Monday, January 10, 2011

Unknown Quantity

Deepwater Horizon

Paul Virilio's Museum of the Accident constitutes the Target for Routine's second CATTt.  The immediate passage between the seminar inventing an Internet Concept (Routine) and the present project to invent a fatal strategy is the condition of surprise.  "Turning around the threat of the unexpected in this way, surprise becomes a subject for research and major risks a subject for exposure and for exhibition, within the framework of instantaneous telecommunications" (Virilio, Unknown Quantity, "Foreword").  In Routine we used as a point of departure for an image concept the conductive logic of the joke form, with its power to register exact cultural locations of expectations and their violation.  Now this system is extended into strategy as a mode of thought.  An initial statement of our Target, then, (that is, of the problem addressed by our project), comes from Virilio:  
If, in fact, invention is just a way of seeing, of grasping accidents as signs, as opportunities, it is high time to open up our galleries to the impromptu, to that “indirect production” of science and the techno-sciences that is the disaster, the (industrial or other) catastrophe. If, according to Aristotle, “the accident reveals the substance,” the invention of the substance is also the invention of the “accident.” Seen this way, the shipwreck is indeed the “futuristic” invention of the ship, the air crash the invention of the supersonic plane, and the Chernobyl meltdown, the invention of the nuclear power station.
Instruction:  The accident (+ policies) you select as the Target for fatal strategy is framed as a "sign."

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