The Closed Loop

Virilio, Open Sky, p.61 (emphasis his, links mine):

Whether we like it or not, races are always eliminative, not only for the competitors engaged in the competition, but also for the environment underlying their efforts. Whence the invention of an artificial arena, of a 'stage' on which to practise the exploit of extreme speed: stadium, hippodrome or autodrome. Such an instrumentalization of space signalling a tailoring, not only of the body of the athlete, trained to exceed its own limits, or the bodies of the racehorses in our stables, but also of the geometry of the environment supporting such motor performances: the closed-circuit connection of all those vast sporting amenities heralding the closed-loop connection, the final looping and locking up of a world that has become orbital, not only in terms of circumterrestrial satellites on the beat, but of the entire array of telecommunications tools as well.

Does Virilio's closed loop still hold true at the cusp between the transmission and transplantation eras? Deleuze might suggest not.

Perhaps we can say instead that the stadium offers the carceral space in which transmission and transplantation become one, before allowing the subject out into a more fluid space. Or maybe that's what Virilio is saying himself … ?


Comments are closed.