Considering unfamiliar horizons
I have been thinking a lot recently about some of the connecting threads that run through my research and creative practice. Maps, landscapes, identity, memory, nostalgia all wrap together around ideas of place – real and imagined. I have been sifting through some of the textual references that have resonance and came across this Baudrillard quote – an oldie but a goodie.
If we were able to take as the finest allegory of simulation the Borges tale where the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory (but where the decline of the Empire sees this map become frayed and finally ruined, a few shreds still discernible in the deserts — the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction, bearing witness to an Imperial pride and rotting like a carcass, returning to the substance of the soil, rather as an aging double ends up being confused with the real thing) — then this fable has come full circle for us, and now has nothing but the discrete charm of second-order simulacra.
Abstraction today 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 of models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory — PRECESSION OF SIMULACRA — it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges subsist here and there, in the deserts which are no longer those of the Empire but our own:The desert of the real itself.
Jean Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simulacra”
Now that we are edging closer to another journey to discover new landscapes, we have been considering a new collaborative project. This new geokult project is intended to bring together our collective skills and love of cartography and photography. More soon!!
For now, we hope you enjoy this pearl from Jean Baudrillard.