By Alla Zaykova In Summary In his essay , Baudrillard argues for the idea that people no longer distinguish between reality and a constructed representation of reality or a simulacrum. He initially draws an analogy with , where a map is created, so precise in scale and detail that it is impossible to tell it apart from the empire it maps. So the map, a simulation, becomes confused for the real terrain until it rots away. Baudrillard then talks about the power of images and symbols to subvert reality. He draws the distinction between pretence and simulation via the example of illness. If a man pretends to be ill, he may sit in bed, but does not possess any symptoms of illness.

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Page citations refer to that text. Instead of the worth of an object being directly related to its usefulness, worth is attached to the image of the product. Accordingly, he suggests that we live in a world where artificial simulations are overtaking and indeed replacing reality, because we only interact with those things in the world whose images can be commodified and reproduced" Masri The Divine Irreference of Images Note the pun on "irreverence".

Images do not refer. They do not exhibit divine correspondence to reality. What is the difference between the terms "to dissimulate" and "to simulate"? Dissimulation means pretending not to have what you have. The falseness is in the absence. The falsity is in the presence. According to Baudrillard, dissimulation "leaves the principle of reality in tact. It is, firstly, that there is such a thing called reality, that it can be referred to, discussed, and represented, and that it can be distinguished from the artificial and imaginary.

Remember, it implies an absence. But I do have it. Actually, it exists in reality, but I am hiding the fact that I have it.

So I mask the "truth". For dissimulation, think "mask" - covering the truth. The truth is behind it though. When I simulate, something more sly happens. I am implying a presence. So it is not a matter of covering, masking, hiding the truth. But when I represent it, those representations or simulations assume a kind of presence or reality. This is what Baudrillard means when he says that "simulation threatens the difference between the true and the false. To illustrate, he cites how people can simulate sickness by producing the symptoms of illness, how soldiers simulate insanity or homosexuality to be discharged from the field of battle.

The homosexuality point is worth exploring in some detail. If I produce the symptoms of homosexuality, perhaps in cooperation with another soldier who also wants to get out of the army, all we have to do is perform a homosexual act and be seen doing it.

We have simulated homosexuality. Does that mean we are homosexuals? Does it matter? The simulation is destabilizing the principle of reality of truth. Baudrillard then turns to religion and the "simulacrum of divinity" and the question off iconography and iconoclasts. Can divinity be represented in an image? Traditionally, this idea has been resisted.. A religious icon [[show examples]] threatens to limit, dazzle, distract and fascinate with its visual machinery, and thus substitute the image simulacra for the "pure" concept of divinity.

This is what iconoclasts feared so much, and why they went about destroying religious iconography. Baudrillard thinks the iconoclasts were on to an important insight: that simulacra are capable of erasing God and destroying the truth that they simulate, and they imply the pernicious truth that deep down there is no God, only the images of God. So by destroying the images, you preserve the Idea of God. On the other hand, the icon worshippers are most modern in their assumptions that God can be manifested in the simulacrum, thus making God disappear behind the representations of God but then hiding dissimulating the fact that there is nothing behind the image of God.

Images then have a murderous power. They annihilate the real, they kill the thing they model. But opposed to this way of thinking about images is the idea that images have a dialectical power, that the mediate reality, make it visible and intelligible. This leads us to consider the meaning of signification making signs. To represent means to establish an equivalence between sign and the real.

It works like a contract. Images exchange with other images in "an uninterrupted circuit" free of reference and unbounded. From the standpoint of representation, to simulate means to represent falsely. The copy, the image, the clone. But from the standpoint of simulation, all representation is nothing but simulation. There is no getting outside the process of simulation. Baudrillard describes the successive phases of the image: 1. Image as reflection of a profound reality naive equivalence of representation with divine truth - image incarnates or animates the reality.

The image is a good appearance. It represents the sacramental order. No simulation is really suspected, just signification. The image is an evil appearance - the order of maleficence. The awareness that images can lie, can be manipulated. Image as illusion. It bears no relation to reality at all pure simulacrum. Leaves off the order of appearances and enters the order of simulation.

What is the decisive turning point in this succession of phases? When signs that mask the truth become signs that mask that there is no truth. There is no longer a God who can judge the false from the true, the real from the artificial. He starts with an ethnological example: primitive members of the Tasaday tribe were returned to their "primitive" state in a virgin forest by the Philippine government. When anthropologists study a primitive culture, they kill the thing they study.

Instantly, the primitive culture begins to disintegrate on first contact. For Baudrillard, their true intent was to preserve the reality principle. The preserved Indian in his virgin ghetto "becomes the model of simulation of all the possible Indians from before ethnology.

The idea that these natives have not been encountered. But these savages are already dead, sterilized, preserved in a frozen state as it were. They have become referential simulacra. The same kind of thing happens with "living history" museums. One thinks of colonial Willilamsburg, say, or wildlife parks. What is going on with places like this? In Williamsburg my example , we have the simulation of a colonial town. Think "Ren Faire" too. Same idea. We pretend, mimic, but what are we simulating?

Some actual experience? Real history? Or are we rather simulating other representations of Williamsburg, the Renaissance, the Serengeti Plain? What is being preserved in these reconstructions? This anti-ethnology and how the museum is everywhere now. It is not circumscribed but an invisible presence of the simulacrum. The confinement of the scientific object is equal to the confinement of the mad and the dead.

Inverse mirror effect this is also a difficult, confusing point. Insert higher intellect here Next example, the caves at Lascaux. On the pretext of saving the original, they blocked access and built an exact replica meters away. Next example, the crumbling mummy of Ramses II. We need a visible order, a visible past, visible myths of origin to reassure us about the end. We are fascinated by Ramses just as Renaissance Christians were fascinated by the encounter with American Indians.

They come from a past outside our own. Demuseumification is "nothing but anothe spiral in artificiality" Examples: the Cloisters in New York. Reinstituting appropriated museum pieces buildings, statuary, etc. Consider also the Elgian marbles in the British Museum. The cloister should have stayed in New York in its simulated environment, which at least fooled no one. Another example: American pride at bringing the Indian population back to pre-Conquest levels.

As if that erases all the atrocities!

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Page citations refer to that text. Instead of the worth of an object being directly related to its usefulness, worth is attached to the image of the product. Accordingly, he suggests that we live in a world where artificial simulations are overtaking and indeed replacing reality, because we only interact with those things in the world whose images can be commodified and reproduced" Masri The Divine Irreference of Images Note the pun on "irreverence".


“The Precession of Simulacra” by Jean Baudrillard – a summary

The simulacrum is true. Here, signs and images do not faithfully reveal reality to us, but can hint at the existence of an obscure reality which the sign itself is incapable of encapsulating. Signs and images claim to represent something real, but no representation is taking place and arbitrary images are merely suggested as things which they have no relationship to. The fourth stage is pure simulation, in which the simulacrum has no relationship to any reality whatsoever. Here, signs merely reflect other signs and any claim to reality on the part of images or signs is only of the order of other such claims. The uniqueness of objects and situations marks them as irreproducibly real and signification obviously gropes towards this reality.


On “Simulacra and Simulations,” Jean Baudrillard

Tojazshura Digital technology functions in the same manner that codes reality and allows for its production. Museums are artificial reality. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: TV watches us, TV alienates us, TV manipulates us, TV informs us… in all of this, we are dependent on a type of analysis that sits oddly simulacga reality and meaning. Baudrillard theorizes that the lack of distinctions between reality and simulacra originates in several phenomena: Do you know what a deterrent is? Definition: Simulacrum In it, this fucking empire is so obsessed with maps or some shit that they make this huge ass map that is actually completely a 1: The best example, I think, is the Vietnam War. Introductory Guide to Critical Theory.

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