Sample Essay

Virilio has also elaborated time and again on what he calls the merger and dispersion of technologies of perception and of warfare. He begins afresh, and this time with the introduction of searchlights in the Russian-Japanese battle of Port Arthur in 1904. The first war projectors were marked by these search lights and later in cinema as well – according to Virile “illuminated a future where observation and destruction would develop at the same pace. Later the two would merge completely … above all [with] the blinding Hiroshima flash which literally photographed the shadow cast by beings and things, so that every surface immediately became the war’s recording surface, its film” (Stevenson).Virilio pointed out the difference between old cinematic wars and modern cinematic wars as projected in cinemas that in the wars of old, strategy mainly consisted in choosing and marking out a theatre of operations. However, this even involved projecting a battlefield which had the best visual effects and flowed with movement.

A battlefield, with the best visual conditions had great scope for movement and transition. In the Great War, however, the main task was to grab on the opposite tendency.  They did so by narrowing down on targets. A fake self conceived picture was also created for a battle for troops blinded by the massive reach of artillery units. Thus Virilio established through his theory that things like, trenches, shell-shock, moving front lines, the destruction of landmarks and so on, all obstructed vision in one way or another. This prompted the need for mass production of aerial photographs and of a new logistics of perception come acknowledgement.

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