BACKHAUL

As Buaphan stood there, pan in hand, staring at the strange trail of lights crossing the pre-dawn sky, the ‘pandemic’ was already on the horizon, a couple of thousand kilometres to the north in Wuhan, China. Two and a half months later, the lockdowns would come down like a great suffocating blanket across the planet, […]

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THE DEATH OF GOD

‘Never resist a sentence you like,’ wrote Baudrillard in Cool Memories (1990), and his incandescent style overflows with irresistible sentences. If you interrogate them, however — which is perhaps to ‘misread’ Baudrillard — you find that his beautiful paradoxes mask assumptions and transitions which must be explicit in a valid argument.  Take, for example, the […]

SACRAMENT, MALEFICE, SORCERY

Jean Baudrillard was a French social theorist who became known as a prophet of artificial reality. His most famous work, Simulacra and Simulation (1981), concerns the point at which representation loses connection with reality, and ultimately displaces it, trapping humanity in a synthetic world of copies of copies, images without originals, references without referents: a closed circuit of artificiality, where that word loses all meaning since it’s all there is. He defines the stages through which simulation must pass to arrive at our present moment, and projects a world which is neither real nor unreal, but hyperreal.