Volume 10, 2018
Alexander Ch. Zistakis
Paul Virilio’s Phenomenology of Perception
In this paper I examine some aspects and elements of the work of Paul Virilio that specifically concern the changes in perceptual and representational practices and structures in contemporary western societies. To that effect, I situate his thought in relation to his most immediate and direct predecessors, e.g. some elements of Kant’s philosophy and of the work of earlier phenomenologists, most notably Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. In addition to that, throughout the text references are being made to certain key concepts of Virilio’s theory of perception, reproduction and representation, such as: the logistics of perception, the vision machine and the aesthetic of disappearance, then also the concepts of critical space and the lost dimension, as well as the key themes and concepts of speed and acceleration. These concepts establish Virilio’s general position with regard to contemporary communication and information technologies, providing a path for his general understanding of time as the main (and the only remaining) dimension of consciousness and perception.