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Hyperreality (reality by proxy)

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Hyperreality (reality by proxy)

Post  Manahuna on 05.04.11 20:44

Hyperreality is used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe a hypothetical inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy, especially in technologically advanced postmodern cultures. Hyperreality is a means to characterize the way consciousness defines what is actually "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience.

Most aspects of hyperreality can be thought of as "reality by proxy." Some examples are simpler: the McDonald's "M" arches allegedly make the material promise of endless amounts of identical food from the store, when in "reality" the "M" represents nothing, and the food produced is neither identical nor infinite, as a person would expect from a fast food restaurant.

Baudrillard in particular suggests that the world we live in has been replaced by a copy world, where we seek simulated stimuli and nothing more. Baudrillard borrows, from Jorge Luis Borges' "On Exactitude in Science" (who already borrowed from Lewis Carroll), the example of a society whose cartographers create a map so detailed that it covers the very things it was designed to represent. When the empire declines, the map fades into the landscape and there is neither the representation nor the real remaining – just the hyperreal. Baudrillard's idea of hyperreality was heavily influenced by phenomenology, semiotics, and Marshall McLuhan.


Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard

Simulacra and Simulation:

Umberto Eco - "On the Ontology of Fictional Characters: a Semiotic Study" (1-2)

The Murder of the Real (1/6)

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


Discourse on Persons Artificial (1.45 hour)

Talessian El-Wikosian's follow up to "Androids Among Us" as a science
medical investigation into the presence of synthetic people on the planet.


the Obamas hosted a reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, during which they stood for 130 photographs with visiting foreign dignitaries in town for the UN meeting. The President has exactly the same smile in every single shot. See for yourself — the pictures are up on the State Departments flickr (link below). And, of course, compressed into 20 seconds for your viewing pleasure.


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