This special section of Cultural Politics contains four hitherto untranslated essays by Friedrich Kittler: “Auto Bahnen,” “A Short History of the Searchlight,” “Animals of War,” and “De Nostalgia.” They are of differing lengths, written at different times for different audiences, and deal with very different technological, animal, and human material, but they have one theme in common: war. More precisely, they address how technological innovations, animal bodies, and human emotions are assembled, bred, and programmed in an ongoing spiral of material, medial, and psychic mobilization.

Kittler and war. There were times, especially in the wild eighties, when some wondered whether he ever wrote about anything else. Of the many controversial red threads running through his oeuvre, war is the most controversial. Of the many moral and ideological transgressions he stands accused of, none compares to his martial a priori, the...

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