Paul Virilio

Paul Virilio was born in 1932 and has published a wide range of books, essays, and interviews grappling with the question of speed and technology, including Speed and Politics, The Aesthetics of Disappearance, and The Accident of Art, all published by Semiotext(e).

  • Lost Dimension, New Edition

    Lost Dimension, New Edition

    Paul Virilio

    A vision of the city as a web of interactive, informational networks that turn our world into a prison-house of illusory transcendence.

    “Where does the city without gates begin? Perhaps inside that fugitive anxiety, that shudder that seizes the minds of those who, just returning from a long vacation, contemplate the imminent encounter with mounds of unwanted mail or with a house that's been broken into and emptied of its contents. It begins with the urge to flee and escape for a second from an oppressive technological environment, to regain one's senses and one's sense of self.”—from Lost Dimension

    Originally written in French in 1983, Lost Dimension remains a cornerstone book in the work of Paul Virilio: the one most closely tied to his background as an urban planner and architect, and the one that most clearly anticipates the technologically wired urban space we live in today: a city of permanent transit and internalized borders, where time has overtaken space, and where telecommunications has replaced both our living and our working environments. We are living in the realm of the lost dimension, where the three-dimensional public square of our urban past has collapsed into the two-dimensional interface of the various screens that function as gateways to home, office, and public spaces, be they the flat-screen televisions on our walls, the computer screens on our desktops, or the smartphones in our pockets.

    In this multidisciplinary tapestry of contemporary physics, architecture, aesthetic theory, and sociology, Virilio describes the effects of today's hyperreality on our understanding of space. Having long since passed the opposition of city and country, and city and suburb, the speed-ridden city and space of today are an opposition between the nomadic and the sedentary: a web of interactive, informational networks that turn our world into a prison-house of illusory transcendence.

    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • The Administration of Fear

    The Administration of Fear

    Paul Virilio

    A new interview with the philosopher of speed, addressing the ways in which technology is utilized in synchronizing mass emotions.

    We are living under the administration of fear: fear has become an environment, an everyday landscape. There was a time when wars, famines, and epidemics were localized and limited by a certain timeframe. Today, it is the world itself that is limited, saturated, and manipulated, the world itself that seizes us and confines us with a stressful claustrophobia. Stock-market crises, undifferentiated terrorism, lightning pandemics, “professional” suicides.... Fear has become the world we live in.

    The administration of fear also means that states are tempted to create policies for the orchestration and management of fear. Globalization has progressively eaten away at the traditional prerogatives of states (most notably of the welfare state), and states have to convince citizens that they can ensure their physical safety.

    In this new and lengthy interview, Paul Virilio shows us how the “propaganda of progress,” the illuminism of new technologies, provide unexpected vectors for fear in the way that they manufacture frenzy and stupor. For Virilio, the economic catastrophe of 2007 was not the death knell of capitalism, as some have claimed, but just further evidence that capitalism has accelerated into turbo-capitalism, and is accelerating still. With every natural disaster, health scare, and malicious rumor now comes the inevitable “information bomb”—live feeds take over real space, and technology connects life to the immediacy of terror, the ultimate expression of speed. With the nuclear dissuasion of the Cold War behind us, we are faced with a new form of civil dissuasion: a state of fear that allows for the suspension of controversial social situations.

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.99
  • The Aesthetics of Disappearance, New Edition

    The Aesthetics of Disappearance, New Edition

    Paul Virilio

    Virilio introduces his understanding of "picnolepsy"—the epileptic state of consciousness produced by speed.

    Virilio himself referred to his 1980 work The Aesthetics of Disappearance as a "juncture" in his thinking, one at which he brought his focus onto the logistics of perception—a logistics he would soon come to refer to as the "vision machine." If Speed and Politics established Virilio as the inaugural—and still consummate—theorist of "dromology" (the theory of speed and the society it defines), The Aesthetics of Disappearance introduced his understanding of "picnolepsy"—the epileptic state of consciousness produced by speed, or rather, the consciousness invented by the subject through its very absence: the gaps, glitches, and speed bumps lacing through and defining it. Speed and Politics defined the society of speed; The Aesthetics of Disappearance defines what it feels like to live in the society of speed. "I always write with images," Virilio has claimed, and this statement is nowhere better illustrated than with The Aesthetics of Disappearance. Moving from the movie theater to the freeway, and from Craig Breedlove's attainment of terrifying speed in a rocket-power car to the immobility of Howard Hughes in his dark room atop the Desert Inn, Virilio himself jump cuts from such disparate reference points as Fred Astaire, Franz Liszt, and Adolf Loos to Dostoyevsky, Paul Morand, and Aldous Huxley. In its extension of the "aesthetics of disappearance" to war, film, and politics, this book paved the way to Virilio's follow-up: the celebrated study, War and Cinema.This edition features a new introduction by Jonathan Crary, one of the leading theorists of modern visual culture. Foreign Agents seriesDistributed for Semiotext(e)

    • Paperback $14.95 £11.99
  • Pure War, New Edition

    Pure War, New Edition

    Paul Virilio and Sylvère Lotringer

    Virilio and Lotringer revisit their prescient book on the invisible war waged by technology against humanity since World War II.

    In June 2007, Paul Virilio and Sylvère Lotringer met in La Rochelle, France to reconsider the premises they developed twenty-five years before in their frighteningly prescient classic, Pure War. Pure War described the invisible war waged by technology against humanity, and the lack of any real distinction since World War II between war and peace. Speaking with Lotringer in 1982, Virilio noted the “accidents” that inevitably arise with every technological development: from car crashes to nuclear spillage, to the extermination of space and the derealization of time wrought by instant communication. In this new and updated edition, Virilio and Lotringer consider how the omnipresent threat of the “accident”—both military and economic—has escalated. With the fall of the Soviet bloc, the balance of power between East and West based on nuclear deterrence has given way to a more diffuse multi-polar nuclear threat. Moreover, as the speed of communication has increased exponentially, “local” accidents—like the collapse of the Asian markets in the late 1980s—escalate, with the speed of contagion, into global events instantaneously. “Globalization,” Virilio argues, is the planet's ultimate accident.Paul Virilio was born in Paris in 1932 to an immigrant Italian family. Trained as an urban planner, he became the director of the École Speciale d'Architecture in the wake of the 1968 rebellion. He has published twenty-five books, including Pure War (1988) (his first in English) and The Accident of Art (2005), both with Sylvère Lotringer and published by Semiotext(e). Sylvère Lotringer, general editor of Semiotext(e), lives in New York and Baja California. He is the author of Overexposed: Perverting Perversions (Semiotext(e), 2007) and other books.

    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • Speed and Politics, New Edition

    Speed and Politics, New Edition

    Paul Virilio

    With this book Paul Virilio inaugurated the new science whose object of study is the "dromocratic" revolution.

    Speed and Politics (first published in France in 1977) is the matrix of Virilio's entire work. Building on the works of Morand, Marinetti, and McLuhan, Virilio presents a vision more radically political than that of any of his French contemporaries: speed as the engine of destruction. Speed and Politics presents a topological account of the entire history of humanity, honing in on the technological advances made possible through the militarization of society. Paralleling Heidegger's account of technology, Virilio's vision sees speed—not class or wealth—as the primary force shaping civilization. In this "technical vitalism," multiple projectiles—inert fortresses and bunkers, the "metabolic bodies" of soldiers, transport vessels, and now information and computer technology—are launched in a permanent assault on the world and on human nature. Written at a lightning-fast pace, Virilio's landmark book is a split-second, overwhelming look at how humanity's motivity has shaped the way we function today, and what might come of it.

    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • The Accident of Art

    The Accident of Art

    Sylvère Lotringer and Paul Virilio

    There is a catastrophe within contemporary art. What I call the "optically correct" is at stake. The vision machine and the motor have triggered it, but the visual arts haven't learned from it. Instead, they've masked this failure with commercial success. This "accident" is provoking a reversal of values. In my view, this is positive: the accident reveals something important we would not otherwise know how to perceive.—Paul Virilio, The Accident of Art

    Urbanist and technological theorist Paul Virilio trained as a painter, studying under Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Bazaine and de Stael. In The Accident of Art, his third extended conversation with Sylvère Lotringer, Virilio addresses the situation of art within technological society for the first time. This book completes a collaborative trilogy the two began in 1982 with Pure War and continued with Crepuscular Dawn, their 2002 work on architecture and biotechnology. In The Accident of Art, Virilio and Lotringer argue that a direct relation exists between war trauma and art. Why has art failed to reinvent itself in the face of technology, unlike performing art? Why has art simply retreated into painting, or surrendered to digital technology? Accidents, Virilio claims, can free us from speed's inertia. As technological catastrophes, accidents are inventions in their own right.

    • Paperback $14.95 £11.99
  • Crepuscular Dawn

    Crepuscular Dawn

    Paul Virilio and Sylvère Lotringer

    The "genetic bomb" marks a turn in the history of humanity.

    The accident is a new form of warfare. It is replacing revolution and war. Sarajevo triggered the First World War. New York is what Sarajevo was. September 11th opened Pandora's box. The first war of globalization will be the global accident, the total accident, including the accident of science. And it is on the way. In 1968, Virilio abandoned his work in oblique architecture, believing that time had replaced space as the most important point of reflection because of the dominance of speed. We were basically on the verge of converting space time into space speed... Speed facilitates the decoding of the human genome, and the possibility of another humanity: a humanity which is no longer extra-territorial, but extra-human. Crespuscular Dawn expands Virilio's vision of the implosion of physical time and space, onto the micro-level of bioengineering and biotechnology. In this cat-and-mouse dialogue between Sylvere Lotringer and Paul Virilio, Lotringer pushes Virilio to uncover the historical foundations of his biotech theories. Citing various medical experiments conducted during World War II, Lotringer asks whether biotechnology isn't the heir to eugenics and the "science for racial improvement" that the Nazis enthusiastically embraced. Will the endocolonizataion of the body come to replace the colonization of one's own population by the military? Both biographical and thematic, the book explores the development of Virilio's investigation of space (architecture, urbanism) and time (speed and simultanaeity) that would ultimately lay the foundation for his theories on biotechnology and his startling declaration that after the colonization of space begins the colonization of the body.

    • Paperback $13.95 £10.99
  • Politics of the Very Worst

    Politics of the Very Worst

    An Interview with Philippe Petit

    Paul Virilio and Sylvère Lotringer

    Summarizes Virilio's speculations about the impact that accidents will have on the planet now that we operate on one-world time.

    Based upon a 1996 conversation Paul Virilio had with French journalist Phillipe Petit, The Politics of the Very Worst summarizes Virilio's speculations about the impact that accidents will have on the planet now that we operate on one-world time. Virilio argues that accidents have now lost all particularity. Accidents and events can no longer be confined to markers in history like Auschwitz or Hiroshima. Trajectories once had three dimensions: past, present, and future. But now, the hyper-concentration of time into "real time" reduces all trajectories to nothing. Consequently, an accident of time is bound to affect our entire being as well as the entire planet. And this is the hidden face of technical and scientific progress that Virilio is attempting to reveal, shrugging off any illusion we may have left about its alleged benefits.Globalization doesn't make the planet bigger, it signals the beginning of "the great confinement." Speed pollutes the distances of the world. After the "green ecology" (the pollution of nature), we are now experiencing another, more invisible and mental, kind of pollution: the "gray ecology." Soon, Virilio suggests, we are going to experience the end of the world—not the apocalyptic end, but the world as finite. The communication revolution, the attainment of absolute speed, is the reduction of the world to a virtual city in which democracy is no longer possible. This extermination of world-space is a cataclysmic event. For the first time, history has hit a cosmological limit.

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.99
  • Pure War

    Pure War

    Paul Virilio and Sylvère Lotringer

    In this dazzling dialogue with Sylvere Lotringer, Paul Virilio for the first time displayed the whole range of his reflections on the effect of speed on our civilization—every one of which has been dramatically confirmed over the years since this book's publication.

    "Pure war" is the name of the invisible war that technology is waging against humanity. In this dazzling dialogue with Sylvere Lotringer, Paul Virilio for the first time displayed the whole range of his reflections on the effect of speed on our civilization and every one of them has been dramatically confirmed over the years. For Virilio, the foremost philosopher of speed, the "technical surprise" of World War I was the discovery that the wartime economy could not be sustained unless it was continued in peacetime. As a consequence, the distinction between war and peace ceased to apply, inaugurating the military-industrial complex and the militarization of science itself.Every new invention casts a long shadow that we are generally unwilling to acknowledge in the name of progress: the invention of automobiles inaugurated car-crashes; the invention of nuclear energy, Hiroshima and Tchernobyl. The technologies of instant communications have invented another kind of accident: the extermination of space and the derealization of time. Instant feedback is shrinking the planet to nothing, and "globalization" is its ultimate accident. First published in 1983, this book introduced Virilio's thinking to the United States. For successive generations of readers, it remains one of the most influential and far-reaching essays of our time.

    • Paperback $12.95 £8.95
  • The Aesthetics of Disappearance

    The Aesthetics of Disappearance

    Paul Virilio

    Paul Virilio traces out the relationship of biological optics to the technological "production of appearance."

    In The Aesthetics of Disappearance, Paul Virilio traces out the relationship of biological optics to the technological "production of appearance." In the perceptual gaps demanding illusions of continuity, Virilio posits a hyper-opportunity for the production of art in speed. Jumping from Old Testament parable to the history of contemporary cinema, to the history of philosophy and contemporary technology, Virilio teleports among an irregular constellation of high-speed artifice where love is a motion faster than light and the paradoxes of empiricism mire science in "motion without mobility."

    • Paperback $14.95 £9.95
  • Lost Dimension

    Lost Dimension

    Paul Virilio

    In a multidisciplinary excavation of contemporary physics, architecture, esthetic theory, and sociology, Virilio traces the dystopic unity of the contemporary Western predicament with lightning prescience and clarity.

    To read these five essays of 1983 is to begin to come to terms with the theoretical cataclysm of the present. In Lost Dimension, Paul Virilio considers the displacement of the concept of dimensional space by Einsteinian space/time as it is related to the transparent boundaries of the postmodern city and contemporary economy. Virilio imagines a coming world of interactive, informational networks offering a prison-house of illusionary transcendence. He pictures global terrorism (perpetrated by and against technological states) filling up the surreal void of an abandoned real. In a multidisciplinary excavation of contemporary physics, architecture, esthetic theory, and sociology, Virilio traces the dystopic unity of the contemporary Western predicament with lightning prescience and clarity.

    • Paperback $14.95 £10.95
  • Popular Defense & Ecological Struggles

    Popular Defense & Ecological Struggles

    Paul Virilio

    What is popular defense? From whom do we have to defend ourselves?

    What is popular defense? From whom do we have to defend ourselves? Originally civilian populations were capable of defending themselves both in times of peace and war. A military racket was subsequently imposed upon them in the name of protection and popular defense lost its capacity to resist external attack. In case of total war, between the native populations which form the constitutional basis of all great modern states and the military now in charge of defending them there was no more "common culture." Industrial wars subsequently managed to replace the thousand-year-old pact of semi-colonization with total colonization. First experimented with in South America, this kind of "endo-colonization" (the military cracking down on its own population) was gradually extended to all the post-industrial countries through the exponential development of the techno-military complex.

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.99

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  • The German Issue, New Edition

    The German Issue, New Edition

    Sylvère Lotringer

    A first-hand account of the Western world on the threshold of a major global mutation, bridging art and intellect, culture and politics, Europe and America.

    The German Issue (1982) was originally conceived as a follow-up to Semiotext(e)'s Autonomia/Italy issue, published two years earlier. Although ideological terrorism was still a major issue in Germany, what ultimately emerged from these pages was an investigation of two outlaw cities, Berlin and New York, which embodied all the tensions and contradictions of the world at the time. The German Issue is the Tale of Two Cities, then, with each city separated from its own country by an invisible wall of suspicion or even hatred. It is also the complex evocation of the rebelling youth—squatters, punks, artists and radicals, theorists and ex-terrorists—who gathered all their energy and creativity in order to outlive a hostile environment. Like a time capsule, The German Issue brings together all the major “issues” that were being debated on both sides of the Atlantic—which eventually found their abrupt resolution in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It involved the most important voices of the period—from writers and filmmakers to anthropologists, activists and poets, terrorists and philosophers: Joseph Beuys, Michel Foucault, Christo, Christa Wolf, Walter Abish, Alexander Kluge, Paul Virilio, Ulrilke Meinhof, William Burroughs, Jean Baudrillard, Hans Magnus Enzenberger, Maurice Blanchot, Hans Jürgen Syberberg, Heidegger, André Gorz, Helke Sander. Opening with Christo's “Wrapping Up of Germany” and the celebrated dialogue between East German dramaturge Heiner Müller and Sylvère Lotringer on the Wall (“Mauer”), since published in many languages, The German Issue offers a first-hand account of the Western world on the threshold of a major global mutation. It also embodies at its best Semiotext(e)'s tenacious effort to establish a creative bridge between art and intellect, culture and politics, Europe and America.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £24.00
  • The Everyday

    The Everyday

    Stephen Johnstone

    Writings on the “turn to the ordinary” in contemporary art examine the various ways artists have engaged with the everyday since 1945.

    Numerous international exhibitions and biennials have borne witness to the range of contemporary art engaged with the everyday and its antecedents in the work of Surrealists, Situationists, the Fluxus group, and conceptual and feminist artists of the 1960s and 1970s. This art shows a recognition of ordinary dignity or the accidentally miraculous, an engagement with a new kind of anthropology, an immersion in the pleasures of popular culture, or a meditation on what happens when nothing happens. The celebration of the everyday has oppositional and dissident overtones, offering a voice to the silenced and proposing possibilities for change. This collection of writings by artists, theorists, and critics assembles for the first time a comprehensive anthology on the everyday in the world of contemporary art.

    Artists surveyed include Chantal Akerman, Francis Alÿs, Vladimir Arkhipov, Ian Breakwell, Stanley Brouwn, Sophie Calle, Marcel Duchamp, Fischli & Weiss, Nan Goldin, Dan Graham, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hiller, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Mary Kelly, Lettrist International, Jonas Mekas, Annette Messager, Aleksandra Mir, Roman Ondák, Yoko Ono, Gabriel Orozco, Martha Rosler, Allen Ruppersberg, Daniel Spoerri, Wolfgang Tillmans, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Andy Warhol, Richard Wentworth, Stephen Willats.

    Writers include Paul Auster, Maurice Blanchot, Geoff Dyer, Hal Foster, Suzy Gablik, Ben Highmore, Henri Lefebvre, Lucy R. Lippard, Michel Maffesoli, Ivone Margulies, Helen Molesworth, Nikos Papastergiadis, Georges Perec, John Roberts, David Ross, Nicholas Serota, Michael Sheringham, Alison and Peter Smithson, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Jeff Wall, Jonathan Watkins.

    • Paperback $24.95 £16.95
  • Autonomia, New Edition

    Autonomia, New Edition

    Post-Political Politics

    Sylvère Lotringer and Christian Marazzi

    The only first-hand document and contemporaneous analysis of the most innovative post-'68 radical movement in the West, the creative, futuristic, neo-anarchistic, postideological Autonomia.

    Most of the writers who contributed to the issue were locked up at the time in Italian jails.... I was trying to draw the attention of the American Left, which still believed in Eurocommunism, to the fate of Autonomia. The survival of the last politically creative movement in the West was at stake, but no one in the United States seemed to realize that, or be willing to listen. Put together as events in Italy were unfolding, the Autonomia issue—which has no equivalent in Italy, or anywhere for that matter—arrived too late, but it remains an energizing account of a movement that disappeared without bearing a trace, but with a big future still ahead of it.—Sylvère LotringerSemiotext(e) is reissuing in book form its legendary magazine issue Italy: Autonomia: Post-Political Politics, originally published in New York in 1980. Edited by Sylvère Lotringer and Christian Marazzi with the direct participation of the main leaders and theorists of the Autonomist movement (including Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti, Franco Piperno, Oreste Scalzone, Paolo Virno, Sergio Bologna, and Franco Berardi), this volume is the only first-hand document and contemporaneous analysis that exists of the most innovative post-'68 radical movement in the West. The movement itself was broken when Autonomia members were falsely accused of (and prosecuted for) being the intellectual masterminds of the Red Brigades; but even after the end of Autonomia, this book remains a crucial testimony of the way this creative, futuristic, neo-anarchistic, postideological, and nonrepresentative political movement of young workers and intellectuals anticipated issues that are now confronting us in the wake of Empire. In the next two years, Semiotext(e) will publish eight books by such Italian “Post-Fordist” intellectuals as Antonio Negri, Christian Marazzi, Paolo Virno, and Bifo, as they update the theories of Autonomia for the new century.

    Sylvère Lotringer, general editor of Semiotext(e), lives in New York and Baja California. He is the author of Overexposed: Perverting Perversions (Semiotext(e), 2007). Christian Marazzi, an Italian economist, lives in Switzerland. He is the author of Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy and Sock's Place, both forthcoming from Semiotext(e).

    • Hardcover $27.95 £22.00
  • Hatred of Capitalism

    Hatred of Capitalism

    A Semiotext(e) Reader

    Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer

    Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction.

    Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.

    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99
  • Constructions

    Constructions

    John Rajchman

    In this series of overlapping essays on architecture and art, JohnRajchman attempts to do theory in a new way that takes off from the philosophy of the late Gilles Deleuze.

    foreword by Paul Virilio. In this series of overlapping essays on architecture and art, John Rajchman attempts to do theory in a new way that takes off from the philosophy of the late Gilles Deleuze. Starting from notions of folding, lightness, ground, abstraction, and future cities, he embarks on a conceptual voyage whose aim is to help "construct" a new space of connections, to "build" a new idiom, perhaps even to suggest a new architecture. Along the way, he addresses questions of the new abstraction, operative form, other geometries, new technologies, global cities, ideas of the virtual and the formless, and possibilities for critical theory after utopia and transgression.

    • Paperback $34.00 £27.00
  • Looking Back on the End of the World

    Looking Back on the End of the World

    Dietmar Kamper and Christoph Wulf

    Looking Back on the End of the World raises provocative questions about the possibilities of critical knowledge in social systems that seem to have "surpassed history."

    First published in 1989, Looking Back on the End of the World raises provocative questions about the possibilities of critical knowledge in social systems that seem to have "surpassed history." Unlike recent works that make history end with the consumer, or project the conflict between the capitalist and the oppressed into the future, the writers in these essays perform a much more basic task: they argue that we can now think through the "end of the world." The idea of a "unified world," they claim, has given way to new sensibilities about history. The essays evaluate current negative obsessions such as apocalypse and the elimination of difference, and offer positive approaches to the "gamble of thinking" required in a society without traditional subjects and institutions. Capitalism, the book argues, has changed all the rules of the game, and any nostalgia for "starting" from the familiar in terms of intellectual critique is doomed. Collectively, the authors sketch the unfamiliarity of the new, those moments when our categories dissolve in the face of connections and relations that announce all sorts of "ends." And other things besides.

    Contributors: Jean Baudrillard, Gunter Gebauer, Dieter Lenzen, Edgar Morin, Gerburg Treusch-Dieter, Paul Virilio

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.99
  • Polysexuality

    Polysexuality

    François Peraldi

    Mixing documents, interviews, fiction, theory, poetry, psychiatry and anthropology, "Polysexuality" became the encyclopedia sexualis of a continent that is still emerging.

    Originally conceived as a special Semiotext(e) issue on homosexuality at the end of the 70s, “Polysexuality" quickly evolved into a more complex and iconoclastic project whose intent was to do away with recognized genders altogether, considered far too limitative. The project landed somewhere between humor, anarchy, science-fiction, utopia and apocalypse. In the few years that it took to put it together, it also evolved from a joyous schizo concept to a darker, neo-Lacanian elaboration on the impossibility of sexuality. The tension between the two, occasionally perceptible, is the theoretical subtext of the issue. Upping the ante on gender distinctions, "Polysexuality" started by blowing wide open all sexual classifications, inventing unheard-of categories, regrouping singular features into often original configurations, like Corporate Sex, Alimentary Sex, Soft or Violent Sex, Discursive Sex, Self- Sex, Animal Sex, Child Sex, Morbid Sex, or Sex of the Gaze. Mixing documents, interviews, fiction, theory, poetry, psychiatry and anthropology, "Polysexuality" became the encyclopedia sexualis of a continent that is still emerging. What it displayed in all its forms could be called, broadly speaking, the Sexuality of Capital. (Actually the issue being rather hot, it was decided to cool it off somewhat by only using “capitals” throughout the issue. It was also the first issue for which we used the computer). The "Polysexuality" issue was attacked in Congress for its alleged advocation of animal sex. Includes work by Alain Robbe-Grillet, Félix Guattari, Paul Verlaine, William S. Burroughs, Georges Bataille, Pierre Klossowski, Roland Barthes, Paul Virilio, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and more.

    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99