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By Virilio, Paul

Paul Virilio is one among modern Continental thought's most unusual and provocative severe voices. His imaginative and prescient of the influence of contemporary know-how at the modern worldwide is strong and hectic, ranging over paintings, technological know-how, politics and struggle.

In paintings and worry, Paul Virilio strains the dual improvement of artwork and technology over the 20th century. In his provocative and not easy imaginative and prescient, paintings and technological know-how vie with one another for the destruction of the human shape as we all know it. He lines the connections among the way in which early 20th century avant-garde artists twisted and tortured the human shape prior to making it vanish in abstraction, and the blasting to bits of guys who have been not more than cannon fodder i nthe trenches of the nice struggle; and among the German Expressionists' hate-filled pics of the damned, and the 'medical' experiments of the Nazi eugenicists; and among the mangled messages of worldwide advertisements, and the employer of worldwide terrorism.

Now, at first of the twenty-first century, technology has eventually left paintings at the back of, as genetic engineers arrange to show themselves into the worst of expressionists, with the person the uncooked fabric for brand spanking new and vast kinds of life.

Art and worry is key interpreting for an individual pondering the place artwork has long past and the place technological know-how is taking us.

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All this interaction between SOUND, LIGHT and IMAGE, far from creating a 'new art' or a new reality - to borrow the name of the 1950 Paris salon dedicated to French painter Herbin's geometric abstraction - only destroys the nature of art, promoting instead its communication. Moreover, someone like Andy Warhol makes no sense as an artist in the Duchamp mould unless we understand the dynamic role played not only by sign painting, but more especially by advertising, that last ACADEMICISM that has gradually invaded the temples of official art without anyone's batting an eyelid.

It is 'inevitable'! Thanks to the genetic bomb, the science of biology has become a major art - only, an EXTREME ART. This helps make sense of the title of that Heinrich Heine Institute conference, The Elimination of Nature as a Theme in Contemporary Art'. It also makes sense of the recent innovation not only of a COUNTER CULTURE, opposed to the culture of the bourgeoisie, but also of an art that is frankly COUNTER-NATURE, peddling as it does a eugenics that has finally triumphed over all prejudice absolutely, in spite of the numberless horrors of the waning century.

Well, art is every bit as much of a fraud as amnesiac immediacy. If 'everything is ruled by lightning', as Heraclitus suggested, the PHOTOFINISH imposes the instantaneity of its violence on all the various 'artistic representations' and modern art, like war - BLITZKRIEG - is no more than a kind of exhibitionism that imposes its own terrorist voyeurism: that of death, live. By way of illustrating the path the impiety of art has taken in the twentieth century, let's look at two types of funerary imagery back to back, though these are separated by almost 2,000 years.

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