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Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathThe Carthographic View

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3. An Esthetic and Political Model of the Virtual

In fact, it is the new technologies that endow the regard-passage and the regard–flux with all its hermeneutic and political impact. The passage from a culture of stabilities and of objects, with its Fordism and its industrial standards, to a culture of instabilities and of flux with its cyberspace and its instantaneous communication, gives rise to a new «Folie du Voir» on a global scale. The passages arise from what Paul Virilio calls «a great optic,» that crosses all borders in real time.

The cartographic view is therefore inseparable from a new regime of historicity of the masses, which joins with a double temporality. A machinated and machine-like time, and an ephemeral time, that of an eternal present, with neither future nor plans. Also, this regime tends to destroy the time of memory that has become more and more commemorative, as well as another time, that of mirrors and reflections, characteristic of the crystal-image of architectural and artistic modernism. If this crystal, with its sharp edges and its coalescences of the present and the past was the allegory of the entire culture of glass of the 20th century (c.f. Bruno Taut, Mies van der Rohe or Marcel


Duchamp since the beginning of the century), the image-flux with its new fluidities and its diaphanous transparencies would be the allegory of a present marked by a plane of global immanence that is screen-like. The image-crystal allows one to seize a little time in its pure state, whereas the image-flux resembles skins and second skins of all the bio-philosophies, that blend hyperrealism and technological neobaroque. From now on, all hybridizations are possible. The cartographic view is thus at work in the great esthetic and virtual paradigms, which explore more and more the unbalanced systems and the infinity of the continuum, thanks to the new mathematics of forms. Within this experimental place, shared by architecture and art, one can extract three great paradigms which conceptualize and produce virtual space-times that transform the real.

1. The Topologies:

Exploring what Greg Lynn called the «Animate Forms,» these topologies favor the continuum, the curves and folds, and all the modes of inflection that already

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