[iDC] Jean Baudrillard - mashup philosopher

Nicholas Ruiz III editor at intertheory.org
Fri Mar 23 10:43:46 EDT 2007

Greetings Paul/all,

Yes, the idea of Baudrillard as a postrationality
seems accurate, as a particular response and
side-effect of thought, precisely at a point in time
when the world is globalizing in a fit of

Baudrillard's value is in his conceptual singularity;
I doubt that any formalization of such a protocol as
his could be beneficial.


--- "Paul D. Miller" <anansi1 at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Hello Winfred, Keith and IDC crew. I'm intrigued at
> how Baudrillard's 
> analysis of "the system of objects" created such a
> crisis of 
> categories for the conventional academic scene. One
> of the media 
> events of the last several months in a stream of
> almost limitless 
> affirmation of Baudrillard's stance on simulation
> was the cell phone 
> broadcast of Saddam Hussein's execution. But this
> was about a 
> democracy of pandaemonium - people's splintered
> perspectives creating 
> an almost eerie reflection of what Baudrillard was
> talking about in 
> his "System of Objects" - I was re-reading Arjun
> Appadurai's "The 
> Social Life of Things" the other day and thinking
> about how the 
> "state terror" of the cell phone footage was such an
> immaculate 
> reflection of the issues that software destabilizes.
> - the global 
> endorsement of open markets, the free flow of
> finance and 
> information, the ideals of rule of law -  the
> barbarism of the act 
> rendered his death as high theater, and the U.S.'s
> role as just 
> another militia in the Iraqi civil war... well, it
> shows a return to 
> Umberto Eco's idea of hyper-reality as well. But the
> notions that 
> Appadurai liked to call "the geography of anger" -
> kept echoing in my 
> mind as I read as well. Baudrillard always struck me
> as waaaay too 
> European. I think that his relationship with
> non-European cultures is 
> more nuanced. Anyway, it's something I thought about
> when I read some 
> of the posts. The extensions of media and smart mobs
> rioting in state 
> mediated terror in Iraq seems like the embodiment of
> what Baudrillard 
> was talking about.
> My question is how do we make art out of it? I'm in
> the middle of 
> getting a large installation together for the
> upcoming Venice 
> Biennial, and my research has been taking me to
> Angola. I went for a 
> couple of weeks last year to see the after effects
> of the Soviet 
> "Africa" linering in the oil  economy. Angola
> engured a 20 year civil 
> war that, in some aspects reminds me of Iraq and
> Afghanistan - but 
> without the fundamentalism. The complex dynamics
> fueling widespread 
> violence and culturally motivated terror go against
> "reason." My 
> response to the posts about Baudrillard is that,
> perhaps, he was the 
> philosopher of the "post-rational" - the
> Enlightenment's ashes mingle 
> with his.
> Paul aka Dj Spooky
> >Hello everybody,
> >
> >being new to this list, we're impressed by the
> controversial
> >discussions (still) going on about Baudrillard
> here. Positions
> >towards Baudrillards writings seem to be pretty
> clear: some follow
> >him, either a) making sense of his opaque writings
> or b) continuing
> >his style of writing, others read B either a) as a
> kind of intriguing
> >prophet (but not a scientist) oder b) as the worst
> case of pomo
> >lingo. Odds are those groups won't get together for
> several, and
> >supposedly rather principal, reasons.
> >
> >We ourselves appreciated Baudrillard as someone who
> had an impressive
> >ability to detect and extrapolate social and esp.
> media related
> >trends. Alas, we never took his theses that
> serious. B's simplistic
> >approach to epistemic problems (in the ligth of 
> discussions about
> >radical relativism, radical constructisism ot anti-
> >representationalism) completely fail to make sense
> beyond a kind of
> >realistic ontology (where you still can claim
> something "real" as
> >opposed to signs).
> >
> >We don't want to discuss this here - principle
> discussions on
> >ontologies are surely rather unfruitful and easily
> too complex for
> >the means of a mailing list. We'd rather like to
> pose the question if
> >it would be more productive to try to bridge the
> gap between
> >Baudrillard connoisseurs and critics by asking if
> his observations
> >still contain valuable ideas for media theorists
> and researchers
> >beyond B's theoreticist approach to media.
> >
> >If we don't (want to) rely on an idea that there is
> a "real" as
> >opposed to a symbolic sphere (take that POV for a
> moment, even if you
> >don't go with it), is B's simulacra-thesis (for
> example) worthless?
> >Or is it possible to re-read Baudrillard on the
> basis of alternative
> >ontologies resp. epistemologies?
> >
> >Looking at media practices, we guess it would be
> possible to
> >distinguish between patterns of pure immediate
> imitation (of images,
> >for e.g. body images like in the MTV series "I want
> a famous face")
> >on the one side and patterns of active reception on
> the other. So, a
> >simulacrum would not be defined as a mere effect
> caused by media in
> >itself. Instead, the concept could serve as a means
> for identifying
> >certain ways to use media in our visual cultures.
> Of course, you lose
> >that grand tale of the "real" becoming a simulacrum
> that way (so
> >what). On the other hand, could it be that many of
> Baudrillard's
> >observations, despite his notion of proper
> conceptional and
> >scientific work, could become valuable to more
> people than they are
> >now?
> >
> >Winfried Marotzki
> >Benjamin Joerissen
> >
> >
> >
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Dr. Nicholas Ruiz III
Editor, Kritikos

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