Aggressive atmospheres

December 4, 2012

heroic pottery

[heroic pottery]

Aggression between bodies has always existed. The rain water eroding the ground, lightning causing fire, the animal hunting its prey, … humans against humans. Human history is full of aggressive episodes and conflicts. But there have been different ways of aggression along the centuries.

In the past, the aggressor used the body’s strength to fight against the enemy. There was no distance between fighting bodies. Then they started to produce weapons so that this distance began to increase. However, they had still values like honor and courage; wars were something big and memorable, that’s why we can visit nowadays hundreds of monuments and appreciate artistic objects, exalting the figure of the hero. Related to ceramics it comes to my mind the Greek heroic pottery, Roman mosaics, Xian Warriors,…

Then, after reading Peter Sloterdijk’s Terror from the Air, we get introduced to the term “atmoterrorism” that was first practiced in the 20th century. It refers to the “violence against the very human-ambient things”, affecting the atmosphere. Attacking the enemy’s atmosphere makes him feel confused and vulnerable. This kind of attack generated a sense of fear over the victims because it had no physical evidence to protect them in time. So the distance between bodies became much wider than before since the aggressor did not need a direct contact with his objective but its geographic situation.

Finally the 21st century arrived with a new feature: the digital technology, internet and all the things involved in it. A new way of aggression was born; every single internet user is being attacked through this digital atmosphere, via publicity, pop-up windows, viruses, etc. It can make us change our behavior or become dependent on it. So now the distance between bodies is not relevant as it is not meant to be.

History has gone from the analog heroic pottery to the digital era, from the very close contact between aggressive bodies to the use of virtual atmospheres to affect human way of life. Which will be the next atmosphere to conquer?

-Anna B-

Peter Sloterdijk, ‘Gas Warfare–or: The Atmoterrorist Model, inTerror From the Air, LA: Semiotext(e), 2009

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