Desires, dreams and longings shape our notions of paradise. Imagination and memory (including memory of all that has never been) transport them through time. Yet, whenever the concept of linear time loses its supremacy, the appeal of retroactive utopia also diminishes. On maps in the digital era, paradises can no longer be found – certainly not as blank spaces and, if at all, then only as the totality of all images and maps. We are haunted much more by their gloomy shadow sides: by the stifling, supersaturated Land of Cockaigne, by Atlanteans and atlases awaiting their demise, by the City of the Sun, mutating into a visual surveillance machine à la Jeremy Bentham. At the same time we are confronted with our inability to make new memories (Mark Fisher). It seems that paradise in all its forms has been photoshopped out of our instantaneous present. But any paradise to which one cannot decamp because it is allegedly already under one’s nose promises neither sanctuary, shelter nor exile.
Andreas L. Hofbauer is a philosopher, psycho-historian, and author, who in various books and numerous essays recurrently addresses socio-economic aspects of political science. He is co-editor of Schriften zur Verkehrswissenschaft. He has translated several books by Jason Schwartz, Momus, Jeremy Bentham as well as work by Thomas De Quincey, Marshall Sahlins, Tom McCarthy, and Slavoj Žižek, inter alia.
Dr. Martin Tremel is a scholar of Religion/Judaism, as well as Director of Research into Archival and Cultural Studies at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin. Numerous publications. Research focus: theory and figures of the Western religions, Antiquity and the reception of Antiquity.
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