Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Has the "precession of simulacra" left my gen hyper-suicidal?

Widespread biological response.





















"Self awareness is the only true measure of existence." --Galouye

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Simulations

'In this passage to a space whose curvature is no longer that of the real, nor of the truth, the age of simulation thus begins with a liquidation of all referentials--worse: by their artificial resurrection in systems of signs, a more ductile material than meaning, in that it lends itself to all systems of equivalence, all binary oppositions and all combinatory algebra. It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself, that is, an operation to deter every real process by its operational double, a metastable, programmatic, perfect descriptive machine which provides all the signs of the real and short-circuits all its vicissitudes. Never again will the real have to be produced--this is the vital function of the model in a system of death, or rather of anticipated resurrection which no longer leaves any chance even in the event of death. A hyperreal henceforth sheltered from the imaginary, and from any distinction between the real and the imaginary, leaving room only for the orbital recurrence of models and the simulated generation of difference.'

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'When the real is no longer what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its full meaning. There is a proliferation of myths of origin and signs of reality; of second-hand truth, objectivity and authenticity. There is an escalation of the true, of the lived experience; a resurrection of the figurative where the object and substance have disappeared. And there is a panic-stricken production of the real and the referential, above and parallel to the panic of material production: this is how simulation appears in the phase that concerns us--a strategy of the real, neo-real and hyperreal whose universal double is a strategy of deterrence'

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'The duplication is sufficient to render both artificial.'

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"Everything is metamorphosed into its inverse in order to be perpetuated in its purged form. Every form of power, every situation speaks of itself by denial, in order to attempt to escape, by simulation of death, its real agony. Power can stage its own murder to rediscover a glimmer of existence and legitimacy. In olden days the king (also the god) had to die--that was his strength. Today he does his miserable utmost to pretend to die, so as to preserve the blessing of power. But even this is gone.

To seek new blood in its own death, to renew the cycle by the mirror of crisis, negativity and anti-power: this is the only alibi of every power, of every institution attempting to break the vicious circle of its irresponsibility and its fundamental non-existence, of its deja-vu and its deja-mort."

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'The balance of terror is the terror of balance.'

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&&& Sarah Charlesworth / From DOUBLEWORLD

"To live in a world of photographs is to live in a world of substitutes--stand-ins--representations of things, or so it seems, whose actual referents are always the other, the described, the reality of a world once removed... I prefer, on the other hand, to look at the photograph as something real and of my world--a strange and powerful thing--but not a thing to be viewed in isolation, but as part of a language, a system of communication, an economy of signs."

...

"The pieces are deliberately extracted, context-less. I think that this is exaggerated by the fact that I often don't remember what culture some object that I've used comes from. This is very much a postmodern amnesia. There's a deliberate kind of, I don't know that you could call it "denial," but certainly an ignoring of what the initial context is and a recontextualizing. That's the way that images function in mass culture, and I'm trying to exaggerate that. They stand for things, and we don't need to know exactly where they came from. We use them for what we want them to mean.

Well, I think that "real history" is a fiction anyways, so I'm exaggerating that fiction. Certainly, an Egyptian statue in an Egyptian museum, studied by an Egyptologist, has a difference significance than the "Egyptian" figure that I've used. I don't know of whom the statue is, Amenhotep IV or something like that, or from what dynasty it comes. I just call it "The Sphinx" because that's how it's going to function in my vocabulary. It admits a question but not a clear answer. I think of myself as a robber or something. I plunder and pillage on paper. I like the fact that I can have anything I want out of all time and place (that I can get via image form) as mine. I possess these things and give them my own meaning. This is very different from what an art historian does, which is to try to approach some description of what the original meaning was. I'm using images that are available in my culture, and I'm using them for my own purposes in order to describe a state, a cultural state, a state of mind, that is meaningful to me."
















...

"In one sense, we live in a regular three-dimensional physical world, and in another sense, we inhabit an entirely different image-world. While the three-dimensional world and the image-world are physically distinct, there is a kind of conceptual osmosis, a reciprocity of meaning between the two. The image repertoire that is yours and mine via popular culture is something we share: a common vocabulary. It's the commonality of the landscape that I'm describing, not a private mindset.

Images of the first man on the moon, or images of President Kennedy being shot, or fashion photos, Calvin Klein ads, these are certain images that are part of our "real" environment. I think that what we're so awkwardly approaching is a totally different state of culture than that which we've previously known. It's a metaphysical problem. I wonder about the true metaphysical state of living with images that are shared and propagated by the hundreds of thousands. Part of the feeling we have, you and I, of being inarticulate in approaching these issues is that we, in fact, lack the vocabulary. We lack the conceptual structure.  Over and over again, I'm talking about problems of representation, and I can barely get through the elements to stand still long enough to talk about them."

...



"Even when Walter Benjamin talked about "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," he was talking about multiple copies versus unique objects. We are not even talking about multiple copies. We are talking about the global, electronic, computerized, satellite-dish transmission of images, reaching millions of people. Images themselves are traveling at the speed of light... well, at least, sound. This is an entirely new, not only metaphysical frontier, but a political and social frontier. We're pioneers in terms of trying to approach a conceptual grasp of what it means. Culture itself has become abstracted to the point where its extremely difficult for a person to even conceive of the way in which they exist in it. We live in a transcultural state wherein culture itself has become self-conscious of itself as culture. It's abstraction already.

Compare this with a more localized culture in which you have your set of traditions and costumes and food. We choose between Chinese or Italian for dinner, or whether to wear our Japanese designer clothes or read our French philosophy. We live in a "hyper-" (or "meta-") culture that borrows geographically and socially from a number of different (originally local) cultures that have become almost free-floating in a media culture. I don't belong to an authentic, original culture. If there's a way to describe my culture, it's as a pop culture, which is a metaculture."

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"It sounds imperialistic, but all I'm taking are pieces of paper, which are already mine by virtue of the fact that they are on my floor or worktable. I bought the magazines. Once they are transmitted into my environment, I allow myself the freedom to react to them, to respond to them, to alter them, in keeping with my own desires, directed toward the human goals... the values I support."

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