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Art itself is a kind of simulacra, reproducing perceivable objects, imagining the unknowns, expressing their own emotions. Unlike the cave paintings of Chauvet Cave, Michelangelo’s Pietà, The Scream of Munch, and the dolls of Pikachu exist as a matter in this time and space, but are copies of things that never existed. Needless to say, productions of mechanical reproduction are the best example of simulacra. Printings, photographs, mass-manufacturing products, etc. are the copies of the former copy, like two mirrors stand opposite to each other, creating the infinite virtual image in it.

On the other hand, design mimics substantial things and then develops on the basis of it. The simulacra in design are the combination of material objects and symbolic meanings. The process of creation, however, might not be considered as simulacra, for the process of perceiving and conceiving is original and impossible to be identical. Therefore, the creations of imaginary things and abstract feelings are simulacra but the imaginations and feelings are not. That is, design and art are creating simulacra of originalities.

Advertising is the simulacra of “real” goods, mimicking the value and meaning of the product which might not exist at all. It’s a signifier with the false signified. Like “Thick rimmed glasses” as a signifier for “Hipster”, consumers wear this symbol, as if to obtain the meaning of this sign. However, this only proves the arbitrary of linguistic signs. The connection between meaning and entity is just a fluid naming game without logical connection and reasonable ground.

Genuineness and reality are no longer important to modern people. What you believe to be true is true. Reality is no longer the real time and space one exists, but one experiences. The virtual world imitates not the real world, but a world that does not exist. What humans long for is not reality, but transcends reality. Therefore, virtual reality, augmented reality or any technology that breaks the two-dimensional space will not be a tool to experience reality, but to make the impossible subsist as an “experience.”

Today’s technology is not able to make the simulacra “realistic” enough to replace the real experience. But one day, technology can cheat all our senses to believe that the stimulus received by the brain is real, like living in a dream, a brain in a vat. That is probably why Baudrillard considered postmodernity as nihilism since these ideas tell us reality is dead, there is nothing behind the veil, and we all live in The Truman Show.

Think about it. Is there anything more exciting than that surreal becoming real? Meanwhile, what is more terrifying than that reality is no longer the reality?


Simulacra and Simulation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jean Baudrillard From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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