Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Flights of the Immortals

RTA and Volocopter operate Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) in Dubai (19 June 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Flying cars have arrived, so the future is officially here. The new socio-economic divide will be evident to those still stuck in ground traffic, as they gaze high above their heads. A BBC World News television interviewee stated this week that the aim for these "future mobility ecosystems" was to,
"ease us into this before we go completely pilotless."
In the United States, regulators are currently opening up lower air space to drones and air taxis. The past few years have seen American property rights activists battling for citizens to retain some control over the airspace around and above them as an extension of private property they own - and of their own individual autonomy. After all, how low is 'lower airspace' when it comes to an unmanned aircraft system that is an ultra-tiny drone smaller than a gnat? Two inches above your head? Inside your ear canal? But really, like all the rest of hyper-accelerated technology, humankind seems helpless to resist the inevitable.

The Volocopter 2X. Mobility in the next dimension. (16 October 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Volocopter - Making of Dubai Public Demonstration Flight (14 November 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

The Volocopter Unplugged: Volocopter 360° - like you have never seen it before (14 November 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Uber is currently in a tricky lawsuit, but its future plans are nonetheless sunny in this regard. The company intends to run air taxis in Los Angeles during the Olympic Games of 2028 (with the help of Elang and Volocopter).

Unfortunately for Uber and Volocopter, the future and its flying cars come with a lot of emotional baggage. We cannot fly over sprawling cities in bright, shiny volocopters without being haunted that we have done this before, or that something in this project was predicted, a long, long time ago.

To honour the flying car today, watch a futuristic film, Immortel, ad vitam. A pioneering effort from 2004, it combines live action with animation; directed by Enki Bilal, it stars Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann and Charlotte Rampling. The film is based on Bilal's 1980 French comic, The Carnival of Immortals (La Foire aux Immortels; also published in English as Gods in Chaos). Plot:
"Set in the year 2023, the book follows Alcide Nikopol's return to Paris after spending 30 years frozen in space as a punishment for dodging the draft. The Paris he once knew is now ruled by fascist dictator J. F. Choublanc, the city is swarming with aliens, decaying and succumbing to chaos. At the same time, a flying pyramid-shaped space craft is hovering over Paris. It is inhabited by Egyptian gods who ask for fuel from the local authorities, as their pyramid vessel has run out of gas. In return for this service Choublanc wants immortality from the gods. One renegade god, Horus, meets up with the disillusioned Nikopol in the Metro, and Nikopol agrees to allow Horus control of his body. Together they go on a journey to oppose the corrupt and megalomaniacal powers of the 21st century."
Panel from La Foire Aux Immortels. Image Source: Jungle Key.

Image Source: Les Mondes Etranges.

Image Source: Ikar B. Darea.

Stylistically, this comic and film reflect the strange revival of pre-Islamic mythology, especially Ancient Egyptian religion, in Millennial popular culture. There are other influences here: Blade Runner and its real source city, Kowloon Walled City, in Hong Kong. Bilal evidently drew from the ancient aliens hypothesis as well. That is the belief that ancient myths actually chronicle real visitations from UFOs and extra-terrestrials, who genetically engineered us thousands upon thousands of years ago. The story goes that they embedded us with global cultural programs to conceal our true history and our capabilities as a species, and to secretly enslave us.

Immortel (ad vitam) 2004 © Duran Entertainment/First Look Pictures/Ciby 2000. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.


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