Monday, October 15, 2012
[from Baudrillard’s The Perfect Crime again]
Fortunately, the objects that appear to us have always-already disappeared. Fortunately, nothing appears to us in real time, any more than do the stars in the night sky. If the speed of light were infinite, all the stars would be there simultaneously and the celestial vault would be an unbearable incandescence.” (7)
“Because we are no longer capable today of coping with the symbolic mastery of absence, we are immersed in the opposite illusion, the disenchanted illusion of the proliferation of screens and images.
Now, the image can no longer imagine the real, because it is the real. It can no longer dream it, since it is its virtual reality. It is as though things had swallowed their own mirrors and had become transparent to themselves in a ruthless transcription, full in the light and in real time.” (4)
“Perhaps, through technology, the world is toying with us, the object is seducing us by giving us the illusion of power over it. A dizzying hypothesis: rationality, culminating in technical virtuality, might be the last of the ruses of unreason, of that will to illusion of which … the will to truth is merely a derivative and an avatar.
On the horizon of simulation, not only has the world disappeared but the very question of its existence can no longer be posed. But this is perhaps a ruse of the world itself. The iconlaters of Byzantium were subtle folk, who claimed to represent God to his greater glory but who, simulating God in images, thereby dissimulated the problem of his existence. … This is what we do with the problem of the truth or reality of this world: we have resolved it by technical simulation, and by creating a profusion of images in which there is nothing to see.” (5)
“The harmonious equivalence of nothing to nothing, of Evil to Evil. But the object that is not an object continues to obsess us by its empty, immaterial presence. The whole problem is: on the outer fringes of the nothing, to materialize that nothing; on the outer fringes of the void, to trace out the mark of that void; on the outer fringes of indifference, to play by the mysterious rules of indifference.
There is no point in identifying the world. Things have to be grasped in their sleep, or in any other circumstance where they are absent from themselves.
Not to be sensitive to this degree of unreality and play, this degree of malice and ironic wit on the part of language and the world is, in effect, to be incapable of living.” (6)
“But it is the same with any object that reaches us only in a definitively altered state, even when it does so on the screen of science, in the mirrors of information, or on the screens of our brains. Thus, all things offer themselves up without a hope of being anything other than illusions of themselves. And it is right that it should be so.