Accidents on a Planetary Scale


Whenever a new technology emerges there also emerges simultaneously the consequences of its accident. The accident is inherent to every technology.

It seems that because of globalization, which is the satellization of the City into an orbital function, we have now laid the grounds for global accidents. (Virllio).

We are no longer in a traditional Newtonian universe: all the catastrophes become much more ethereal because causes and effects may overlap each other or feedback upon one another in loops. Apparently ‘local’, meteorological accidents that slam into a local place, like a category five hurricane for example, present us with problems: it is difficult to know how much of the ‘natural disaster’ is normally occurring and how much of it is exacerbated by human hubris. Planetary technicity is caught now in feedback loops generating increasingly erratic events.

The image is one of civilization surrounded by catastrophe.

After 1947 with the launch of Sputink, nature has increasingly been put on the inside of civilization (Ebert). Now we will never know for sure where nature ends and civilization begins.

This is essentially what is meant by use of the term Anthropocene to describe our age: a term that marks an age of merging between culture and nature, inside and outside, cause and effect.

Now that the City has been set to speed and has covered the Earth, and now that we are in this giant vehicle that is at risk of crashing, we set the risk of bombarding into entire geologic edifices. This opens up the continental aspects of the age of catastrophe.

…the crash of Global Industrialization Civilization into the Biosphere.



Published by fldwrk

I am a painter.

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