Virilio Now is a collection of essays and interviews by some of the world’s foremost cultural experts which focuses on the key concepts of the French cultural theorist Paul Virilio.
The book, authored and edited by Professor John Armitage, Associate Dean & Head of Department of Media in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, examines Virilio’s considerable body of cultural theory which includes several focal issues which have gone on to reliably predict and influence how we live today.
He developed concepts such as ‘dromology’ – the science of speed; ‘military space’ – wherein he suggests that in a culture dominated by war, the military-industrial complex is significant regarding the creation of the city and the spatial organisation of cultural life; and the ‘cyberwar’ where he claims the aim of the US military is to seek what its chiefs term ‘global information dominance’.
Virilio Now offers a preeminent single-volume book on Virilio’s work and world and includes interviews with Virilio conducted by Armitage as well as essays from eminent contemporary theorist including Arthur Kroker, Nigel Thrift and Sean Cubitt. Professor Armitage explained: ‘Paul Virilio is one of the most significant cultural theorists writing today. His thought remains much misunderstood by many postmodern cultural theorists. For many, his writings exist beyond the terms of postmodernism and should be conceived of as a contribution to the emerging debate over “hypermodernism”.
‘In writing and collating the material for this book, it has been very interesting and beneficial to consider the work of Virilio from the viewpoint of other contemporary theorists and to see Virilio’s musings and predictions become reality, cementing his acute acumen and absolute cultural validity.’ Virilio and the Media was conceived and written to render Virilio’s media texts and theories such as ‘polar inertia’, ‘the accident to the landscape of events’, ‘cities of panic’ and ‘the instrumental image loop of television’ accessible, priming his readers to create individual critical evaluations of Virilio’s writings.
Speaking about the book, Professor Armitage explained: ‘In books such as The Aesthetics of Disappearance, War and Cinema, The Lost Dimension, and The Vision Machine, Paul Virilio has fundamentally changed how we think about contemporary media culture.
‘Virilio’s examinations of the connections between perception, logistics, the city, and new media technologies comprise some of the most powerful texts within his hypermodern philosophy.
‘Virilio’s texts on the media are vital for everyone concerned with contemporary media culture.’