Paul Virilio
[Writer and theorist, b. 1932, Paris, lives in La Rochelle, France.]

 Images contaminate us like viruses. 
 From the original watchtower through the anchored balloon to the reconnaissance aircraft and remote sensing-satellites, one and the same function has been indefinitely repeated, the eye’s function being the function of a weapon. 
 [When everything becomes visible,] we’ll dream of being blind. This is the engine of art. 
 While the human gaze becomes more and more fixed, losing some of its natural speed and sensitivity, photographic shots, on the contrary, become even faster. 
 ... the blinding Hiroshima flash... literally photographed the shadow cast by beings and things, so that every surface immediately became war’s recording surface, its film. 
 To regain our liberty (and our distance), we must slow the images down. 
 Digital messages and images matter less than their instantaneous delivery; the “shock effect” always wins out over the consideration of the informational content. 
 What the technology of photosensitivity introduced... is that the definition of photographic time was no longer the same as time passing, but essentially a kind of time that gets exposed, that “breaks the surface”—surfaces; and this exposure time then succeeds the classic time of succession. 
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