Jean Baudrillard – Simulacra and Simulation, theory and useful quotes

Jean Baudrillards Simulacra and Simulation is a book that theorises the post-modern in order to lay emphasis on the concept of mass reproduction in electronic media culture.  Baudrillard’s dissects late twentieth century consumer culture and argues that items that simulate reality are becoming more real than acts in real time themselves and that we are surrounded by representations of things as opposed to real things. 

“Such is simulation, insofar as it is opposed to representation. Representation stems from the principle of the equivalence of the sign and of the real (even if this equivalence is utopian, it is a fundamental axiom). Simulation, on the contrary, stems from the utopia of the principle of equivalence, from the radical negation of the sign as value, from the sign as the reversion and death sentence of every reference. Whereas representation attempts to absorb simulation by interpreting it as a false representation, simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation, simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation itself as a simulacrum.”


Hyper Reality -

1. (Sociology) an image or simulation, or an aggregate of images and simulations, that either distorts the reality it purports to depict or does not in fact depict anything with a real existence at all, but which nonetheless comes to constitute reality.

Social networking and online life has allowed us to wear the clothes we want to be seen wearing, say things we normally would not say in real life, have lists of all the music and films we want to show we have watched, all of these are signs that we use to construct the identity that we feel best represents ourselves even though we are present in a real world with a real identity. On facebook however we have the tendency to over-sell ourselves with these signs until eventually we are left with a slightly false representation.