02 February 2012


Geographer David Harvey, in The Condition of Postmodernity (1989), said that capitalism is now, under conditions of its late-globalist phase, predominantly concerned with the production of signs and images. Investment in image-building is now the most vital aspect of inter-firm competition, and becomes as important as investment in new plants and machinery.

Have you spent even a few minutes deconstructing television commercials and what they are "selling"? Harvey is correct: the product for sale, and its marketing method, are both signs and images.

What's the meaning for the individual in this simulacrum society (of Jean Baudrillard), in which the hyperreal becomes the most "real"? The formerly "real" self increasingly gets lost in a funhouse of mirrors, with the way out permanently obscured by distorted mirrors and dead-end passages. But, the simulacrum-self knows no different; and, in any case, would not find its way back because the original pilot show was discontinued and sent to the dusty archives where it becomes lost in the back lot. Besides, it was filmed using a now obsolete technology.

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