The Squared Horizon: Frames and Trajectories of Paul Virilio

An issue of: Cultural Politics

The Squared Horizon
Journal Issue Pages: 160 Volume 11, Number 2 Published: July 2015 An issue of Cultural Politics
This issue features a special section that explores French cultural theorist Paul Virilio’s idea of the “squared horizon.” Developed against the backdrop of the 1991 military intervention in Iraq, the squared horizon has come to symbolize a new means of conducting war: where traditional engagements are no longer applicable, war becomes an exercise in disengagement played out through technology. This section takes inspiration in part from Virilio’s later writings, notably Desert Screen: War at the Speed of Light (2002), in which Virilio forecasts an apocalyptic, global collapse as a consequence of media technology overriding diplomacy, consensus, and negotiation in war. The contributions to this section invite us to think of the squared horizon as a metaphor for the position of technology in culture today.

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