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Relics of acceleration

Relics of acceleration: a field guide

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVirilio and visual culture
EditorsJohn Armitage, Ryan Bishop
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780748654444, 9780748654451
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameCritical connections
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


Scale, mass, solidity and haunting bulk are factors that are unavoidable when thinking about twentieth-century military and experimental scientific structures. Whether sites of state science or defence, they have many aspects in common: secrecy, a cultivated sense of unknowability and a paradoxical relation between intangibility of subject and solidity of structure. This chapter reflects on some of these places as key sites in the modern history of speed in the UK. Acceleration takes on different guises in each. The specific historical contingency of these sites also leaves space for re-imaginings and alternative possibilities to be considered without the pessimistic inevitability that a focus on contemporary military futurism would yield.

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