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March 08, 2007



The Spirit of Jean Baudrillard

CTHEORY: THEORY, TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE, VOL 30, NOS 1-2 :: 1000 Days 052 :: 07/03/2007 :: Editors: Arthur and Marilouise Kroker :: 1000 DAYS OF THEORY: The Spirit of Jean Baudrillard, In Memoriam: 1929-2007 by Arthur Kroker.

"Like his intellectual predecessors -- Nietzsche, Artaud, and Bataille -- Jean Baudrillard was that rarity of a cultural philosopher, a thinker whose reflections, refusing to be simply culturally mimetic, actually became a complex sign of the social reality of the postmodern century. In his thought there was always something simultaneously futuristic and ancient: futuristic because his theorization of the culture of simulation ran parallel to the great scientific discoveries of our time, specifically the radical transformation of culture and society under the impact of the speed of light-time and light-space; and ancient because Baudrillard was haunted by the enigma of pataphysics, namely the magical ascent of the reality-principle itself into the language of artifice, seduction and terror.

Not since Nietzsche's _The Gay Science_ has the secret of reality itself been so fully exposed. Neither referent nor signifier, social reality from Baudrillard's perspective always had about it the hint of a "referential illusion," a "fatal strategy," a "mirror of production," a "spirit of terrorism," a "desert of the real." Refusing the political closures of political economy as much as the social strictures of sociology, Baudrillard made of his thought a theatre of the medieval artistic practice of anamorphosis. Here, the desert of the real would be spun all the more wildly in order to draw out in reverse image the trace of its always hidden qualities of seduction and terror." Continue reading >>

Posted by jo at March 8, 2007 10:05 AM