Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. . simulacra and of simulation, in which there is no longer a God to recognize his. Simulacra and Simulations from Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings, ed. Mark Poster (Stanford; Stanford University. Press, ), pp The simulacrum . Jean Baudrillard: Simulacra and Simulations. The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none.
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Simulacra and Simulations. “ It is more difficult for us to imagine the real, History, the depth of time, or three- dimensional space, just as before it was difficult from. Get this from a library! Simulacra and simulation. [Jean Baudrillard]. Baudrillard_Jean_Simulacres_et_simulation_pdf (file size: MB, MIME type: application/pdf). Expand view. Jean Baudrillard.
The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truthit is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true. Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols andsigns, 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 relevant to our current understanding of our lives.
The simulacra that Baudrillard refers to are the significations and symbolism of cultureand media that construct perceived reality, the acquired understanding by which our lives and shared existence is and are 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".
The second stage is perversion of reality, this is where we come to believe the sign to be an unfaithful copy, which "masks and denatures" reality as an "evil appearanceit is of the order of maleficence". 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.
The third stage masks the absence of a profound reality, where the simulacrum pretends to be a faithful copy, but it is a copy with no original.
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. Baudrillard calls this the "order of sorcery", a regime of semantic algebra where all human meaning is conjured artificially to appear as a reference to the increasingly hermetic truth. 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. It can be seen as an addition,  a paraphrase and an endorsement of Ecclesiastes' condemnation  of the pursuit of wisdom as folly and a 'chasing after wind'—see for example Ecclesiastes 1.
Simulacra and Simulation is most known for its discussion of symbols, signs, and how they relate to contemporaneity simultaneous existences. 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; he called this phenomenon the "precession of simulacra".
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The second stage is perversion of reality, this is where we come to believe the sign to be an unfaithful copy, which "masks and denatures" reality as an "evil appearance—it is of the order of maleficence". 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.
The third stage masks the absence of a profound reality, where the sign pretends to be a faithful copy, but it is a copy with no original.
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. Baudrillard calls this the "order of sorcery", a regime of semantic algebra where all human meaning is conjured artificially to appear as a reference to the increasingly hermetic truth. The fourth stage is pure simulacrum, 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.
Degrees[ edit ] Simulacra and Simulation identifies three types of simulacra and identifies each with a historical period: First order, associated with the premodern period, where representation is clearly an artificial placemarker for the real item.
It is nothing more than operational.
In fact, since it is no longer enveloped by an imaginary, it is no longer real at all. It is a hyperreal: the product of an irradiating synthesis of combinatory models in a hyperspace without atmosphere. In this passage to a space whose curvature is no longer that of the real, nor of truth, the age of simulation thus begins with a liquidation of all referentials - worse: by their art ficial resurrection in systems of signs, which are a more ductile material than meaning, in that they lend themselves 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. The divine irreference of images To dissimulate is to feign not to have what one has.
To simulate is to feign to have what one hasn't. One implies a presence, the other an absence. But the matter is more complicated, since to simulate is not simply to feign: "Someone who feigns an illness can simply go to bed and pretend he is ill. Someone who simulates an illness produces in himself some of the symptoms" Littre.
Thus, feigning or dissimulating leaves the reality principle intact: the difference is always clear, it is only masked; whereas simulation threatens the difference between "true" and "false", between "real" and "imaginary". Since the simulator produces "true" symptoms, is he or she ill or not? The simulator cannot be treated objectively either as ill, or as not ill. Psychology and medicine stop at this point, before a thereafter undiscoverable truth of the illness.
For if any symptom can be "produced," and can no longer be accepted as a fact of nature, then every illness may be considered as simulatable and simulated, and medicine loses its meaning since it only knows how to treat "true" illnesses by their objective causes.
Psychosomatics evolves in a dubious way on the edge of the illness principle. As for psychoanalysis, it transfers the symptom from the organic to the unconscious order: once again, the latter is held to be real, more real than the former; but why should simulation stop at the portals of the unconscious?
Why couldn't the "work" of the unconscious be "produced" in the same way as any other symptom in classical medicine? Dreams already are.
The alienist, of course, claims that "for each form of the mental alienation there is a particular order in the succession of symptoms, of which the simulator is unaware and in the absence of which the alienist is unlikely to be deceived. What can medicine do with something which floats on either side of illness, on either side of health, or with the reduplication of illness in a discourse that is no longer true or false?
What can psychoanalysis do with the reduplication of the discourse of the unconscious in a discourse of simulation that can never be unmasked, since it isn't false either?
Traditionally, following a direct principle of identification, it unmasks and punishes them. Today, it can reform an excellent simulator as though he were equivalent to a "real" homosexual, heart-case or lunatic.
Even military psychology retreats from the Cartesian clarifies and hesitates to draw the distinction between true and false, between the "produced" symptom and the authentic symptom. Against it, classical reason armed itself with all its categories.
But it is this today which again outflanks them, submerging the truth principle. Outside of medicine and the army, favored terrains of simulation, the affair goes back to religion and the simulacrum of divinity: "l forbade any simulacrum in the temples because the divinity that breathes life into nature cannot be represented.
But what becomes of the divinity when it reveals itself in icons, when it is multiplied in simulacra? Does it remain the supreme authority, simply incarnated in images as a visible theology? Or is it volatilized into simulacra which alone deploy their pomp and power of fascination - the visible machinery of icons being substituted for the pure and intelligible Idea of God? This is precisely what was feared by the Iconoclasts, whose millennial quarrel is still with us today.
Had they been able to believe that images only occulted or masked the Platonic idea of God, there would have been no reason to destroy them. One can live with the idea of a distorted truth.
But their metaphysical despair came from the idea that the images concealed nothing at all, and that in fact they were not images, such as the original model would have made them, but actually perfect simulacra forever radiant with their own fascination.
But this death of the divine referential has to be exorcised at all cost.
It can be seen that the iconoclasts, who are often accused of despising and denying images, were in fact the ones who accorded them their actual worth, unlike the iconolaters, who saw in them only reflections and were content to venerate God at one remove.
But the converse can also be said, namely that the iconolaters possesed the most modern and adventurous minds, since, underneath the idea of the apparition of God in the mirror of images, they already enacted his death and his disappearance in the epiphany of his representations which they perhaps knew no longer represented anything, and that they were purely a game, but that this was precisely the greatest game - knowing also that it is dangerous to unmask images, since they dissimulate the fact that there is nothing behind them.
This was the approach of the Jesuits, who based their politics on the virtual disappearance of God and on the worldly and spectacular manipulation of consciences - the evanescence of God in the epiphany of power - the end of transcendence, which no longer serves as alibi for a strategy completely free of influences and signs.
Behind the baroque of images hides the grey eminence of politics. Thus perhaps at stake has always been the murderous capacity of images: murderers of the real; murderers of their own model as the Byzantine icons could murder the divine identity.
To this murderous capacity is opposed the dialectical capacity of representations as a visible and intelligible mediation of the real. All of Western faith and good faith was engaged in this wager on representation: that a sign could refer to the depth of meaning, that a sign could exchange for meamng and that something could guarantee this exchangeGod, of course.
But what if God himself can be simulated, that is to say, reduced to the signs which attest his existence? Then the whole system becomes weightless; it is no longer anything but a gigantic simulacrum: not unreal, but a simulacrum, never again exchanging for what is real, but exchanging in itself, in an umnterrupted circuit without reference or circumference So it is with simulation, insofar as it is opposed to representation. Conversely, simulation starts from the Utopia of this principle of equivalence, from the radical negation of the sign as value, from the sign as reversion and death sentence of every reference.
Whereas representation tries to absorb simulation by interpreting it as false representation, simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum. These would be the successive phases of the image: 1 It is the reflection of a basic reality.
In the first case, the image is a good appearance: the representation is of the order of sacrament. In the second, it is an evil appearance: of the order of malefice. In the third, it plays at being an appearance: it is of the order of sorcery. In the fourth, it is no longer in the order of appearance at all, but of simulation. The transition from signs which dissimulate something to signs which dissimulate that there is nothing, marks the decisive turning pomt.
The first implies a theology of truth and secrecy to which the notmn of ideology still belongs. The second inaugurates an age of simulacra and simulation, in which there is no longer any God to recognize his own, nor any last judgement to separate truth from false, the real from its art ficial resurrection, since everything is already dead and risen in advance.
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. Hyperreal and imaginary Disneyland is a perfect model of all the entangled orders of simulation. To begin with it is a play of illusions and phantasms: pirates, the frontier, future world, etc.
This imaginary world is supposed to be what makes the operation successful. But, what draws the crowds is undoubtedly much more the social microcosm, the miniaturized and religious revelling in real America, in its delights and drawbacks.
You park outside, queue up inside, and are totally abandoned at the exit. In this imaginary world the only phantasmagoria is in the inherent warmth and affection of the crowd, and in that aufficiently excessive number of gadgets used there to specifically maintain the multitudinous affect.
The contrast with the absolute solitude of the parking lot - a veritable concentration camp - is total. Or rather: inside, a whole range of gadgets magnetize the crowd into direct flows; outside, solitude is directed onto a single gadget: the automobile.
By an extraordinary coincidence one that undoubtedly belongs to the peculiar enchantment of this universe , this deep-frozen infantile world happens to have been conceived and realized by a man who is himself now cryogenized; Walt Disney, who awaits his resurrection at minus degrees centigrade.
The objective profile of the United States, then, may be traced throughout Disneyland, even down to the morphology of individuals and the crowd. All its values are exalted here, in miniature and comic-strip form. Embalmed and pactfied. Whence the possibility of an ideological analysis of Disneyland L. Marin does it well in Utopies, jeux d'espaces : digest of the American way of life, panegyric to American values, idealized transposition of a contradictory reality.
To be sure. But this conceals something else, and that "ideological" blanket exactly serves to cover over a third-order simulation: 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, in its banal omnipresence, which is carceral.
Disneyland 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, and thus of saving the reality principle.
The Disneyland imaginary is neither true nor 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. Moreover, Disneyland is not the only one. Enchanted Village, Magic Mountain, Marine World: Los Angeles is encircled by these "imaginary stations" which feed reality, reality-energy, to a town whose mystery is precisely that it is nothing more than a network of endless, unreal circulation: a town of fabulous proportions, but without space or dimensions.
As much as electrical and nuclear power stations, as much as film studios, this town, which is nothing more than an immense script and a perpetual motion picture, needs this old imaginary made up of childhood signals and faked phantasms for its sympathetic nervous system.
Political incantation Watergate. Same scenario as Disneyland an imaginary effect concealing that reality no more exists outside than inside the bounds of the art ficial perimeter : though here it is a scandal-effect concealing that there is no difference between the facts and their denunciation identical methods are employed by the CIA and the Washington Post journalists. Same operation, though this time tending towards scandal as a means to regenerate a moral and political principle, towards the imaginary as a means to regenerate a reality principle in distress.
The denunciation of scandal always pays homage to the law. And Watergate above all succeeded in imposing the idea that Watergate was a scandal - in this sense it was an extraordinary operation of intoxication: the reinjection of a large dose of political morality on a global scale.
It could be said along with Bourdieu that: "The specific character of every relation of force is to dissimulate itself as such, and to acquire all its force only because it is so dissimulated"; understood as follows: capital, which is immoral and unscrupulous, can only function behind a moral superstructure, and whoever regenerates this public mocality by indignation, denunciation, etc. But this is still only the formula of ideology, and when Bourdieu enunciates it, he takes "relation of force" to mean the truth of capitalist domination, and he denounces this relation of force as itself a scandal: he therefore occupies the same deterministic and moralistic position as the Washington Post journalists.
He does the same job of purging and revivihg moral order, an order of truth wherein the genuine symbolic violence of the social order is engendered, well beyond all relations of force, which are only elements of its indifferent and shifting configuration in the moral and political consciousnesses of people.
All that capital asks of us is to receive it as rational or to combat it in the name of rationality, to receive it as moral or to combat it in the name of morality. For they are identical, meaning they can be read another way: before, the task was to dissimulate scandal; today, the task is to conceal the fact that there is none. Watergate is not a scandal: this is- what must be said at all cost, for this is what everyone is concerned to conceal, this dissimulation masking a strengthening of morality, a moral panic as we approach the primal mise-en- scene of capital: its instantaneous cruelty; its incomprehensible ferocity; its fundamental immorality - these are what are scandalous, unaccountable for in that system of moral and economic equivalence which remains the axiom of leftist thought, from Enlightenment theory to communism.
Capital doesn't give a damn about the idea of the contract which is imputed to it: it is a monstrous unprincipled undertaking, nothing more.