Nuclear Futurism: The Work of Art in The Age of Remainderless Destruction

Nuclear Futurism: The Work of Art in The Age of Remainderless Destruction

Liam Sprod

Language: English

Pages: 146

ISBN: 1780994338

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Starting from the end of history, the end of art and the failure of the future set out by such ends, Nuclear
Futurism reinvigorates art, literature and philosophy through the unlikely alliance of hauntology and the
Italian futurists. Tracing the paradoxes of the possibilities of total nuclear destruction reveals the terminal
condition of culture in the time of ends, where the logic of the apocalyptic without apocalypse holds sway.
These paradoxes also open the path for a new vision of the future in the form of experimental art and literature.
By re-examining the thought of both Derrida and Heidegger with regards to the history of art, the art of
history and their responses to the most dangerous technology of nuclear weapons the future is exposed
as a progressive event, rather than the atrophied and apocalyptic to-come of the present world. It is
happening now, opening up through the force of art and literature and charting a new path for a futural

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as a calling for, and also a sending of - this connection will be developed below - experimental writing and literature. It is the affinity between the nuclear epoch, literature and deconstruction that motivates Derrida’s explicit call to experimental literature. Although here this link is explored from within the context of the aporia of the nuclear referent, the mobilization of the important Derridean concept of deconstruction, a concept which is often seen as his major philosophical point,

present, this non-contemporanity of present time to itself.”28 This closely resembles the temporal structure of the Heideggerian event as something itself critical of temporality and presence, which will be discussed further in Chapter 7. The disruption of hauntology goes further than the merely temporal. It also contains a much more specific disruption of the ontologies of body, spirit and corporality produced by the ghost. Derrida writes: the specter is a paradoxical incorporation, the

reality of the flesh of the object is the matter of spectral materialism; however this reality is always different and distant to what can be conceptualized. The reality of the ghost always disappears behind its spectral apparition, and yet in its appearance it is haunted by the loss of that reality, returning to the flesh and giving itself a body. As with Marx’s need to turn Hegel on his head to produce a materialist critique of capitalism, Derrida uses his spectral materialism to develop an

nothingness then it also returns to the question Heidegger defined as the fundamental question of metaphysics ‘why is there something and not nothing?’ This question has now been answered; there is something as a result of artistic production, as a sublime happening. Art is the production of the world. There is also an important temporal element to this answer. The happening must always be the production of something new, something going beyond all prior events and pushes the boundary of what has

sublime, and is the sublime possible in rhetoric? The sublime is problematic for the discipline of rhetoric because it is often associated with silence.23 This is something Heidegger touches upon in ‘The Way to Language’ when he writes: “A human being may be speechless with astonishment or terror. He is altogether astonished, thunderstruck. He no longer speaks: he is silent.”24 There is an antipathy between the sublime and language, and yet also a co-dependence. Later Heidegger says: “Silence

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