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Art and Fear (Continuum Impacts)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Paul Virilio is one of contemporary Continental thought's most original and provocative critical voices. His vision of the impact of modern technology on the contemporary global condition is powerful and disturbing, ranging over art, science, politics and warfare.

In Art and Fear, Paul Virilio traces the twin development of art and science over the twentieth century. In his
Paperback, 70 pages
Published April 10th 2006 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  183 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
I really, strongly, and thoroughly disagree with Virilio. I won't pretend that I am familiar with all his references or follow every detail of his arguments, but I think I comprehend the general gist of his harangue against contemporary art enough to disagree with him. He raises important issues of ethics and aesthetics, which is why I read the book. He talks about the violence of twentieth-century art, deconstructing and destroying the human form with a violence that he likens to the ...more
Erdem Tasdelen
Aug 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
A storm in a teacup.
Calm down Virilio.
Calm down and look at more contemporary art. It's not as unitary and one dimensional as you seem to believe.
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Short and vicious. Watch your back, aesthetes... radical formalism dovetails into complacent nihilism.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Great ideas and valid points made difficult to understand through loose argumentation.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
some interesting bits...but mostly blah...the intro by John Armitage really turned me off- so my reading of the actual text probably suffered...overall the essays come off as a lil behind the times
Jul 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
a sweeping and polemical work that makes many assertions about contemporary culture and art.
Valkyrie Vandal
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Incredibly narrow viewpoints that are very right leaning - borderline fear mongering. His ideas are interesting, but overly excitable. Name dropping like an Art Historian. This went over my head a few times and I've studied art history for almost 4 years. Oh, and formatting for whatever version I read was atrocious (translated by Julie Rose). Her preface was exceedingly dry and boring and her translation is both verbose and complicated. It seemed like "vocabulary words" were capslocked. It also ...more
Grace Suarez
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
As others have stated, while Virillo brings up some interesting points about violence in art, I don't necessarily agree with him. Auschwitz and WW2 were great tragedies, but say that all violence in art stems from those events (also the shattering of humanism, the lowering of ethical values, the suicide rate in the bourgeoise community) is a massive leap to make.

An interesting read regardless.
Ben Walker
Feb 28, 2010 added it
Shelves: music, life
Not an easy book. Some incredible ideas, but by the time I mad it to the end I couldn't face going back to figure out what they were. ;)
May 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
the nazis do not have the last word on the reconceptualization of the human. to assume so is to reinforce violence in the name of pity.
Mar 06, 2010 added it
Interesting argument. He apparently did not like the German Expressionist painters and artists, and blamed them the atrocities of World War II.
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Virilio, in this book, compares how art (symbolically) and science (militarily) worked in the twentieth century at destroying the human form.
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Paul Virilio is a cultural theorist and urbanist. He is best known for his writings about technology as it has developed in relation to speed and power, with diverse references to architecture, the arts, the city and the military.
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“How can we ultimately fail to twig that the apparent impiety of contemporary art is only ever the inverted image of sacred art, the reversal of the creator's initial question: why is there something instead of nothing?” 4 likes
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