Well after the Sun King stung Colbert into action with his dictum: 'Let there be Light and Security!', well before the Nazi theorist Rosenberg delivered his extravagant aphorism: 'When you know everything you are afraid of nothing', the French Revolution had turned the elucidation of details into a means of governing.
Omnivoyance, Western Europe's totalitarian ambition, may here appear as the formation of a whole image by repressing the invisible. And since all that appears, appears in light — the visible being merely the reality-effect of the response of a light emission - we could say that the formation of a total image is the result of illumination. Through the speed of its own laws, this illumination will progressively quash the laws originally dispensed by the universe: laws not only governing things, as we have seen, but bodies as well.
At the end of 'Day One' of the 1848 Revolution, appropriately, witnesses testified that in different parts of Paris, independently of each other, people shot up public clocks, as though instinctively determined to stop time just as darkness was about to fall naturally. Obeying the law is suspect', asserts Louis de Saint-Just, one of the leading promulgators of the terror-effect. With the perfectly French invention of revolutionary terror - domestic as well as ideological the scientific and philosophical genius of the land of the Enlightenment and supreme rationality topples over the edge into a sociological Phenomenon of pure panic.
It was at this moment that the revolutionary police chose an eye as its emblem; that the invisible police, the police spy, replaced the evident, dissuasive police force; that Fouche, the orator and former monk, confessor to the sinner, set up a camera obscura of a different kind, the famous cell in which the correspondence of citizens under suspicion was deciphered and exposed. A police investigation that aimed to illuminate the private sphere just as the theatres, streets and avenues of the public sphere had previously been illuminated, and to obtain a total image of society by dispersing its dark secrets. A permanent investigation within the very bosom of the family, such that anything communicated, the tiniest shred of information, might prove dangerous, might become a personal weapon, paralysing each individual in mortal terror of all the rest, of their spirit of inquiry.
Remember that in September 1791, on the eve of the Terror, the Constituent Assembly, which was to disappear the following month, had instituted the Criminal Jury as an agent of justice whereby citizens, as members of the jury, acquired sovereign authority with the power to sentence a person to death without appeal. (In legal parlance, this is a double-degree move.) The people and their representatives were thus granted the same infallibility as the monarch by divine right they were supposed to replace. It would not be long before common justice showed the flaws Montaigne had described two centuries earlier: 'A heaving sea of opinions ... forever whipped up ... and driven on by customs that change with the wind. ...'
Curiously, the terror-effect's atavistic twin nature - its obsession with the un-said going hand in glove with a totalitarian desire for clarification - is to be found at work endlessly and excessively in Fouche or Talleyrand. But also, later, much later, in the terrorising and terrorised knowledge of the Lacan of Je ne vous le fais pas dire!, in the Michel Foucault of Naissance de la clinique and Surveiller et punir, in the Roland Barthes of La Chambre claire and the Barthes inspired exhibition 'Cartes et figures de la Terre' at the Pompidou Centre. Barthes would write in conclusion to a life of illness and anguish: 'Fear turns out to have been my ruling passion'.
One could discourse endlessly about 'The declaration of the rights of man and the citizen' and the conquest of power by the middle-class military democracy. But it is just as important not to detach the people's revolution from its means, from its everyday materials and depredations. The Revolution as social disease speaks of a banal, sometimes ignominious death. But beyond this, on the internal battlefront, with the supremely warrior-like scorn for the living and the Other that we find in both opposing camps, the Revolution will spread the new materialist vision in the wake of its victorious armies. And this vision will overthrow the entire set of systems of representation and communication in the course of the nineteenth century. The real significance of the 1789 revolution lay here, in the invention of a public gaze that aspired to a spontaneous science, to a sort of knowledge in its raw state, each person becoming for everyone else, in the manner of the sans culotte, a benevolent inquisitor. Or, better still, a deadly Gorgon.
Benjamin was later to rejoice that 'cinemagoers have become examiners, but examiners having fun'. If we turn the phrase around, things look a bit less promising: what we are now dealing with is an audience for whom the investigation, the test, has become fun. Actions spring from terror, events that embody the new passion, like stringing people up from lampposts, brandishing freshly lopped heads on spikes, storming palaces and hotels, seeing that residents' names are posted on the door of apartment blocks, reducing the Bastille to rubble, desecrating convents and places of worship, digging up the dead. ... Nothing is sacred any more because nothing is now meant to be inviolable. This is the tracking down of darkness, the tragedy brought about by an exaggerated love of light.
What about the little quirks of David, the painter and member of the Convention; his penchant for the bodies of victims of the scaffold; the sordid sequel to the execution of Charlotte Corday; the dark side of his celebrated painting 'The Death of Marat'. Remember it was Marat, 'the people's friend' and an absolute maniac for denunciation, who, in March 1779, presented a paper to the Academie des Sciences entitled 'Monsieur Marat's discoveries concerning fire, electricity and light' in which he singled out Newton's theories in particular for attack.
The French Revolution was preoccupied with lighting, notes Colonel Herlaut. The general public, we know, craved artificial lighting. They wanted lights, city lights, which had no further truck with Nature or the Creator, which just involved man illuminating himself. This coincided with the precise moment when man's being was becoming his own object of study, the subject of a positive knowledge (Foucault). The rise of the fourth estate occurs here, within the shimmering urban mirage that is merely the illusion of what is up for grabs.
Better to be an eye', as Flaubert would say, taking up the slogan of the revolutionary police. In fact, the Revolution ushered in that collusion between the man of letters, the artist and the man of the press, the investigative journalist-informer. Whether Marat or the Hebertiste 'Pere Duchesne', the trick is to hold the attention of the greatest number through anecdote, the fait divers, the political or social-crime story.
Despite its wild excesses, revolutionary journalism aims to enlighten public opinion, to make revelations, to delve behind deceptive appearances, to provide slowly but surely a convincing explanation for every mystery, in keeping with the demands of a public full examiners.
In 1836 a new partner emerged and a decisive cartel was formed.
Thanks to Emile Girardin the press finally achieved mass circulation by rationally exploiting advertising revenue, thereby succeeding in lowering subscription rates. And in 1848, as the romantic revolution is winding down, the serial novel takes off.
That same year, Baudelaire discusses the great writers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, such as Diderot, Jean Paul, Laclos and Balzac, in terms of their preoccupation with an eternal supernaturalism having to do with the primitive nature of their probe, with the new inquisitorial spirit, the spirit of an examining judge. Following spiritual ancestors like Voltaire, who conducted his own investigations into a number of criminal cases (advocating the rehabilitation of Jean Calas, for example, or Sirven, or defending Count Lally-ToUendal in the Lally-ToUendal Affair), Stendhal published Le Rouge et le noir in 1830, unsuccessfully, only two years after the Berthet Affair had been splashed across the Grenoble newspapers.
Though the claim that The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) was the first modern detective story is a bit excessive, Edgar Allan Poe, who was perfectly familiar with Balzac's works, felt the ideal investigator had to be French, like Descartes. Although he never once set foot in Paris, the author of The Purloined Letter kept very much abreast of what was happening there. His Charles-August Dupin, the model for all future fictional detectives, was probably none other than the Paris Polytechnique graduate and research scientist, CharlesHenri Dupin. As for the mandatory example of Descartes, we know that the author of Discours de la methode once solved a crime in which one of his neighbours was implicated by assiduously disentangling the psychology involved. (He alludes to the episode in a letter to Huygens dated January 1646).
Flaubert took the innovation of the novel's conversion into case study to new heights. In his essay on Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant writes: 'First of all he imagines types, then, proceeding by deduction, he makes these beings perform actions typical of them and which they are doomed to carry out absolutely logically according to temperament.'
The instrumentalisation of the photographic image is not unrelated to this literary mutation. Before establishing a photographic encyclopaedia of his contemporaries, Nadar (who once worked for the French secret service), with his brother, became interested in the work of the celebrated neurologist Guillaume Duchenne whose major study, complete with supporting photographic documentation, was eventually published as The mechanics of human physiognomy, or an electro-physiological analysis of the expression of the passions.
This was in 1853. Madame Bovary was to appear four years later. In it Flaubert dismantles the passions mechanically a la Duchenne and leaves no doubt whatever about his own methods: before working up what he calls scenarios of novels 'analysing psychological cases', and 'since everything one invents is true', he conducts intricate investigations and cross-examinations, going as far as extorting embarrassing confessions as in the Louise Pradier case. In the same spirit, he thought it was only fair to claim the sum of 4,000 francs from his publisher Michel Levy for the costs of investigations relating to Salammbo.
But apart from what it owes to the documentary and the lampoon, Flaubert's real art has to do with the light spectrum. For Flaubert, the organisation of mental images is a subtractive synthesis that ends in a coloured unity: golden for the exotic Salammbo, mildewy for Madame Bovary, the colour of small country towns and the dull sheen of romantic thought active in France after the 1848 Revolution.
What we might call the conceptual framework of the novel is thus deliberately reduced to the encoding of a dominant, quasi-unconditional stimulus, the target attribute destined to act beyond the bounds of literature itself and designed to lead the reader to a kind of 'optical retrieval' of the meaning of the work.
This brings us dangerously close to impressionism, and the succes de scandale enjoyed by Madame Bovary anticipates that of the exposition des refuses held at Nadar's.
Meanwhile Gustave Courbet cites Gericault (along with Prud'hon and Gros) as one of the great precursors of the new art vivant, largely due to his having chosen to paint contemporary subjects.
In 1853 Gustave Planche, in his Portraits d'artists, also paid homage to the forgotten works of the painter of 'The Raft of the Medusa'. 'No-one', Klaus Berger remarks, 'was interested in making what he had to say known after his death in 1824, least of all the Romantics, like Delacroix, who owed his beginnings to the young Gericault
So Gericault emerges from oblivion at the precise moment that the photographers are dreaming of absolute instantaneity, that Dr duchenne of Boulogne, sending an electric current through the facial muscles of his subjects, claimed to seize photographically the mechanism involved in their movement. The painter suddenly found himself a precursor, since, well before Daguerre's process was unveiled before the general public, the compression of time that visual instantaneity represents had become the undying passion of his short life. Well before the impressionists, Gericault considered immediate vision an end in itself, the very substance of the work and not merely a possible starting point for a 'more or less fossilised' academic painting.
Gericault's art vivant was already an art that evolves by summing itself up such as Degas would later describe: an art of reiteration, like everything else that communicated and conveyed itself at constantly increasing speed from the nineteenth century on.
In 1817 Gericault got to know the doctors and nurses at Beaujon Hospital next to his studio. They supplied him with corpses and sawn-off limbs and let him stay in the hospital wards to follow every phase of the suffering, and death pangs of the terminally ill. We also know of his relationship with Dr Georget, the founder of social psychiatry and a court expert to boot.
It was at the instigation of this celebrated specialist in mental health that he completed his 'portraits of mad people' in the winter of 1822, which were to serve as visual aids for the doctor's students and assistants. 'A transmutation of science into eloquent portraits' was how they were described at the time. It is perhaps more apt to call them the artist's conversion of the clinical sign to enhance the painted work which then becomes a documentary, an image loaded with information: the conversation of a perception of the special detachment that enables the doctor or surgeon to make a diagnosis simply by using his senses and repressing any emotion due to the effects of terror, pity or repulsion.
Some time before this, driven as always by his passion for the immediate, Gericault had conceived the project of painting a recent news story. For a while he toyed with the Fualdes Affair, popularised in the press and cheap prints. Why did he finally opt for the tragedy of the Medusa} I personally think it is incredible that the name of the ship that went down was precisely the same as in the Gorgon myth. 'To behold the Gorgon,' writes Jean-Pierre Vernant, 'you must look into her eyes and when your eyes meet, you cease being yourself, cease living and become, like her, a power of death.' The Medusa is a kind of integrated circuit of vision that would seem to bode a future of awesome communication. And just to round off this case for permeation, there was Gericault's passion for the horse-as-speed. This would be one of the agents of his death; with Pegasus, it furthermore constitutes an essential element of the ancient Gorgon imagery (at once the face of terror, the incarnation of fright and the source of poetic inspiration).
For his painting 'The Raft of the Medusa' Gericault began preparatory work and research in 1818, less than two years after the tragedy occurred, starting with the way the catastrophe was related in the press and in a book which went into several editions, all eagerly snapped up by the public. Gericault met survivors of the shipwreck, notably Dr Savigny; he had a model of the raft made up and did numerous studies using dying patients in the hospitals next door as models along with corpses in the morgue.
But apart from all that, which we know about, the monumental dimensions of the picture — thirty-five square metres - tell us something about Gericault's intentions. He clearly wanted to capture the attention of the general public, not so much in his capacity as an artist, but in the manner of a journalist or advertising executive. Before hitting on the solution of giganticism, he first thought of doing a painting series, a 'painting in episodes' that would evolve over time (bit like Poussin's sketches based on the figures of Trajan's Column).
In the end he decided he could overcome pictorial representation's media handicap by enlarging the spectator's visual field, the size of the work begging the question, by reversing it, of the space in which the image could be shown. This crowd painting obviously could not, through its sheer size, be hung anywhere other than in some vast public place (a museum?). Unlike an easel painting, which could adapt to domestic intimacy, unlike the frescoes and monumental paintings commissioned in the Renaissance, which then spread out after the fact over the walls of the various palaces and churches, Gericault's painting was a work looking for a place to hang
As soon as it was unveiled, in all its internal contradictions, it met with hostility from painters of all persuasions, critics and art lovers alike. On the other hand, it was a sensation with the general public who saw it not so much as a work of art as a pamphlet designed to discredit the government of Louis XV111. The royal administration, accused by the opposition of being indirectly responsible for the tragedy, had in any event made the first move by banning the use of the name Meduse in the exhibition leaflet. But as Rosenthal writes: 'the public was able to work out the original name without too much trouble and political passions ran riot'. In such a climate there was no question of the State's buying it or of its being hung in some official space or museum.
Rolled up in Paris and shipped to England, the outsize painting was finally shown from town to town as far as Scotland, for the price of a ticket. Organised by one Bullock, the venture was to earn Gericault the enormous sum of 17,000 gold sovereigns, a fortune in keeping with its popular success.
But well before the symbolic Medusa, pictorial art in Great Britain had been veering towards the mercantilism of the sideshow.
Panorama: The term sounds as though it should belong exclusively to the language of painting, for it combines two Greek words to signify complete view. This is obtained by means of a circular background on which a series of aspects are drawn and then rendered, uniquely, by a series of separate paintings.
'Now it is precisely this condition, which is indispensable to this genre of representation, which makes an architectural work of the painter's field of activity. The name panorama, in fact, refers both to the edifice on which the painting is hung and to the painting itself.'
Quatremere describes the building as a rotunda with daylight entering from above, the rest of the building remaining dark. Viewers were led into the centre along long, dark corridors so their eyes would adjust to the dark and register the light on the painting as natural. Coming on to a raised amphitheatre in the middle of the rotunda in the dark, viewers had no idea where the light was coming from. They could not see either the top or the bottom of the painting which revolved around the circumference of the building, offering no beginning or end, in fact no boundary whatever. It was like being on a mountain with the view obstructed only by the horizon.
In 1792 Robert Barker showed 'The English Fleet at Portsmouth' in his Leicester Square rotunda. The American Robert Fulton, who was responsible for the first submarine and the industrialisation of steamship propulsion, bought the rights for the commercial use of the patent in France. Fulton gave Paris its first rotunda in the boulevard Montmartre. After that similar constructions sprang up all over Paris offering pictorial spectacles: battle scenes, historic events, exotic urban sites like Constantinople, Athens, Jerusalem, and painted in lavishly minute detail.
'In Paris I saw panoramas of Jerusalem and Athens', Chateaubriand writes in the preface to his Complete Works. 'I recognised all the monuments immediately, every building, right down to the tiny room I stayed in in Saint-Sauveur Convent. No traveller has ever endured a rougher ordeal: how was I to know they were going to bring Jerusalem and Athens to Paris?'
The new inertia of the traveller-voyeur was to be further attenuated by Daguerre when he turned his Diorama construction in the rue Samson, behind the boulevard Saint-Martin, into a veritable sight travel machine.
In this structure, which was built in 1822, The viewers' room was mobile and spun round like a one-man-operated merry-go-round. Everyone found themselves carried around past all the paintings on show without apparently having to move a muscle.
Panoramas and dioramas were enormously successful, the profits fabulous. Deeply admiring, the painter David took his students to a panorama on the boulevard Montmarte. In 1810 Napoleon slipped into a rotunda on the boulevard des Capucines and came out dreaming of using the hit show as an instrument of propaganda.
'Napoleon engaged the architect Celerier to draw up plans for eight rotundas to be erected in the great square on the Champs-Elysees; in each, one of the great battles of the Revolution or Empire was to be shown. ... The events of 1812 prevented the project from being carried out.'
'You must first of all speak to the eyes.' Abel Gance liked to quote the Emperor's phrase. An expert in matters of propaganda fide, Napoleon knew immediately that he was dealing with a perfectly staggering new generation of media.
When you stare at the Gorgon, the sparkle in her eye dispossesses you, makes you lose your own sight, condemns you to immobility. With the panorama and the diorama's play of colour and lighting, both fated to vanish at the beginning of the twentieth century only to be replaced by photography, the Medusa Syndrome comes into its own. We are not interested here in Daguerre the scenery-painter, doing sets for the Paris Opera or the Ambigu Comique, but Daguerre the lighting engineer, the master technician, whose application of the image to an architectural construct used absolutely realistic and totally illusory time and movement. In his Description of the Techniques of Diorama Painting and Lighting, Daguerre writes: 'Only two effects were actually painted on - day on the front of the canvas, night on the back, and one could only shift from one to the other by means of a series of complicated combinations of media the light had to pass through. But these produced an infinite number of additional effects similar to those Nature offers in its course from morning to night and vice versa.'
Elsewhere, Benezit writes: 'Daguerre made constant use of the dark room in his studies of lighting and the living image... which took shape on the screen drove him wild with excitement. Here was his dream come true; it now only remained to fix it.'
Niepce had fixed his first negatives in 1818. Daguerre wrote to him for the first time in 1826. In 1829, Niepce became interested in the diorama and joined forces with Daguerre. In 1839 Daguerre was practically wiped out but this did not stop the daguerreotype from being unveiled solemnly that same year before the public of Paris.
The perception of appearances determinedly stopped having anything to do with some kind of spiritual approach (in Leibniz's sense, if you like, accepting the existence of mind as a substantial reality). The artist now had a double, a being led astray by representational techniques and their reproductive power, not to mention the circumstances surrounding their occurrence, they very phenomenology.
As we have seen, the multi-dimensional approach to reality of investigative techniques has had a decisive influence on the instrumentalisation of the public image (propaganda, advertising, etc) as well as on the birth of modern art and the emergence of the documentary. ... The adjective documentary (having the character of a document) was actually admitted by Littre in 1879, the same year as the term impressionism.
'To see without being seen' is one of the adages of police incommunicability. Well before anthropologists or sociologists came along, the eye the investigator cast over society was eminently external to it. As Commissioner Fred Prase said in a recent interview: 'You wind up living in a world that no longer has any connection with the normal world and when you want to talk about what you're going through, no one knows what you are talking about.' It is only natural that the colonial model and its methods have had a bit input on the means and kinds of scientific and technical analyses adopted by the metropolitan police. It was, for example, a British civil servant. Sir William Hershel, who decreed that all papers pertaining to indigenous people be ] signed with their thumb prints from 1858. Some thirty years later, Sir Edward Henry devised a fingerprint-classification system which was adopted by the British government in 1897.
The use of fingerprints as identification marks was already well established in the Far East; the Japanese, among others, had been using fingerprints as signatures from the beginning of the eighth century.
In Europe fingerprints were to be employed in quite a different way. Photographic printing and its possibilities here assuming their ] full significance, the print would come to be perceived as a latent image. Fingerprints, followed by skin prints (pore printing), of any individual alive or dead, would come to be viewed as immutable, I realities.
'One fingerprint taken at the scene of the crime is worth even more than the criminal's confession', writes legal officer Goddefroy in his Manuel de police technique. The celebrated Alphonse Bertillon, who had invented a system of criminal anthropometry-anthropology, finally succeeded on 24 October 1902, the first person to do so in the I history of the police, in identifying a criminal by his fingerprints, I photographed and enlarged to more than four times normal size, as I he was keen to point out in his report.
The introduction of fingerprints as proof of criminal law marks the decline of the story, of the eye-witness account and the descriptive model, once the basis of every investigation and crucial to writers of previous centuries.
Bertillon also, in a well-known phrase, denounced the deficiency of the human eye and the aberrations of subjectivity: You only see what you look at and you only look at what you want to see. The former chief of the Criminal Records Office thereby sums up in his own words the demonstration offered by Poe's Dupin in The Purloined Letter, that letter no one can see for looking, like 'the over-largely lettered signs and placards of the street [which] escape observation by dint of being excessively obvious'. No one can see Poe's letter because everyone is already convinced it must be hidden.
They say you only ask yourself a question when you already know the answer. Dupin, as objective a witness as any camera, is not subject to this ordinary human failing, a failing which makes the scene of the crime almost invisible for the average person who is distracted trying to take note of a welter of details. Metric photographs of the spot, by contrast, record all its particularities regardless, right down to the most insignificant, or which would seem to be so at the time to the eye-witness, whereas, in retrospect, in the course of the investigation, they may turn out to be vital.
The police viewpoint shows just how worthless the story of the person who was there is. In spite of the usefulness of witnesses and the elaborate reports of inspectors, the human eye no longer gives signs of recognition, it no longer organises the search for truth, it no longer presides over the construction of truth's image, in this mad rush to identify individuals whom the police do not know and have never seen.
The outward manifestation of a thought, its symptom in the literal sense of sumptoma (coincidence), is once again to be rejected as far as possible. It is no longer in synch, no longer integrated into the time of the investigation. What counts is what is already there, remaining in a state of latent immediacy in the huge junk heap of stuff of memory, waiting to reappear, inexorably, when the time comes.
Empirically acknowledged as tragic, the photographic print was really just that when, at the turn of the century, it became the instrument of the three great authorities over life and death (the law, the army, medicine). This is when it demonstrated its power to reveal the unfolding of a destiny from the word go. As deus ex machina, it was to become just as ruthless for the criminal, the soldier or the invalid, the conjunction between the immediate and the fatal only becoming more solid, inevitably, with the technical progress of representation.
In 1967 the examining judge Philippe Chausserie Lapree presented a three-minute film re-enactment of the murder of a Normandy farmer to the jury of the Court of Assizes in Caen. Lapree, who describes himself as 'an investigation fiend', turns the cases he hears into veritable synopses: using school exercise books, he pastes photographs on the left-hand side and records of cross-examinations in the form of dialogue on the right. Within his video re-enactment he introduced, for the first time in France, a 'legal documentary' in addition to the usual photos of victims and scenes of crimes. Note that he used two ex-army film-makers as assistants on the film rather than his own staff.
Allowed soon after this by the Code of Criminal Law Procedure, video proof would be used to convict criminals on the basis of documents supplied by cameras installed in banks, shops, at traffic lights and so on. After video refereeing was introduced into sports stadiums, the Belgian officers in charge of the investigation into the Heysel tragedy would have to sit through sixty hours of non-stop video to be able to identify the perpetrators of the violence with any degree of certainty.
In France, lagging well behind England and Germany, law courts such as the district court of Creteil - which has a central projection room and scientific police laboratory fully equipped with video-imaging machines (the ultrasound machine used in medicine for taking ectographs or ecocardiographs) have little by little taken on the trappings of television studios.
In 1988 the police department even decided to deploy crime-scene technicians, who are public servants trained to pick up the clues using ultramodern scientific equipment.
What we are witnessing here is the birth of hyper-realism in legal and police representation. As one technician put it: 'Now, with ultrasound, we can bring up the image of a person who's just a tiny speck the size of a pinhead on a video tape, even if they're at the back of a dark room.' Eyewitness accounts having been devalued, it is now possible to do away with their body too, for we now have something more than their image: we have their real-time telepresence.
Instituted in Great Britain and Canada, the telepresence of witnesses who are either in poor health, in danger or too young to appear, poses the whole question of habe as corpus all over again. Where the body of the person in custody is still produced before the court (that is, if they agree), they are encircled by electronic microscopes, mass spectrometers and laser videographs in an implacable electronic circuit. Now that the court arena has become first a movie projection room, then a video chamber, legal representatives of all stripes have lost any hope of creating within it, with the means at their disposal, a reality-effect capable of captivating the jury and audience for whom video recorders, networking systems like Minitel, television and sundry computers have become a virtually exclusive way of gathering information, communicating and understanding reality and moving about in it.
How can we hope to pull off the old scenic effects, the coups de theatre that were the pride and joy of our former ring masters? How can we hope to scandalise, surprise, move to tears under the gaze of electronic magistrates that can fast forward or reverse in time and space at will, before a judicial system that is now no more than the distant technological outcome of that merciless more light of revolutionary terror, which is, in fact, its very perfection?
excerpt from the book: The Vision Machine/ Chapter 3: Public Image by Paul Virilio
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