The only genuinely modern pleasure.
Speed, the sensation one gets when driving fast, was described by Aldous Huxley as the single new pleasure invented by modernity. El Solitario is a virtuoso exploration of Huxley’s claim with a hint of Hunter S. Thompson along the way.
El Solitario shows how the experience of speed has always been political and how it has affected nearly all aspects of modern culture. Primarily a result of the mass-produced automobile, the experience of speed became the quintessential way for individuals to experience modernity, to feel modernity in their bones.
El Solitario plunges full-throttle into speed’s “adrenaline aesthetics,” and describes how speed changed understandings of space, distance, chance, and violence; how the experience of speed is commodified in the dawning era of mass consumption; and how society is incited to abhor slowness and desire speed.
We examine how people are trained by new media to see, hear, and sense speed, and how speed, demanded of the efficient assembly-line worker, is given back to that worker as the chief thrill of leisure. And most importantly we question how speed quickly became something to be patrolled by governments.
Dromology is derived from the Greek ‘dromos’ which means: race course. The theory of dromology interprets the world and reality as a resultant of velocity. In Paul Virilio’s 1977 essay entitled “Speed and Politics”, the french philosopher makes a compelling case for an interpretation of history, politics and society in the context of speed. In fact for him, speed became the sole agent and measure of progress.
It is with this meaning in mind that he coined the term ‘dromology’, which he defined as the “science (or logic) of speed“. Dromology is important when considering the structuring of society in relation to warfare and modern media. He noted that the speed at which something happens may change its essential nature, and that which moves with speed, quickly comes to dominate, that which is slower.
Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation.
El Solitario sits at the intersection between speed and freedom. A controversial stronghold we know well and we defend fiercely with our bikes our gear and our philosophy.
Hold fast dear wolves.