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Simulacres et Simulation

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"The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth — it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true." -Ecclesiastes

Simulacra and Simulation is most known for its discussion of symbols, signs, and how they relate to contemporaneity. Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that human experience is of a simulation of reality. Moreover, these simulacra are not merely mediations of reality, nor even deceptive mediations of reality; they are not based in a reality nor do they hide a reality, they simply hide that anything like reality is irrelevant to our current understanding of our lives. The simulacra that Baudrillard refers to are the significations and symbolism of culture and media that construct perceived reality, the acquired understanding by which our lives and shared existence is rendered legible; Baudrillard believed that society has become so saturated with these simulacra and our lives so saturated with the constructs of society that all meaning was being rendered meaningless by being infinitely mutable. Baudrillard called this phenomenon the "precession of simulacra".

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wythe's picture

One way to make a class on Baudrillard's understanding of the simulacrum more specific might be to focus on a single vein of simulacra in culture today, something that resonates with you/the group that is not present in the original essay.

Hey Brittkeller,

No worries about not being intimately familiar with the text, yet. Let's see how the class forms through comments and notes on our website, then perhaps a more focused foothold into Simulacra will emerge.


Hi Maia, thanks for your interest. In all honesty, I've only just read the first few pages and was hoping someone enthusiastic or well-versed would take the reigns. If not, I was going to suggest a general discussion, assuming there was enough interest. Since there's so much to consider, it could tentatively be a series of discussions.

Hi brittkeller,

Thanks for creating the proposal. Is there a certain aspect of Simulacra and Simulation that you'd like to address within this class? Perhaps developing a specific question raised by the text is a good way to get discussion started.



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