Aesthetics in the Shadow of No Towers: Reading Virilio in the Twenty-First Century Author(s): Patrick M. Bray Source: Yale French Studies, No. , Writing and. In the Shadow of No Towers is Spiegelman's follow-up to Maus. Both books share similar motifs including (but not limited to): narratives of temporality & seriality;. The Temporalities that Inhabit Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers. In this paper I will investigate Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers, a.
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Read In The Shadow Of No Towers comic online free and high quality. Fast loading speed, unique reading type: All pages - just need to scroll to read next page. Sep 7, For Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, the terrorist attacks of September 11, were both highly personal and. For Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, the terrorist attacks of September 11, were both highly personal and intensely political.
This all changed when, as a resident of Lower Manhattan in New York City, Spiegelman personally experienced up-close the tragic events of September 11, and was left profoundly traumatized. In my previous paper, I looked beyond the superficial metaphor in Maus that the artwork references Hitler's view that "Jews are vermin" to discover the basic, deeper, more resonant metaphor that "identity is a mask". That they were made with so much skill and verve but never intended to last past the day they appeared in the newspaper gave them poignancy; they were just right for an end-of-the-world moment Spiegelman, , np. For a while the only explanation I had was that when the bones of the towers went down, right next to ground zero was where the Sunday comics were born, on newspaper row, and the bones of the old characters came up. Part of it realistically had to do with the fact that I was being given a kind of newspaper acreage that hadn't been around since the beginning of Sunday comics -- nobody gets a broadsheet to fill regularly for comics, and so for that reason, also, I found myself channeling the earliest comics.
These mass-distributed images,broadcast theworld over at thespeed of light,managed to shock and awewhile theonly informationtransmitted was thecontinual dis appearance of the twin towers. The towerswere hit, fell,and reappeared in an eternal returnmade possible by the speed of real time satellite communications, the 24 hour news cycle, and theoptical illusion of retinalpersistence. The image of the twin towersas icons ofworld cap italismwas nevermore present than aftertheirphysical destruction.
To borrow fromthe titleofArt Spiegelman's graphicnovel, tobe examined at theend of thisessay,we are all living"in theshadow ofno towers. How can art revealwhat ishidden by the very act of looking? This essay explores Paul Virilio's aesthetic thoughtin a contemporarycontext and asks how it can be used to cre ate and critique the imageswhich surroundus. Pantheon Books, Ran dom House, JanBactens andAri J.
Blatt, C byYale University. Written quickly, sometimes at the rateofone or twobooks a year,destined tobe readquickly,and composed of apho risms,unexpected juxtapositions, and seemingly coincidental anec dotes,Virilio's countless publications take theirinspirationfromultra contemporarycultural and technological developments.
His works reflectthesame experienceof speeded-upperception thattheycritique by offeringfragmentaryimages, snapshots, of the state of theworld at a given time. The barrage of facts,figures,and histories cascading throughany ofVirilio's works oftenoverwhelm the reader, whose con fusion,even shock,at thegrimpictureofmodern lifeofferedby the self proclaimed "dromologist" philosopherof speed findsneither solace nor resolution in thebooks themselves, sinceVirilio avoids extended analysis or commentary.
He creates amontage of "images" culled from thenews cycle, theorizingonly throughcombination and juxtaposi tion. This compulsion fortopical subjectmatterwould seem todestine him to an even speedier obsolescence but fortheunique perspective Virilio brings tohiswork.
The apparentlyunconnected themesdear to Paul Virilio, fromspeed tocontemporaryart,from military technology to cinema,when taken as awhole, reveal theirown coherence: Renowned as an "urbanist" and "dromologist," as a thinkerof speed, city space, and technology, Virilio's beginningsare surprisingly rootedin theproductionofart.
He was trainedas a stained-glasspainter maltre vitrier at the Ecole des Metiers d'Art, and most famously worked underGeorges Braque andHenriMatisse; as he says inDiscours sur 1'horreurde l'art,when he criticizes theart establishment,he not only knowswhat he is talkingabout, he is "in thebusiness. Steve Redhead, Paul Virilio: Theorist for an Accelerated Culture Edinburgh: Ed inburgh University Press, , Paul Virilio and Enrico Baj, Discours sur l'horreur de l'art: Atelier de Cr?
This content downloaded from Virilio had already experi encedwar firsthandas an adolescent during theAllied bombardment ofNantes, declaringonce in an interview that,"One single bombard ment and all is razed. These are the traumatizingeventswhich shaped my thinking. War was my university. The Bunker project reveals a lasting tripartitefascinationwith modes ofperception: As an architectVirilio formedtheArchitecturePrincipe group in ,with Claude Parent, and, translatingwhat he learned fromhis study of bunkers, proposed the idea that contemporaryarchitecture should espouse the "oblique" angle of the inclinedplane over theright angle,with the aim of abandoning thehorizontal and vertical planes thathave dominatedWestern building practices.
Since ,when he became directorof the "Espace critique" series at EditionsGalilee, Virilio has concentratedhiswork on thewriting of essays, exploring the effectsof speed andwar strategyon the city and on democracy,notablywith Vitesse etpolitique in Increased speed has led to themuch-celebrated near 4.
Virilio, Sylv? A Con versation," Grey Room 3 Spring, Virilio, Vitesse et politique: Essai de dromologie Paris: BRAY 7 elimination ofdistances between places, but this speed of transporta tion and communication has a cost, namely thenegation of space it self. Protest and resistancebecome futilenow that theoccupation of a given territory has been supplantedby themore complete satellite sur veillance of theentire globe.
In fact,theonce-vital public spherehas been supplemented by a virtual "public image," undermining social and political interactionsas real space seems todisappear. When speed becomes thedriving forceofprogress,time compresses to the instan taneous, forcingall choices tobemade in real time,without thebene fitof extended reflection.
Chains of command and controlmust be automated inorder toavoid themistakes ofsplit-seconddecisions;ma chines are no longerproducts ofhuman reason,but ratherhuman bod ies are subject to the reason ofmachines. The effectson thepolitical landscape arepredictablydisastrous, since according toVirilio as speed increases, freedom decreases.
Virilio's concern about speed and politics naturally led to his ex ploration of theconsequences of speed and technologyon perception.
In threeworks inparticular,all published inhis "Espace critique" se ries at Galilee, Esthetique de la disparition ,Logistique de la perception: Guerre et cinema ,and La machine de vision , Virilio warns of the dangers involved in the illusion ofmovement that occurswith the rapid succession of images. Virilio often evokes thecondition of "picnolepsy,"where a subject undergoesmomentary lapses ofmemory andmust continually reconstructa narrativebased on the fragmentary evidence that remains.
Cinema functionsthrough thephenomenon ofpersistence ofvision,where theviewer perceives the24 separate still framesflashingper second as a continual, smooth movement; for Virilio, thefilmor television spectator,and thereforeall of us, becomes a "picnolept," giving up a littlebit of consciousness multiple times a second.
The illusion of real timepresence createdby cinema or televisionmasks a real,and nearly constant,disappearance ofperception. As Virilio remindsus inLa machine de vision,August Rodin andHenri Bergson,among others,warned against the "objectiv ity" of photographic and cinematic images, since they artificially freezemoving objects and thusdistort the truenature of time as dura tion Virilio compiles a formidablebody ofevidence toargue thatthehu man observer isprogressivelydenied any agency invision.
From police work to scientificobservation, fromcinema tomilitary surveillance, the cyclopean camera lens 1'objectifinFrench has taken over as the This content downloaded from Vision is now de pendent onmachines forthe lightcapturednot only by a photographic lens,but also by thepixel of a computer screen,which no longerhas anybasis in thenaturalworld. Computers convertdata intoan assem blage of pixels, producing a synthesisof informationthatamounts to nothingmore than a "statistical image," and thus is a "rational illu sion" In thenear future,according toVirilio,machines will pro duce images forothermachines, and artificial intelligencewill render human perceptionobsolete.
ART AND FEAR Given Virilio's indictmentof thecontemporaryoptical regime,his cri tique of theart establishment's failure to interrogatethenature of im ages and to resist theirdisappearance is,not surprisingly, passionate. The apparent extravaganceofVirilio's arguments inhis books on con temporaryart seeks toprovehis point thatmodernityhas createda new artisticorthodoxy,one thathas created a remarkablestandardization ofopinion andwhere any critique,especially his own, is automatically deemed "reactionary.
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Sort order. Jun 19, Pramod Nair rated it really liked it Shelves: I tend to be easily unhinged. Minor mishaps—a clogged drain, running late for an appointment—send me into a sky-is-falling tizzy. His teenage daughter was in her school — which was directly below the towers — when the attack happened.
The personal horrors that his family experienced and his torment and panic over those chaotic days soon turns into white-hot anger at the U. Government, which utilized the events for their own predetermined agendas. In these collection of original artworks, along with 2 of his essays and 10 old American newspaper comic strip reproductions from early twentieth century where published in a beautifully crafted, over-sized book which opens vertically, and each page made using heavy board stock paper which perfectly confines the work by Spiegelman.
This is not a book which describes a linear story, but it is a collection or rather a collage made out of a selection of artworks and cartoon strips which allows the reader a level of interaction where he can follow the narrations in any order chosen by his own comfort and like a puzzle piece by piece the big picture slowly emerges in front of his eyes.
The large-scale format of the paper allows Spiegelman to juxtapose his fragmentary thoughts on the event in different visual renderings and styles, which are full of outrage, wit and aggravation. The non-linear way of narration also adds to the depth of the experience. Some of the cartoon panels and accompanying text in the book have sharp hints of humor with an undercurrent of melancholy. The straightforward nature of drawn images and localized narratives that are offered by the graphic narrative space makes complex socio-political cataclysms more controllable and presentable for the author and this strength of the graphic medium is utilized to the most by Art Spiegelman in this book.
Physically this is a very large book and weighs a lot — almost 1. Readers will also find it difficult to hold the book and handle it during reading. View all 6 comments. Jul 21, Greta rated it it was ok Shelves: No creatures, other than the artist, were abused in the creation of this strip. View all 3 comments. Jun 03, Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing Shelves: As beautiful as it is shocking, In the Shadow of No Towers is a short yet artistic metaphorical graphic novel of New York's citizens coping in the aftermath of the World Trade Center Attacks, and how humans grieve and survive in dire times throughout history in general.
Apr 21, Anne rated it it was amazing Shelves: I have read several reviews on here that mock Art Spiegelman as "The King" or call his book pretentious or get angry over the fact that it's short or too large in size. But let's get one thing straight here: Art Spiegelman is, without a doubt, just as important as he thinks he is. And this book is further evidence of that. Other complaints have centered on his strong political beliefs: That tragedy WAS highjacked by the right, and the American public was hoodwinke I have read several reviews on here that mock Art Spiegelman as "The King" or call his book pretentious or get angry over the fact that it's short or too large in size.
That tragedy WAS highjacked by the right, and the American public was hoodwinked into a costly war that killed far more innocent people than September 11th did, and it lasted over 10 years.
So, to be mad at him for that is to be in denial and discomfort of reality. And even though Spiegelman may be well aware of his genius in the realm of comics and politics, he is never, ever pretentious with his readers: Visually, the artwork is stunning--full color, cardboard pages--rich with symbolism, varied artistic styles, and textured, carefully rendered vignettes about the experiences and his reactions being so close to the event. Every page you turn evokes a breathtaking awe and a gut wrenching reaction.
As for the size of the book, it is HUGE! At first, I got it and thought: It won't even fit on my bookshelf! I'm going to have to lower one of my shelves just for this book. Why so big? And then I thought about it: September 11th, as an historical event has forced its way into our subconscious--and it's big, bulky, difficult to carry, demanding more and more space in the trajectory of American history and identity as the years go on. For a New Yorker, this must be even more true.
The bulk and heft of this book seems appropriate. I made the space for it on my shelf. Finally, I thought the supplementary material that inspired this work was really interesting for any fan of comics--you can see the way the form has evolved to be imbued with high quality craftwork and social commentary, and in these comics Art gracefully shows how history repeats itself and how comics have been a medium for grappling with complex human emotions for decades.
It's a beautiful piece of art that you can hand to future generations to teach them about the chaos of the moment, the saturated media around the event, and the displacement that occurred afterward that led to many Americans feeling a deep cynicism and shame. It's an important work. Long hail King Spiegelman! So, yeah. I liked it, but I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong, I can understand what Spiegelman try to do, and the story about how he lived 11S, but I really prefer that part, and not when he talks about the fact itself, 'cause all of us know the story, but how it truly affect to the ones who lived it, and that 's the part that touch me and make me continue reading.
Sep 18, Eve Kay rated it it was amazing Shelves: Cannot emphasize enough how interesting this work was. A huge book, the material is more like strong cardboard and the pages are huge 'planks'.
We even get a little glimpse of Maus! The second part is Spiegelman's picks of comics from the past. To me they are a gateway to the past and a real reflection on today's world. I can't think of another comic artist to have done suc Cannot emphasize enough how interesting this work was. I can't think of another comic artist to have done such a work before so really Spiegelman created something ground-breaking here. It just really made me think. Feb 16, Kim rated it really liked it Shelves: Let's terrorize the terrorists!
Yes, I did that.
You all saw it. Take my goodreaders badge away. Too late? Is it still acceptable? Let's ask the hipsters. Yes, I laughed at the Family Guy episode. GW refounding the confederacy and starting a 2nd Civil War that resulted in 17 million dead including Cesar Millan.. I guess I'm jus Let's terrorize the terrorists! I guess I'm just feeling I also feel that everything has been said. I think that fits. I'm jaded. The line was one of those bank sort of lines where the nylon rope is zigzagged and you're carried like a mouse looking for cheese until you get to the airport like security circus at the end, and through all this, all you see is a baracade.
No glimpses of what to come.. My daughters complained about the line to which I gave them my evil stare and then used all my guilt tactics The mood of the crowd was light I just stared. I tried to imagine where I used to sit when my husband and I would take nightly walks to the towers. I tried to recall how repulsive I thought they looked at night, big..
I tried to remember hugging one of them and staring straight up and getting dizzy. It wasn't happening. I stared at the two square holes in the ground and saw two square holes. I didn't even take in the installation, the cascading water, the names etched on the side. I do remember the trees. They were so tiny.. Spiegelman's story seems just as jaded in his paranoid, neurotic, disillusioned, horrorific take on the attacks.
He constantly refers to his pivotal image.. He talks about visiting small town America a month after the attack-- "Still the small town I visited in Indiana--draped in flags that reminded me of the garlic one might put on a door to ward off vampires--was at least as worked up over a frat house's zoning violations as with threats from the 'raghead terrorists.
Sometimes I had to put aside my cynicism and see this for what it was.. My strips are now a slow-motion diary of what I experienced while seeking some provisional equanimity--though three years later I'm still ready to lose it all at the mere drop of a hat or a dirty bomb. I still believe the world is ending, but I concede that it seems to be ending more slowly than I once thought Approaches to creative arts enquiry.
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Seducing the Innocent: