By Ryan Bishop
New in Paperback. Examines the tensions among the goals of army know-how and modernist aesthetics relating to belief. This booklet analyses the operation of mechanical and digital applied sciences in reference to doubtless disparate fields: state of the art army apparatus of the twentieth and twenty first centuries and the experimental paintings, tune and writing of the late-19th and early-20th century. analyzing the artwork and writing of Djuna Barnes, Joseph Conrad, Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Mina Loy, Stephane Mallarme, the Italian Futurists and H. G. Wells opposed to Apache assault helicopters, Network-Centric struggle, satellites, decoys, sirens and radios, this publication addresses matters akin to focusing on, surveillance, visibility and the invisible, broadcast and media, the army physique, diasporas, geopolitics and wonder.
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Extra info for Modernist Avant-Garde Aesthetics and Contemporary Military Technology: Technicities of Perception
The technologies and modes of social life addressed in various ways by modernist aesthetics, sometimes comically, often absurdly, but in some instances with unrestrained enthusiasm, are those of the processes of urbanisation in its escalating repetition. The scholarship on what has been labelled “modernity” is replete with paeans to the role of the city in its history and historicity. The city, always ambivalent, is regarded as a repository for individual freedom and alienation, of human progress and devolutionary mechanisation, of futural promise and rural ruin, of utopia and dystopia.
Carsten-Peter Warncke, Picasso (London: Taschen, 2003) p. 64. Warncke charts this period in Picasso’s oeuvre as “Classicism and Surrealism” and establishes with exemplary clarity Picasso’s development of technical means that in no way ever abandon the techniques of the so-called cubist era: there is rather an expansion of artistic techniques of production that directly engages contemporary technologies. Picasso’s apparent return to the order of a supposed neo-classicism has provoked, it seems, more controversy, and more wild psycho-biographical speculation, even than his cubist experiments.
The history of targeting (for example, ballistics and propulsion) is thus intrinsically connected with the rise and growth of urbanism as well as nation-states. The division between the two dimensions would be historical and very far from complete, implicating the military in the civic at all levels. And it would include the capacity to demarcate the military from the civic, as well as the capacity to erase and redraw that demarcation, as the situation demands. By analysing the technological functionality of targeting, which includes a series of acts of indeterminate length but which at the very least divides intelligence, operation and target – for example, the marker from the striker and the striker from the mark as well as the mark itself into friend and foe or intended and accidental – targeting thus implies at its very basis the division between, and partial merging of, the scopic and the episcopal functions, which depend not only upon each other (in the familiar dialectic) but more crucially on the maintenance of the division.
Modernist Avant-Garde Aesthetics and Contemporary Military Technology: Technicities of Perception by Ryan Bishop