Free Prime Simulacres et simulationAuthor Jean Baudrillard –

This book has simply managed to put me off all things post structuralist and French at the same time And has introduced a measure of disgust which I now feel towards both these subjects.There are things you come across when you read a lot, things which sound profound and deep and wide ranging before you realise that they are neither profound nor possess the all encompassing grandeur which they make you think they do Simulacra and Simulation is such a work.The self serving circular logic of self referential meaning sounds like it is an amazing and complex concept, its not It is a denial of reality, and not just a denial but an outright perversion of the concept of things happening It is a snobby, first world centric discourse which denies importance to the lives and shared histories of the under developed world Baudrillard may put on airs of being a visionary, but his vision falls woefully short I will not lie, the book is very well written and is very beautiful despite being a very difficult read But this isn t a novel, to be judged on presentation, but a philosophical tract, to be judged on the basis of its ideas Not only do I disagree with these ideas, I find myself having a rather strong reaction to them, and I think that anyone willing to look beyond the reputation of the thinker will understand just what it is that this man speaks of. Totally, completely rad I can just see people smoking bongs not getting this completely, but postmodernism IS the dominant episteme in the West according to Chela Sandoval however, Jameson was right that Postmodernism is complicit with various colonial ideologies, and we must we wary of it in 2011 but, Baudrillard wrote this in 1981 yea, that s the year I was born How cool to be born when such a rad thinker like Baudrillard was doing his best stuff anyway sort of think that postmodernism was is hip and relevantsort of also think it fizzled out in the 80s amidst various theory circles in academia however, it IS in my opinion THE dominant epistemology among the unwashed masses and misinformed proles sort of always crops up into most of my philosophy classes unconsciously amonst my students in fact, funny story, one of my students was sooo incredibly aware of the fact that everything was an illusion except his greedy ego of course that he nearly threatened to kill me once I posited if you are an illusion, try jumping off a bridge to prove your life is not real he succinctly told me to suck his c ck and then immediately dropped my class after he gave me a death threat all I can say is Baudrillard you fucking amazing twat Your influence has infected the unwashed masses even in a providential back water redneck area like rural Binghamton NY where this student made his abode Wish I could write a book that could change the world, or tap into the zeitgeist best line of the book, I am a nihilist I observe, I accept, I assume the immense process of the destruction of appearances first line alone is worth the price of admission The simulacrum is never what hides the truth it is the truth that hides the fact that there is nonethe simulacrum is true from f cking Ecclesiastes are you kidding me that quote was plucked by Baudrillard from the f ing BIBLE and not just the Bible, but the freaking Torah Jews think this far into postmodernism as well Rad, its not just new, its olde tyme as well great great stuff My idols Lyotard, DG, Baudrillard, Derrida, Foucault, Butler, Kristeva of the 60s, not when she became a Christian and shit , but these chaps really left the world a better, mad place. The Publication Of Simulacra Et Simulation In Marked Jean Baudrillard S First Important Step Toward Theorizing The Postmodern Moving Away From The Marxist Freudian Approaches That Had Concerned Him Earlier, Baudrillard Developed In This Book A Theory Of Contemporary Culture That Relies On Displacing Economic Notions Of Cultural Production With Notions Of Cultural ExpenditureBaudrillard Uses The Concepts Of The Simulacra The Copy Without An Original And Simulation These Terms Are Crucial To An Understanding Of The Postmodern, To The Extent That They Address The Concept Of Mass Reproduction And Reproduceability That Characterizes Our Electronic Media CultureBaudrillard S Book Represents A Unique And Original Effort To Rethink Cultural Theory From The Perspective Of A New Concept Of Cultural Materialism, One That Radically Redefines Postmodern Formulations Of The BodySheila Glaser Is An Editor At Artforum Magazine This review has been dedicated to the charitable literary contribution of Alfonso s a.k.a The Crimson Fucker penis , an essential piece of conceptual art of penile architecture The simulacrum is never thatwhich conceals the truth it isthe truth which conceals thatthere is none.The simulacrum is true Ecclesiastes It has been a week and Sammy hasn t stopped humping the cilantro or sucking the lonely grape The dung beetle has left its profession for some weed Since Martha s the pig death, the Oedipal hamster has been spinning like Elmo on meth Sammy sucked Martha to death as he merrily smoked a joint Has the sorrow of Martha s death made Sammy an inhabitant of hyperreality Has the cilantro and the grape become a symbol of simulation the deception of the hamster s Oedipal reality In all this simulacrum panic where does Fonso s penile obsession stands or rather erects Baudrillard states,Simulation is no longer really the real, because no imaginary envelops it any It is a hyperreal It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real perfectly descriptive machine that offers all the signs of the real and short circuits its entire vicissitudes Similar to someone who feigns an illness can make believe that he is ill and may even produce imaginary symptoms is Alfonso s assertion about the largeness a result of his penile obsession Reminiscent to the television thrusting endless hours of Miley Cyrus s twerking in your face and then you being to wonder whether it is your ass that gyrates on Robin Thicke s crotch.Is it a simulated bulkiness or a generous contribution to penile literature Further, Baudrillard claims that Watergate was not a scandal but a mere trap set by the CIA and other governmental authorities to catch the adversaries Are then Alfonso s monstrous penile claims a mere trap to attract the unknown female species or a real scandalous sexual entr e Is Alfonso s penis an Enchanted Land with magic rides Are the pompous claims real or a simulacrum like Disneyland No matter how much fearless fun you might on those magical rides, at the end of it you have to pimp the goat for an ounce of weed When the lines between the real and unreal blurs one enters the world of simulation Is the celebrity status of Fonso s penis moving into the same direction And what would happen when the real is no longer stiff it used to be Will nostalgia assume it flaccid meaning For further literary probing 1.The Ecstasy of Communication Jean Baudrillard2.The Accident of Art Sylvere Lotringer Paul Virilio3.Forget Foucault Jean Baudrillard Think Alfonso 4.I Love Dick Chris KrausAdditional adventures 1.Aliens Anorexia Chris Kraus2.The New Fuck You Adventures In Lesbian Reading Eileen Myles Liz Kotz, eds3.Leash Jane DeLynn This is not an easy book to read, in part because Baudrillard starts off with his ideas in full development and then talks around them, to explain them He will start off with an example, develop the idea within the example, and then end by wrapping the example around itself, rather than ending on continual applications of the idea In any case, he doesn t do the historicity thing by telling you the past, where the idea may have come from, and then develop the series of thoughts that outline the form of the idea Instead, Baudrillard plops you in the middle and makes you flounder And unlike other thinkers, he doesn t quote too many philosophers in fact, nearly none at all Instead of giving you guide posts along the way, he d rather you sink or swim Get it or not.Baudrillard s basic idea is that we don t live in reality that is, in the common sense use of the word, there is no thing in itself He doesn t even talk that way, as though the thing in itself is unnecessary Following Quentin Meillasoux, Baudrillard is an absolute correlationist the relationship we have with language is what also determinates any outside of language Thus, for Baudrillard, we live in a world of simulacra That s easy so far But there s a catch For Baudrillard, reality has already been exceeded because the processes that we buy into These processes are unthinking, mechanical means that produce the simulacra which we then take for the actual thing The easy examples of postmodern malls in America come to mind, or Disneyland Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation 12 13.But such simulations only act to hide the fact that we can t get back to reality because we ve lost it So this explains why Baudrillard drops us into the mix He can t explain why this happened Once we ve gotten sucked into hyperreality we re here It s a traumatic event The sheer force of hyperreality obscures any possibility of a central signifier There is no metaphysics of presence in fact he doesn t even mention such a concept because it s not important Instead, he talks of what remains when the model has exhausted itself When a system has absorbed everything, when one has added everything up, when nothings remains, the entire sum turns to the remainder and becomes the remainder 144, original italics One of the key sections, philosophy wise, in this book has to do with the remainder, which is another way of talking about emptiness as a thing The remainder is the excessive real, in a strict sense, it cannot be defined except as the remainder of the remainder 143 that is, left over after processes have stopped You might say hey, wait, isn t everything real And yes, that s how language is, but the model for what is real and what is hyperreal have become the same For instance, in talking of diplomas, their ubiquity and the ease at which they can be acquired for whoever goes through the process gets one signifies nothing but their meaninglessness What makes diplomas meaningless is that it s not about knowledge it s about process Diplomas connect in a system of simulacra that only point to other simulacra Similar to Derrida, with Baudrillard, we end with a passed reference that is always missed What s left over is the reality we deal with, the remainder that we must recycle back into a process for it to be what we think it is, which is a problem we have today with things that are meta, that the meaning of a thing today is often exactly what it is, a simulation, a context that determines our locus, not what it should be for us For example, if we go to say, Paris, that trip will be like a family trip, with all the clich s and potholes of a family trip, which might as well be a sitcom simulating a family trip The process of going through replaces the reality of a family trip, so that really, you re just doing the family trip You can t otherwise because we are trapped in hyperreality This is like how fake internet money in a game treated like real money in an economy becomes real money The caveat is that real money then is just as fake as fake money because it s just another simulation due to a formal process Baudrillard notes that, like the Borges story, the territory itself decays when the map of the territory replaces the territory by being the territory itself The simulacra of simulation, the pattern itself, the hyperreality has taken over reality by replacing reality In hyperreality, the map meant to represent reality becomes a simulacra of reality itself so that we don t get real, we get the map qua real qua map.The fact that he is able to note the lack of a lack, as Zizek would say the anti philosophy at the heart of philosophy, so to speak, places Baudrillard with all the other philosophical greats of our time He notices the void that persists throughout simulation that which organizes simulacra and leaves only sense making in its wake.Meaning, truth, the real cannot appear except locally, in a restricted horizon, they are partial objects, partial effects of the mirror and of equivalence All doubling, all generalization, all passage to the limit, all holographic extension the fancy of exhaustively taking account of this universe makes them surface in their mockery 108 109.Thus, the curve of meaning making is in fact what is created through the distortion of the absent remainder, leaving us only sensible sense, the trace that makes sense In other words, when speaking of truth, or ideology, Baudrillard is able to show us how adding the unnameable nothing the social totality, the remainder back into the mix gets us the totality that we cannot exceed The simulation always over codes totality by naming its void, leaving us always within the wake of its own logic Baudrillard writes As the social in its progression eliminates all residue, it itself becomes residue In designating residual categories as Society, the social designates itself as a remainder 144, original italics This is another way of saying that in trying to split a totality like the social, we name parts of it also things, so as to make a thing out of its parts But the social as a totality, as a bare named signifier, persists because the social always remains as a residue to mark the situation we are in With the naming of any void, the absent remainder, we can never get away from conditions like being in society, whatever ideology or other kinds of hyperreality Hyperreality is the kind of situation presupposes the very topography that we are trying to define, to get away from If anything, what is confusing about Baudrillard is that he does not allow us any access, imaginary or real, to what we are talking about What he calls simulation is also the very naming of a given set of the conditions that allow us to talk about anything at all, simply because such terms act as null reference points to its own generic logic.I am split on liking the reviews through Goodreads and where people obviously didn t get it, and thus didn t like it, and disliking such reviews by hurt readers who rebelled at feeling stupid, or having their time wasted and it s hard to tell the difference when you re not sure what you are reading about To be honest, I ve read this book three times over the past 10 years, and each time I ve come away with a fuller picture This is one of the hardest books I ve ever read, and that includes any of Zizek or Deleuze s works.Overall, I appreciate this difficulty because in making you work for it, the concept will stick with you You ll make the concept your own, and you ll remember it better It can inspire you, help you along If the entire concept everything was handed to you, you d lose the influence In this sense, by stretching in a new way, you end up in the pataphysical, where the meaning stands on its own Is this a site of resistance to the ubiquitous hyperreality With pataphysics, you get something that can stand in for itself on its own by itself, in this case, each particular re reading Although, it is arguable that while there is the process of reading, if you read the good stuff, each time it will be different This difference however, is really a pre fabricated genre soaked simularca because it is different We assume, in Baudrillardian terms, that what we are reading relies on a kind of perhaps, na ve faith in a pact of the similitude of things to themselves We assume that what we are talking about is the same as what we are talking about, and this is where our conception, or model or map, gets in the very way of what we are so desirous to speak of.The real, the real object is supposed to be equal to itself, it is supposed to resemble itself like a face in a mirror and this virtual similitude is in effect the only definition of real and any attempt, including the holographic one, that rests on it, will inevitably miss its object, because it does not take its shadow into account precisely the reason why it does not resemble itself this hidden face where the object crumbles, its secret The holographic attempt literally jumps over its shadow, and plunges into transparency, to lose itself there 109, original italics.And in this way, you can say that each time you process Baudrillard s Simulacra and Simulation you ve actually miss encountered it Whatever process of reading you have, you inevitably create a conception of it, and in that conception, blur the totality of everything else around it, to make room for this conception So in a twist of Baudrillardian logic, perhaps we read Simulacra and Simulation in order to claim everything is a simulation In finding simulacra everywhere around us we dig extra deep in order to hide the fact that we already don t really live in reality, that our very response in naming and determining differences around us for orientation to get at reality creates the very condition we want to escape from. To dissimulate is to pretend not to have what one has To simulate is to feign to have what one doesn t have But it is complicated than that because simulating is not pretending Whoever fakes an illness can simply stay in bed and make everyone believe he is ill Whoever simulates an illness produces in himself some of the symptomsLittr Baudrillard sometimes fascinates me Examining popular culture and its signs as taking over reality and replacing it, leaving only an unreliable reference to the original which no longer exists, this philosophical treatise looks into the postmodern condition that leaves the line between the real and the simulation blurred The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth it is the truth which conceals that there is none The simulacrum is true. In a vein very much similar to Walter Benjamin, who in his amazing, amazing essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction I was glad I wasn t the only one who thought of Benjamin here, Baudrillard did too , talks about the furor over the sanctity of the original work of art with new developments in photography now that everyone could have a cheap imitation of Mona Lisa, who cares about seeing the original the aura of mystery is lost with mechanical reproduction Baudrillard too ruminates over the nature of simulation and reality What is lost in the work that is serially reproduced, is its aura, its singular quality of the here and now, its aesthetic form it had already lost its ritual form, in its aesthetic quality , and, according to Benjamin, it takes on, in its ineluctable destiny of reproduction, a political form What is lost is the original, which only a history itself nostalgic and retrospective can reconstitute as authentic The most advanced, the most modern form of this development, which Benjamin described in cinema, photography, and contemporary mass media, is one in which the original no longer even exists, since things are conceived from the beginning as a function of their unlimited reproductionI like Baudrillard s concept of Hyper real a simulation that is real than reality itself, which clouds reality and surpasses it to the extent that the real does not exist any, and the simulation becomes reality itself it creates an impressive larger than life figure, whether in political or social scenarios, overpowering the real historical depictions in cinema, Jurassic Park, Disneyland, Watergate I did enjoy this essay a lot, especially his deconstruction of how popular media saturates the mind so easily, clogging it with simulations, and his observations on war, architecture and science fiction with reference to simulations.However, I do have a bit of issues with Baudrillard, both stylistically and in terms of content.I do not really agree with everything he says his reactions to some phenomena seem just as essentialist as those he critiques Sometimes, he comes across as paranoid in his zeal to impress upon us how unreal the real world is I agree with him on his ideas, but not to the extent he takes his ideas.While he acknowledges in the very beginning that the line between the real and the simulated is no longer clear as before, and what is real and what is not is now nearly inseparable things can be both, and simultaneously GR itself seems to be a wonderful example of this phenomena it is a real world, for many of us Impossible to think of a life without it But then, do we really know anyone behind those avatars, photos and reviews I bet some of us would not even have looked eye to eye in real life, no matter how wonderful reviews we wrote And yet, it is all real and simulated at the same time.But Baudrillard, in the latter part of the essay seems to insinuate and that nothing we see is real, everything about our life is simulated, especially communication on virtual platforms I really don t think everything around and about us is unreal I think it is real and simulated, all at the same time.Another issue I have with him are on his ideas of FascismFascism can already be interpreted as the irrational excess of mythic and political referentials, the mad intensification of collective value blood, race, people, etc , the reinjection of death, of a political aesthetic of death at a time when the process of the disenchantment of value and of collective values, of the rational secularization and unidimensionalization of all life, of the operationalization of all social and individual life already makes itself strongly felt in the West Yet again, everything seems to escape this catastrophe of value, this neutralization and pacification of life Fascism is a resistance to this, even if it is a profound, irrational, demented resistance, it would not have tapped into this massive energy if it hadn t been a resistance to something much worse Fascism s cruelty, its terror is on the level of this other terror that is the confusion of the real and the rational, which deepened in the West, and it is a response to that I find it difficult to accept such simplistic explanations.If Althusser is too oblique, too opaque with his dense, technical style, Baudrillard is too colloquial, too disorganized If Althusser condenses an unbelievable number of concepts in a short essay, Baudrillard lets his essay run watery, diluted Couldn t he just say we re being interpellated Or something easier on the mind if he doesn t like this term I was elated at first at his easy style Soon, I grew tired of it he takes too much time to say a little thing Perhaps, as a live lecture, it might have not been so dry to read, but as a text, it needed to be a little tighter, a little denser, condensed.In fact, I rather preferred these two videos Rick Roderick on Baudrillard first 25 mins Dr Alan Howe on Baudrillard 1.5 mins This book is only so highly rated because it is utterly incomprehensible Baudrillard revelled in using hundreds of words to write what were really quite simple and flimsy arguments Responsible for inspiring a lot of impenetrable art speak which is unfortunately common at a lot of art school degree shows nowadays. Completely agree with everything said in Shiv s review, as quoted Some authors have a gift of being able to explain complex matters in simple terms Baudrillard, on the other hand, seems to have the complete opposite explaining essentially simple although nontheless interesting concepts in overly complex terms While the core message of his essays is thought provoking and engaging, the text itself is so full of jargon, unnecessarily convoluted language, and a fair amount of repetition If you are anything like myself you will spend an hour reading, rereading, and digesting a couple of pages before reaching a point where you can explain what Baudrillard was essentially saying in a few simple sentences.Baudrillard also has a habit of making quite extravagant claims or suggestions with no proof, or even justification or much in the way of reasoning.All in all a difficult and unrewarding read, I feel that I would have been better off reading something written by someone else about Baudrillard s ideas Would add to this by saying that all this applies to much of the continental philosophy I have read, even some of the greatest Gadamer, Sartre Also would add that, perhaps mildly contradicting my agreement with the complaint about Baudrillard s language, Baudrillard and other relatively speaking great continentalists would probably have been better off as literary authors, communicating these worthy ideas through art instead of jargon laden and obtuse philosophy In support, I submit some stunningly gorgeous and worthy sentences from this book, all from the same page on which there also exists unbearable obtuseness and obscuritythat Baudrillard worsens through repitition, as he constantly fucking thinks it s a good idea to Los Angeles is surrounded by these imaginary stations that feed reality, the energy of the real to a city whose mystery is precisely that of no longer being anything but a network of incessant, unreal circulation a city of incredible proportions but without space, without dimension As much as electrical and atomic power stations, as much as cinema studios, this city, which is no longer anything but an immense scenario and perpetual pan shot, needs this old imaginary like a sympathetic nervous system made up of childhood signals and failed phantasms Everywhere today one must recycle waste, and the dreams, the phantasms, the historical, fairylike, legendary imaginary of children and adults is a waste product, the first great toxic excrement of a hyperreal civilization. Some authors have a gift of being able to explain complex matters in simple terms Baudrillard, on the other hand, seems to have the complete opposite explaining essentially simple although nontheless interesting concepts in overly complex terms While the core message of his essays is thought provoking and engaging, the text itself is so full of jargon, unnecessarily convoluted language, and a fair amount of repetition If you are anything like myself you will spend an hour reading, rereading, and digesting a couple of pages before reaching a point where you can explain what Baudrillard was essentially saying in a few simple sentences Baudrillard also has a habit of making quite extravagant claims or suggestions with no proof, or even justification or much in the way of reasoning.All in all a difficult and unrewarding read, I feel that I would have been better off reading something written by someone else about Baudrillard s ideas. Basically the idea is just that people increasingly base their lives around collective ideas of things and those ideas can readily shift around and become something detached from reality rather than the things themselves And that creates a free floating idea of society and the universe that supercedes concrete reality in its consequences.