Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jean B. (Polaroid by doodles)

Seduction is what separates truth from meaning in discourse. Seduction always seduces in order to perpetuate seduction; it "is always its own end," "To seduce is to weaken. To seduce is to falter.... Everything is seduction and nothing but seduction,"

Baudrillard's philosophy centers on the twin concepts of "hyperreality" and "simulation." These terms refer to the virtual or unreal nature of contemporary culture in an age of mass communication and mass consumption. We live in a world dominated by simulated experience and feelings, Baudrillard believes, and have lost the capacity to comprehend reality as it really exists. We only experience prepared realities – edited war footage, meaningless acts of terrorism, the destruction of cultural values and the substitution of "referendum."

Twisted Society: We are living in a society of excrescence, meaning that which incessantly develops without being measurable against its own objectives.We live in an Information overload: era, so many messages and signals have been produced and transmitted that they will never find the time to acquire any meaning. Fortunately so for us! Fortunately, we ignore 99% of all information. The tiny amount that we nevertheless absorb already subjects us to perpetual electrocution. We are already liberated and vaporized in the same historical moment; there is no life anymore, but the information and the vital functions continue ... the current decade, in a certain way, will not take place, The silly sentimentality of yuppified peace & human rights movements is easy after the orgy but radical pessimism is what might save us

Media: the Situationists were WRONG & McLuhan was RIGHT -- We are no longer in the society of the spectacle, which the situationists talked about, nor in the specific types of alienation and repression which this implied. The medium itself is no longer identifiable as such, and the merging of the medium and the message (McLuhan) is the first great formula of this new age. There is no longer any medium in the literal sense: it is now intangible, diffuse and diffracted in the real, and it can no longer even be said that the latter is distorted by it,Thus we must think of the media as if they were, in outer orbit. Meaning thus implodes -- this is where simulation begins, the role of message is no longer information, but testing and polling, and finally control. The real is transformed by this process. It becomes the real for the real, fetish of the lost object -- no longer object of representation, but ecstasy of denegation and of its own ritual extermination: the hyperreal.... The hyperreal represents a much more advanced phase in the sense that even this contradiction between the real and the imaginary is effaced. The unreal is no longer that of dream or fantasy, of a beyond or a within, it is that of a hallucinatory resemblance of the real with itself. To exist from the crisis of representation, you have to lock the real up in pure repetition. The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction.... At the limit of this process of reproductibility, the real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced. The hyperreal.

Obscenity begins when there is no more spectacle, no more stage, no more theater, no more illusion, when every-thing becomes immediately transparent, visible, exposed in the raw and inexorable light of of information and communication. We no longer partake of the drama of alienation, but are in the ecstasy of communication. Thus alienation gives way to obscene ecstasy. This obscenity is no longer sexual but rather cool and communicational; Simultaneously the subject has a need to speak and nothing to say -- to affirm his/her existence in the face of the disappearance of the subject and the hypervisibility of the obscene object: The need to speak, even if one has nothing to say, becomes more pressing when one has nothing to say, just as the will to live becomes more urgent when life has lost its meaning,

The simulacrum is never what hides the truth - it is truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true.


Uncle Tree said...

This is a lot to digest, Mariana. "Decipher now, brain." Oh, this could take a while.

Priorities and intentions are indeed helpful when one is wishing to stay on the straight and narrow path. Seeing the big picture means ignoring minor, excruciating details. The goal is to not have a goal. The agenda is to not have a purpose in life that ties us down like slaves. The law of least resistance can make one feel lazy. To do the easy thing is mediocre at best.

We will always seek to mystify ourselves with confusion that comes from an 'other'. We enjoy being scared to death. Boredom sucks. We should find something to lose sleep over. Makes one want to get up in the morning.

Mariana Soffer said...

Great reflection my friend, I know it is an awfull lot of informatin posted in a few lines, indeed I was thinking about puting just parts of it and either expalining or giving examples about the text.

in life you do an effort to go somewhere (reach some goal), and at the same time you percieve life, things and event that occur arround you . I think the agenda for our lifetime is that based on things happening arround you and your objective, follow an equilibrated path.

(I liked a lot:"we enjoy being scared to death"

Anonymous said...

one thing I wanted to say.

somebody said to me once; 'the only silly question is the one that isn't asked.'


Mariana Soffer said...

That's exactely it, I know another saying but I do not like it, "There are no bad questions – only dumb ones", I guess somone who think is too cool wrote it.

Your quote reminds me of making mistakes, being wrong it is always parts of the process (obviously the learning one is one of them).

Anonymous said...

It seems as if we are living in a state of distorted nirvana and our new religion is bullshitting. I like your blog Mariana, it's intelligent and thought provoking. :)

Mariana Soffer said...

Amazing way to resume the idea, and thank you very much for the compliments.

One thing I thought of sometimes is that before there wasn't so much bullshit, I mean bad things where bad and they used to do them anyway and not hide them. Nowadays everything is pretending. For example companies pretend they donate money to charity because they are "Care for the others" but instead they do it cause it helps them with publicity and taxes. I can think of a millon other examples that are going on nowadays.
I Prefer not pretending times, cause now on top of doing harm, they lie and distort the reality (as you said) bluring our capacity to understand what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Mariana, wow, brilliant summary of JB's similacrum and the post-modern malaise of hyperreality. I read this earlier today but had to run to class.

We can consider how the simulated experience of what is real impacts everything about about being human and being alive, how we think and feel, in fact you do discuss this to a certain extent when you described the 'fetish of the lost object.' On another tangent, I'm fascinated by fetishes and how they develop- not necessarily sexual fetishes but the process of rendering something (or someone) onto a fetish object.

On the other hand, I've felt that
there is something positive that comes out of a hyperreal state of existence and that is the erasing of boundaries. Not just between the real and the reproduction of the real (that becomes the truth, as you explain) but the way in which this simulated state of existence gives rise to potentials and possibilities that the self would not necessarily have access to. Granted, the new space that these blurred boundaries creates are only simulations, but yes, they are ecstasies that we have access to, albeit intangible. Perhaps this entire state of simulacrum has arisen due to the condition not just of modern multimedia-electronic-era way of live, perhaps because life, as you point out, is riddled with alienation and repression that this void must inevitably be filled by a simulated experience of reality when we do not have access to the real object or state.

That sounded a but sad, didn't it? Sorry, I'm rambling a bit, perhaps not even sticking to the subject. Thanks for posting this. You say that you don't write well in English but I completely disagree.
Your style reminds me of a woman by the name of Ann McClintock, a post-colonial theorist who deals with topics of how we became 'the society of the spectacle' and how this gave rise to fetishism and transgendered possibilities.

Paul said...

Have you read Marcuse?
"Inasmuch as art preserves, with the promise of happiness, the memory of the goal that failed, it can enter, as a 'regulative idea,' the desperate struggle for changing the world. Against all fetishism of the productive forces, against the continued enslavement of individuals by the objective conditions (which remain those of domination), art represents the ultimate goal of all revolutions: the freedom and happiness of the individual."

Mariana Soffer said...

ThePerceptionPoint:Casually fetishes draw my attention a lot, probably because other people one's seem to be so wierd, so arbitrary, so strange and imposible to comprehend.

I enjoyed reading the text you wrote on the second paragraph Besides your analisis and inferences drawn from the text It attract me because it is like a transcript of your thread of thought.

Thank you very much for the complimen't. I enjoy a lot your posts (or ramblingings as you call them, even dough almost every text writter rambles), although sometimes I have no clue what to tell you about , you always leave wanting to investigate more.

Mariana Soffer said...

I searched it and have been reading a little. Thanks for the tip.
I am going to dig deeper into his writting. I like how he defined art: "as an agent of social and political change.Marcuse sees the political and social impact of art in the material manifestation of a work as well as in the idea.".

The paragraph you wrote awfully reminds me of Baudillard. Pretty curious.

Protervo said...

seducir es debilitar. gran idea.

Mariana Soffer said...

Protervo thinks "Seducing is weaking" is a great idea.
And I do think so.
Seduction is disarming.

Jason Gusmann said...

"We are already liberated and vaporized in the same historical moment" - here you capsulize something i have been trying desperately to put into thousands of words. also, another great formula for this new age, courtesy of another JB: "sex x technology = the future" - who knew the result could be so boring, so deadening. amazing post, tho!

Mariana Soffer said...

Txs a lot jason, that is an excelent quote from JB, I have forgotten about it. And you thoughts about it are so accurate, I would add that the future fills like a hughe depression (when you think in the terms we re talking).

imogen66 said...

you should really give credit when you use other people's images/art.

Mariana Soffer said...

You are right, I will give my excuses.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your opening sentence of on seduction and your end sentence on the need to speak regardless of whether one has something to say, here's a quote from Foucault's "Discourse on Language" that somehow seems to fit, in some strange way, with this discourse:

'psychoanalysis has already shown us that speech is not merely the medium which manifests-or disassembles- desire; it is also the object of desire.'


Mariana Soffer said...

Great finding, it fits, as you said it, in a strange way (nevertheless it fits), and it does not sunrise me cause this quote comes from Mr Foucault, who I used to read several years ago, almost at the same that I used to read Baudillard.
I really appreciate your contribution, it is important and enlightening to me.
Take care

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Unknown said...

Interesting word play, but I don't understand it. My understanding of postmodernism is that it is the masking of truisms in complex rhetoric. Chomsky talks about this, and I haven't heard any response from postmodernists.