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Cold War LegaciesSystems, Theory, Aesthetics$
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John Beck and Ryan Bishop

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474409483

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474409483.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 April 2021

Insect Technics: War Vision Machines

Insect Technics: War Vision Machines

(p.234) Chapter 12 Insect Technics: War Vision Machines
Cold War Legacies

Fabienne Collignon

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter investigates insectile weapons systems, 'weird' war machines that, in one way or another, pertain to a 'becoming-insect'. Jussi Parikka argues that ‘insect media’ might yield a weird futurity that emerges due to modes of perception that are radically other. Yet this ontology of perceptive enmeshment also functions as immersion into sovereign super power and its swarm technologies. What Peter Sloterdijk calls an ‘aesthetics of immersion’ is considered in relation to ‘weird’ (China Miéville) war machines, focusing on the 1960s anti-missile missile project Safeguard in North Dakota. This pyramidal architecture of ‘defense’ also repeats a gigantic insect eye on each side of its building, whose fly-like ‘gaze’ transposes a wish to perceive the latent dimensions of the earth as total vision-field. Safeguard is linked to newer conceptualizations of war machinery whose ‘scopic’ regime operates through drone warfare. As a networked entity, the drone, also fly-like, acts in a functional circle of immersion and death distribution: the ‘face’ of the drone as expression of a weird futurity in which the notion of the insectile expresses, updates, super power as affective, rhythmic, a ‘becoming-insect’ that maintains a ‘thanatopolitics’.

Keywords:   weapons systems, drones, vision, weird, scopic regimes

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