this is a memoriam for Baudrillard that Sylvere Lottringer organized for Fr= ance's Nouvel Observateur. It'll be out next week. I just thought I'd pass = it to the list. Greetings from Istanbul!
in peace, Paul aka Dj Spooky Istanbul Baudrillard: A Remembrance of Things Unpassed By Paul D. Miller aka Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid I first met Jean Baudrillard at a conference Sylvere Lottringer of Semiotex= t(e) organized in Las Vegas several years ago. The idea of the conference = was about chance processes. Needless to say, with the Whiskey Casino as the= backdrop for the conference, and randomness as the main motif of the situa= tion, the soundtrack of the constant churning of slot machine wheels and pu= lleys, and the continuous movement of the attendees between speeches and ga= mbling, it all seemed totally appropriate. Baudrillard gave his speech dres= sed in a gold suit in simulation of Elvis, and I ran my speech through vari= ous software processes to turn it into the sound of water. When I look bac= k at the moment, it seems crystal clear that we were at the edge of an aest= hetic and philosophical ocean turn in how people put ideas together in the = era of hyper media. Since that time, simple things like wireless networks, = the ubiquity of the Ipod, global media events like 9/11 or the SARS virus, = have all brought home how prescient his thought was. The world knows Baudri= llard as the philosopher who gave us a cautionary tale about simulation, an= d if the events of today =E2=80=93 the war in Iraq, the economics of global= ization, Katrina=E2=80=99s destruction of New Orleans =E2=80=93 have told u= s that in no uncertain terms, we live in a world with a more and more tenuo= us grasp of the =E2=80=9Creality=E2=80=9D underpinning the myths of the pre= sent day. In a world where bleak man made landscapes and the psychological = effects of technological, social and environmental developments cannot be d= enied, his words were a beacon of how we can reason through the myriad ways= that we humans have displaced the natural world. For me as a just graduati= ng student in the early mid 90=E2=80=99s, Baudrillard seemed like a figure = who cut through the haze of post-everything American cultural malaise. I st= udied French literature at a time when it seemed that America was enthralle= d by the end of the Cold War =E2=80=93 my studies were populated with peopl= e like Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Althusse= r, Lacan, bounded by Badiou. Kristeva, Cixous, Irigaray, Wittig=E2=80=A6 Th= e list goes on but you get the point: these figures are part of a pantheon = where, perhaps, one of the common themes is a simple cry for new ways to pe= rceive how the mass media-landscape inadvertently invades and splinters the= private mind of the individual.=20 What Baudrillard did for me was make the world safe for doubt: doubt about = the intentions of governments, corporations, ideologies, and yes, people. L= ike J.G. Ballard or Bruce Sterling, his work hovered between descriptions o= f the world in present tense and the strange and uncanny networks that hold= together =E2=80=9Cthe real.=E2=80=9D For him, like the 'simulacrum' follow= ing DeBord's 'spectacle' where 'revolution' became synonymous with natural = skin care and something everyone did against the name of 'freedom.' I don't= mean to say anything here, I wonder about the doubting that once swayed th= e world, Today, I wrote this piece traveling on a flight between Tokyo and Istanbul,= and as I sit here and use a wireless network in the coffee lounge of the H= otel Buyuk Londra, I re-read him as doubting everything =E2=80=93 it=E2=80= =99s as if Baudrillard says never model a thought about anything unless yo= u can say it to yourself. The thought lingers, and links to a meta critiqu= e: it posits modern thought as withdrawn, proffered as kind of a peripheral= speech. At the birth of the 21st century, at the birth of the new New Worl= d, of suicide bombers, insane Presidents, multi-media equipped private armi= es and fundamentalist militas, his words bear reviewing: Baudrillard =E2=80= =93 a voice that says the seductions of reality are what we now hold dear.W= e speak the world. Reform, remix, re-engineer the consent of the Western w= orld. We need this analysis more than ever. Vietnam is now long gone. Mute,= May 68 almost forty years ago and most of us young people have never thoug= ht of burning monks, Chariman Mao, Stalin, or the origins of half of todays= problems. I think back to an almost innocent moment in the mid 1990=E2=80= =99s when Baudrillard with a gold suit, made people remember that the chanc= e processes of the world are what give us joy. With a simple flourish, I th= ink that he set the tone for many young artists, writers, and musicians, to= remember a simple thing: that another world is possible. Tokyo/Istanbul 3/15/07 # distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission # <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism, # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets # more info: [EMAIL PROTECTED] and "info nettime-l" in the msg body # archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: email@example.com