A few years ago, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Géode, I wrote: ‘Don’t go to la Villette. Have no fear, the Géode will come to you.' This premonition is now becoming a reality for virtual-world technology, the hemispherical rooms of the Imax or Omnimax model only ever being simulators of a spherical cinema to come: eyeball cinema.
We might observe that, here also, the electromagnetic transmission revolution paves the way for the transplantation in vivo of physiology-stimulating devices, the miniaturization practiced by biotechnologies promoting implantation of postindustrial machinery into the living being’s very insides. The pacemaker points the way to the coming insemination of emotional prostheses capable of adding to the pharmacological arsenal of stimulants and hallucinogens, physics quite clearly not wanting to let itself be outdone in this domain by chemistry!
Clearly, the increasing desertion of movie theatres is not a sign of a decline in ‘cinematic obscurantism’. It is in fact the dawn of an ‘infographic illusionism’ that will, if we are not careful, wind up once again undermining the status of appearances, the reality principles of our immediate representations.
- Paul Virilio, Open Sky
When I read this passage, I am reminded that the bourgeoisie align their anthropologies with the pursuit of perpetual or would-be perpetual euphorias or patterns of euphoria, and this is done through consumer cycles and machinations. And it is increasingly done with overt spiritual overtones - we already have the apparatus, as it were, of emotional prostheses in the various functional means of bourgeois lifestylizations.