ARCH 411: Graduate Research Design Studio I, Fall 2010–Melanie Fessel
SIMULACRA AND SIMULATION
Baudrillard is claiming that late twentieth-century communication and information technologies have produced such a blurring of what is real and what is a representation that the two can no longer be distinguished. He inverts Borges fable to proclaim that “it is the real and not the map which vestiges subsists here and there.” Here, Baudrillard is careful to explain that this reversal does not mean that the world is scarcely more than a vast simulacrum, but rather that the act of differentiating between real and the representation is no longer meaningful.
The development of electronic media blurs the line between map and territory by allowing for the simulation of ideas as encoded in electronic signals, as Baudrillard argues in Simulacra & Simulation: “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 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. “(Baudrillard, 1994, p. 1)
For Borges and Carroll the territory itself wins out over the map, and for Baudrillard the map has come to both precede and construct the territory.