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The Human Condition by Rene Magritte

This nOde last updated January 22nd, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
(10 Cauac (Storm Cloud) / 12 Muwan (Owl) - 179/260 -

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hyperrealism (hì´per-rê´e-lîz´em) noun
An artistic style characterized by highly realistic graphic representation.
- hy´perre´alist adjective & noun
- hy´perre´alist´ic adjective


The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction. . . . The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced. The hyperreal.
internal linkJean Baudrillard (b. 1929), French semiologist. Simulations, pt. 2, "The Hyperrealism of Simulation" (1983). Baudrillard goes on to say, "Reality no longer has the internal linktime to take on the appearance of reality. It no longer even surpasses fiction: it captures every internal linkdream even before it takes on the appearance of a dream."


The comic is the internal linkperception of the opposite; humor is the feeling of it.
Umberto Eco (b. 1932), Italian semiologist, novelist. "De consolatione Philosophiae" (internal link1980; repr. in Travels in Hyperreality, tr. by William Weaver, 1986).
Jean Baudrillard imagination manifests realities

The United States

The ideology of this America wants to establish reassurance through Imitation. But profit defeats ideology, because the consumers want to be thrilled not only by the guarantee of the Good but also by the shudder of the Bad.
Umberto Eco (b. 1932), Italian semiologist and novelist. Travels in Hyperreality, "Ecology 1984 and Coca-Cola Made Flesh" (1986).

United States, People of the

There is a constant in the average American internal linkimagination and taste, for which the past must be preserved and celebrated in full-scale authentic copy; a philosophy of internal linkimmortality as duplication. It dominates the relation with the self, with the past, not infrequently with the present, always with History and, even, with the European tradition.
Umberto Eco (b. 1932), Italian semiologist and novelist. Travels in Hyperreality, "The Fortresses Of Solitude" (1986).

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film internal link_Slacker_ (vhs/ntsc)atomjacked inventory cache - the television/video obsessed man who wears a tv set strapped to his back:

"To me, my thing is, a video image is much more powerful and useful than an actual event. Like back when I used to go out, when I was last out, I was walking down the street and this guy, that came barreling out of a bar, fell right in front of me, and he had a knife right in his back, landed right on the ground and... Well, I have no reference to it now. I can't put it on pause. I can't put it on slow mo and see all the little details. And the blood, it was all wrong. It didn't look like blood. The hue was off. I couldn't adjust the hue. I was seeing it for real, but it just wasn't right. And I didn't even see the knife impact on the body. I missed that part."

TV is...we are... imagine yourself... challenger disaster
video footage of internal linkNASA Challenger shuttle disaster

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For Baudrillard, the power of simulation only further extends the reach of what Guy Debord castigated in the 1960s as "the society of the spectacle." The media have become a kind of orbiting genetic code that "mutates" the real into the hyperreal, thereby producing "social control by anticipation, simulation and programming."Like internal linkDick, Baudrillard saw internal linkDisneyland as the internal linkarchetypal hyperreal environment, though perhaps the technophilic "Gulf War" we watched through the dark glass of CNN, with its smart bombs and internal linkvirtual-reality pilot runs, should stand as the most delirious thrill ride yet offered by the internal linknew world order of simulation. 

Philip K. Dick

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When Ronald Reagan was a radio announcer, he used to call baseball games by reading the terse descriptions that trickled in over the telegraph internal linkwire and were printed out on a paper tape. He would sit there, all by himself in a padded room with a microphone, and the paper tape would eke out of the machine and crawl over the palm of his hand printed with cryptic abbreviations. If the count went to three and two, Reagan would describe the scene as he saw it in his mind's eye: "The brawny internal linkleft-hander steps out of the batter's box to wipe the sweat from his brow. The umpire steps forward to sweep the dirt from home plate." and so on. When the cryptogram on the paper tape announced a base hit, he would whack the edge of the table with a pencil, creating a little sound effect, and describe the arc of the ball as if he could actually see it. His listeners, many of whom presumably thought that Reagan was actually at the ballpark watching the game, would reconstruct the scene in their minds according to his descriptions.

Neal Stephenson

This is exactly how the World Wide Web works: the HTML files are the pithy description on the paper tape, and your Web browser is Ronald Reagan. The same is true of Graphical User internal linkInterfaces in general.

I was in internal linkDisney World recently, specifically the part of it called the internal linkMagic Kingdom, walking up Main Street USA. This is a perfect gingerbready Victorian small town that culminates in a Disney castle. It was very crowded; we shuffled rather than walked. Directly in front of me was a man with a camcorder. It was one of the new breed of camcorders where instead of peering through a viewfinder you gaze at a flat-panel color screen about the size of a playing card, which televises live coverage of whatever the camcorder is seeing. He was holding the appliance close to his face, so that it obstructed his view. Rather than go see a real small town for free, he had paid money to see a pretend one, and rather than see it with the naked eye he was watching it on television.

And rather than stay home and read a book, I was watching him.

 - internal linkNeal Stephenson - _In The Beginning Was The Command Line_

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As Jean Baudrillard has argued into the ground, simulation rather than representation has become the defining characteristic of cultural signs and artifacts in our internal linktime. For Baudrillard, the objects of  simulation transcends the binary opposition of "authentic" and "fake," "original" and "copy." The technological simulacrum creates its own reality, which Baudrillard calls the "hyperreal," a kind of ersatz parody of Plato's ideal world of forms. For example, when you download a printer driver from the internal linkInternet or record a CD onto internal linkdigital tape, you do not "copy" the internal linkinformation so much as replicate a hyperreal object.

the Internet
Digital trance formation Information in formation

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"Culture has become a vast hyper-reality. Our new life of perpetual shopping constitutes a fundamental mutation in the ecology of the human species."

- Jean Baudrillard, 1989

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external linkHyperreal

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