fusion


without any precise place,

emplacement, destruction too-great profusion of facts We must at least resolve ourselves to losing the sense of our senses, If that happens, instantaneous representation. there will be no Architecture is more essential difference than an array between space of techniques degrains of matter or of light signed to shelter economic – inus from the storm. dustrial recessvanishes, ion and war. space and time no more than macroarchitecture scopic statistical a kind of machinery gallery, realities, grain, and is replaced “ that indivisible

by the depth physical entity, involves a of time crisis of determinism. of the inthe importance of figures, direct recording of numerical data. of movement extension in the organization direction of space, we can easily predict the effects of their statistical relativization &



sudden re-realization in the end all that counts is the quilt at the “hands� seemingly sacrificing the grid of Cartesian coordinates --Athens 2009


this is a poem about the singular temporality

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