Introduction to Baudrillard

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  • Copy of a copy of a copy of a copy until the copy is so faded and almost unrecognisable when compared to the orginal.
    Talk about money – internet banking, debit cards paper money etc
    Maybe start with the orange exercise – orange fruit, juice, fizzy drink, sweets.
    reality by proxy." Some examples are simpler: the McDonald's "M" arches allegedly make the material promise of endless amounts of identical food from the store, when in "reality" the "M" represents nothing, and the food produced is neither identical nor infinite, as a person would expect from a fast food restaura
  • Compare with Strinati and Lyotard.
  • People like ‘answers’ and ‘truths’ as they help us to make sense of the world.
  • Clip One – Nero and the two pills
    Clip Two – inside the construct
  • Both Umberto Eco and Jean Baudrillard refer to Disneyland as an exemplar of hyperreality. Eco believes that Disneyland with its settings such as Main Street and full sized houses has been created to look "absolutely realistic," taking visitors' imagination to a "fantastic past."[2] This false reality creates an illusion and makes it more desirable for people to buy this reality. Disneyland works in a system that enables visitors to feel that technology and the created atmosphere "can give us more reality than nature can."[3] The fake animals such as alligators and hippopotamuses are all available to people in Disneyland and for everyone to see. The "fake nature" of Disneyland satisfies our imagination and daydream fantasies in real life. Therefore, they seem more admirable and attractive. When entering Disneyland, consumers form into lines to gain access to each attraction. Then they are ordered by people with special uniforms to follow the rules, such as where to stand or where to sit. If the consumer follows each rule correctly, they can enjoy "the real thing" and see things that are not available to them outside of Disneyland's doors.[4]
    In his work Simulacra and Simulation, Baudrillard argues the "imaginary world" of Disneyland magnetizes people inside and has been presented as "imaginary" to make people believe that all its surroundings are "real". But he believes that the Los Angeles area is not real; thus it is hyperreal. Disneyland is a set of apparatus, which tries to bring imagination and fiction to what is called "real". This concerns the American values and way of life in a sense and "concealing the fact that the real is no longer real, and thus of saving the reality principle."[5]
    "The Disneyland imaginary is neither true or false: it is a deterrence machine set up in order to rejuvenate in reverse the fiction of the real. Whence the debility, the infantile degeneration of this imaginary. It's meant to be an infantile world, in order to make us believe that the adults are elsewhere, in the "real" world, and to conceal the fact that real childishness is everywhere, particularly among those adults who go there to act the child in order to foster illusion of their real childishness." [6]
  • Other examples
    A magazine photo of a model that has been touched up with a graphics software.
    Films in which characters and settings are either digitally enhanced or created entirely from CGI (e.g.: 300, where the entire film was shot in front of a blue/green screen, with all settings super-imposed).
    A well manicured garden (nature as hyperreal).
    Any massively promoted versions of historical or present "facts" (e.g. "General Ignorance" from QI, where the questions have seemingly obvious answers, which are actually wrong).
    Professional sports athletes as super, invincible versions of the human beings.
    Many world cities and places which did not evolve as functional places with some basis in reality, as if they were creatio ex nihilo (literally 'creation out of nothing'): Disney World; Dubai; Celebration, Florida; and Las Vegas.
    TV and film in general (especially "reality" TV), due to its creation of a world of fantasy and its dependence that the viewer will engage with these fantasy worlds. The current trend is to glamorize the mundane using histrionics.
    A retail store that looks completely stocked and perfect due to facing, creating a world of endless identical products.
    A life which cannot be (e.g. the perfect facsimile of a celebrity's invented persona).
    A high end sex doll used as a simulacrum of an unattainable partner.[7]
    A newly made building or item designed to look old, or to recreate or reproduce an older artifact, by simulating the feel of age or aging.
    Constructed languages (such as E-Prime) or "reconstructed" extinct dialects.
    Second Life The distinction becomes blurred when it becomes the platform for RL (Real Life) courses and conferences, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or leads to real world interactions behind the scenes.
    Weak virtual reality which is greater than any possible simulation of physical reality.[8]
  • War Porn
  • Dove Campaign for Real beauty
    Other examples
    A magazine photo of a model that has been touched up with a graphics software.
    Films in which characters and settings are either digitally enhanced or created entirely from CGI (e.g.: 300, where the entire film was shot in front of a blue/green screen, with all settings super-imposed).
    A well manicured garden (nature as hyperreal).
    Any massively promoted versions of historical or present "facts" (e.g. "General Ignorance" from QI, where the questions have seemingly obvious answers, which are actually wrong).
    Professional sports athletes as super, invincible versions of the human beings.
    Many world cities and places which did not evolve as functional places with some basis in reality, as if they were creatio ex nihilo (literally 'creation out of nothing'): Disney World; Dubai; Celebration, Florida; and Las Vegas.
    TV and film in general (especially "reality" TV), due to its creation of a world of fantasy and its dependence that the viewer will engage with these fantasy worlds. The current trend is to glamorize the mundane using histrionics.
    A retail store that looks completely stocked and perfect due to facing, creating a world of endless identical products.
    A life which cannot be (e.g. the perfect facsimile of a celebrity's invented persona).
    A high end sex doll used as a simulacrum of an unattainable partner.[7]
    A newly made building or item designed to look old, or to recreate or reproduce an older artifact, by simulating the feel of age or aging.
    Constructed languages (such as E-Prime) or "reconstructed" extinct dialects.
    Second Life The distinction becomes blurred when it becomes the platform for RL (Real Life) courses and conferences, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or leads to real world interactions behind the scenes.
    Weak virtual reality which is greater than any possible simulation of physical reality.[8]
  • Beawulf
  • 300
  • Introduction to Baudrillard

    1. 1. Jean Baudrillard A Very Short Introduction!
    2. 2. Jean Baudrillard • 1929 - 2007 • French philosopher and cultural analyst • Agrees with many of the ideas we have discussed so far but focused more on ‘reality’ and ‘truth’ • Has three key ideas Simulacra, Truth and Hyperreality
    3. 3. Simulacra • Come and get: • An orange • Some orange juice • Some Fanta • Some Orange sweets • A bit of Terrys Chocolate • Plate
    4. 4. Sight The Orange Orange Juice Fanta Sweets Chocolate Smell Touch Taste Other Rating impressions – sound? 10
    5. 5. Simulacra • Describe the orange using reference to all of your five senses
    6. 6. Simulacra • Describe the orange juice using reference to all of your five senses • How close to the real orange is it – give it a mark out of 10 (10= just the same)
    7. 7. Simulacra • Describe Fanta using reference to all of your five senses • How close to the real orange is it – give it a mark out of 10 (10= just the same)
    8. 8. Simulacra • Describe the orange sweets using reference to all of your five senses • How close to the real orange is it – give it a mark out of 10 (10= just the same)
    9. 9. Simulacra • Describe the Terry’s chocolate orange using reference to all of your five senses • How close to the real orange is it – give it a mark out of 10 (10= just the same)
    10. 10. Simulacra
    11. 11. Reality Heightened and Exaggerated Simulacra Hyperreality
    12. 12. Simulacra • The new signs ‘images’, ‘objects’ are called simulacra by Baudrillard and together they create a hyper reality. • For Baudrillard, there is now only surface meaning; there is no longer any ‘original’ thing for a sign/image/ object to represent. We don’t know what the ‘real’ is • We inhabit a society made up wholly of simulacra - simulations of reality or Hyperreality
    13. 13. Hyperreality • We live our lives in the realm of hyperreality, connecting more and more deeply to things like television sitcoms, music videos, virtual reality, things that merely simulate reality • • ‘death of the real’ “In this space where everything is meant to be seen, we realize that there is nothing left to see. It becomes a mirror of dullness, of nothingness”
    14. 14. The Truth! • • Does not believe that there is one truth • ‘Truth is what we should rid ourselves of as fast as possible and pass it on to somebody else. As with illnesses it’s the only way to be cured of it. He who hangs on to truth has lost.’ The idea of the truth needs to be deconstructed so that we can challenge dominant ideas that people claim as truth (grand narratives)
    15. 15. The Truth! • Many people saw Baurillard’s position as offensive • • The alternative to truth is relativism (chaos) • All ‘truths’ need to be seen with suspicion Baurillard is not trying to remove one truth and replace it with another so there is no answer
    16. 16. How did we reach this state? • Every time they say the ‘Matrix’ think media • Clip One Clip Two
    17. 17. Theory in Practice • America • Baudrillard saw American as a glittering emptiness, a savage, empty non-culture, in short, as the purest symbol of the hyperreal culture of the postmodern age. • Film representations of the Vietnam War
    18. 18. Theory in Practice • • Disneyland • But because we see Disneyland as ‘fake’ we believe everything else! “is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when in fact all of Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and of simulation. It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality (ideology), but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer real”
    19. 19. Theory in Practice • Disneyland • a place which is at the same time a real, physical space, but is also clearly a fiction, represented world. • “Disneyland is there to conceal the fact that it is the ‘real’ country, all of real America, which is Disneyland, just as prisons are there to conceal the fact that it is the social, in its entirety, it its banal omnipresence, which is Carceral” ( Carceral = Prison, Michel Foucault)
    20. 20. Theory in Practice • The 1991 Gulf War never happened • How do we know that the 1991 Gulf War happened? List all the evidence you can think of.
    21. 21. Theory in Practice • The war was conducted as a media spectacle. Rehearsed as a wargame or simulation, it was then enacted for the viewing public as a simulation: as a news event, with its paraphernalia of embedded journalists and missile's-eye-view video cameras, it was a videogame. The real violence was thoroughly overwritten by electronic narrative: by simulation.
    22. 22. Theory In Practice • The ability to manipulate images • Men
    23. 23. Theory in Practice • Do we need actors anymore?
    24. 24. Theory in Practice • Our ‘real’ world?
    25. 25. Theory in Practice • Other examples? • Facebook and ‘friends’ • Viral marketing – watch the T Mobile ads ‘ Royal Wedding’ and ‘Welcome Back’. • What about this or this? • Perfume?

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