Alongside air pollution, water pollution and the like, there exists an unnoticed phenomenon of pollution of the world’s dimensions that I propose to call dromospheric – from dromos: a race, running.
There exists a hidden dimension to the communications revolution, one that affects duration, the lived time of our society… While the topical City was once constructed around the ‘gate’ and the ‘port’, the teleoptical metacity is now reconstructed around the ‘window’ and the teleport, that is to say, around the screen and the time slot.
The speed of the new optoelectronic and electroacoustic milieu becomes the final void (the void of the quick), a vacuum that no longer depends on the interval between places or things… a geographic and geometric retention in which all volume, all relief vanish.
Loss of sight or, rather, ‘loss of ground’ in a new kind of fall that is also a form of pollution of expanse…a peculiar form of vertigo brought on by the depth of field of the apparent horizon of the spectacle of the world.
With the contemporary sedentary type of the great metropolis… it attacks the body of the able-bodied person, equipped to the eyeballs with interactive prostheses, who is now modelled on the disabled person equipped to control his environment without physically shifting.
So dromospheric pollution is pollution that attacks the liveliness of the subject and the mobility of the object by atrophying the journey to the point where it becomes needless.
- Paul Virilio, Open Sky