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BALSAS, 2006 [BALSAS is an interdisciplinary journal on media culture. Interview with Art Group BBM, “on first cyborgs, aliens and other sides of new technologies,” translated from lithiuanian http://www.balsas.cc/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=151]
Valentinas: We all know that Jean Baudrillard did not believe that the Gulf War did take place, as it was over-mediated and over-simulated. In fact, the Gulf War II is still not over, and Iraq became much more than just a Frankenstein laboratory for the new media, technology and “democracy” games. What can we learn from wars that do not take place, even though they cannot be finished? Are they becoming a symptom of our times as a confrontation between multiple time-lines, ideologies and technologies in a single place?

Lars: Actually, it has always been the same: new wars have been better test-beds for the state of art technologies and the latest computer-controlled firearms. The World War I already was a fully mechanized war where pre-robots were fighting each other and gassing the troops. And afterwards, the winners shape the new world order.

Olaf: Who on hell is Baudrillard? The one who earns money by publishing his prognoses after the things happen? What a fuck, French philosophy deals too much with luxury problems and elegantly ignores the problem itself. It’s no wonder, this is the colonizer’s mentality, you can hear it roaring in their words: they use phrases made to camouflage genocide.

I went to see that Virilio’s exhibition "Ce qui arrive" at Foundation Cartier in 2003. I was smashed by that banal presentation of  the evil of all kinds: again, natural catastrophes and evil done by man were exposed on the same wall, glued together with a piece of "theory". There you find it all, filed up in one row: the pure luxury of the Cartier-funded Jean Nouvel building, an artwork without any blood in its veins, and that late Christian philosophy about the techno-cataclysm being the revenge of God. Pure shit, turned into gold in the holy cellars of the modern alchemists’ museums.

The artist-made video "documents" of the Manhattan towers opposed to Iraqian war pictures: that’s not Armageddon, that’s man-invented war technology to be used to subdue others. And there is always somebody who pushes the buttons, even when the button is a computer mouse some ten thousand kilometers away from the place where people die, or even if it is a civil airplanes redirected by Islamists. Everybody knows that. War technology has always been made to make killing easier. And to produce martyrs as well.

Janneke: Compare Baudrillard with Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Dunant was no philosopher, he was just an intelligent rich man in the late 19th century. But his ideas went far more in the direction where you should hope to find philosophers as well. He experienced war as a "randonneur": he passed by, he saw the suffering and the inhumanity of war. And he felt obliged to act. Apart from the maybe 10 days he spent on the battlefield, on the beautiful meadows in the Europeans Alps, helping wounded people to survive, as a complete medical layman he decided to do something more sustainable against these odds. He knew that his efforts couldn’t prevent war in general, but he felt that he could alter the cruelty of reality. And he succeeded in doing it. No wonder that in our days we find the most engaged people to support the TROIA projects intention in Geneva, where they are still based. And they are not only doing their necessary surgeon’s work in the field: they are as well fighting with the same energy on the diplomatic battlefield.

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