This interview was conducted on the assumption that for all their seeming pessimism, Virilio's technocultural writings are more productively understood as a “Dionysian yes” than as a simple assertion of the no as such. In other words, they presuppose that the specificity of his thought derives not from “the political” itself (as it is explicitly stated) but from the aesthetic as itself political. The interview considers the extent to which Virilio in Deleuze's terms, “has placed the negative at the service of the power of affirming,” even though he has done so in a subterranean manner that largely remains unnoticed by most of his commentators. The assumption that his concept of speed is unidimensional, that he conceives no alternative to the contemporary technoscientific order, and that all forms of mass culture are denounced as equally complicit with late modern power are thus destabilized with the first several questions. Similarly, the notion that Virilio holds that the manipulation of emotion negates democratic possibility as such, that citizenship is entirely incompatible with globalization, and that the only option in our time is to either entirely converge virtual and actual reality or to abandon one in favor of the other are complicated in the remaining ones. Overall, the interview suggests that Virilio himself must be considered as a vector whose concepts are always already in motion, indeed as one who may seem to be making a definitive statement at one moment, but who complicates that very assumption at another. Thus, while the many criticisms of his work are certainly formidable, it seeks to show that they can never adequately represent the composite nature of his thought itself, even when they go to great pains to avoid the suppression of ambiguity.
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Jason Michael Adams; The Speeds of Ambiguity: An Interview with Paul Virilio. boundary 2 1 February 2010; 37 (1): 167–178. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2009-040
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