Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jean Baudrillard est mort

Philosopher Jean Baudrillard has died in France aged 77. Highly influenced by Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle, Baudrillard was famous for his book, 'The [First]Gulf War didn't happen', which argued that our (western) knowledge of that war was mediated to such extent that it was impossible to say what really occurred and what in fact reality was at all, instead we were left with the 'hyperreal', a reality only available to us through the media. He also wrote that the Disney sponsored town, Celebration, in Florida wasn't an idealised and artificial version of the American dream, it was the rest of the country that was fake; Celebration, with its white fences and Truman Show style community, was America!
As a mark of respect, here are some exhilarating opening lines from 'Simulations', published by Semiotext(e) in 1983:
"Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth it is the map that precedes the territory - PRECESSION OF SIMULACRA- it is the map that engenders the territory..."

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