I’ve just been doing my morning zap around my sites, friend’s blogs, twitter feeds, e-mails, Amazon rankings, etc. And then my eyes alighted on my old copy of Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard.
Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra – that engenders the territory, and if one must return to the fable, today it is the territory whose shreds slowly rot across the extent of the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges persist here and there in the deserts that are no longer those of the Empire but ours. The desert of the real itself.