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Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G Lecture Notes - Jean Baudrillard, Restaurant Makeover, Hyperreality

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2200F/G
Kane Faucher

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Continuation of Postmodernism Lecture
December 5, 2011
Jean Baudrillard (1929 --)
-French philosopher
The rise of the simulacra
-3 orders of representation
-sign refers to something real (a referent)
-sign refers to other signs that refer to something real (copies of originals)
-signs refer only to themselves - and come to replace the real
-simulacrum: a copy for which there is no original
-there is no real referent in the real world, only a tripping reference to other
images to other images and so on.
-we are always reading things in references to other images.
-had to refer to another image to have a relationship to it. instead of thinking
“my arm hurts I should go to the hospital” you go to the hospital because of a
first aid manual that you remember tells you what a broken arm looks like
-we get to a point where we can’t understand reality without working through layers of meaning
-Images, simulacrum, have ‘murdered’ the ‘real’
-For reality is a principle, and it is this principle that is lost (228)
-reality sees representation as pertaining to some material reality external to it
-Hyperreality -- material reality is the world of images and simulations
-murdered a reality beneath the images. if we cleared away all the clutter, we could see the true
-reality is a principle, and this principle is lost in hyperreality.
-the principle is that we believe that representation pertains to some material reality. that is
what he means by reality being a principle -- the belief that representation can stand in
for the real.
The Implosion of Meaning
-Images can only refer to and exchange in themselves: an endless circuit of hyperreality and
uninterrupted circuit without reference
-It is in this circuit that the meaning implodes
-our will to spectacle is greater than our will to knowledge
-while we quest to understand and know the world, we’d rather watch. we’re transfixed
by all the images so all we do is watch. we don’t want to know because knowing requires
work. knowing is hard, watching spectacle is easy. when we live in a world where there
are all these competing claims to truth and people are trying to sell you stuff and you
can’t figure out who to trust, it’s way easier to just sit back and watch it, not intervene.
-meaning is so overproduced that it becomes meaningless
-there’s so many different claims to truth, different political positions, different advice,
etc. etc.
Disneyland as Example of HyperSpectacularized World we live in
-“Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when, in
fact all of LA and the rest of US surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the
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