BAD COPIES: The Experience of Simulacra in Interactive Art

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The simulacrum is an ancient concept that has haunted both twentieth century philosophy and art theory. The term can first be identified in Platonic theorizations of representational order, and, more recently, has been a concern of Pierre Klossowski, and Gilles Deleuze, inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's project of reversing Platonism and the eternal return (Smith 2012, 3). In Klossowski's work, the simulacrum is a disruption to communication that prevents the accuracy of representation. For Deleuze, whose work is an acknowledged development of Klossowski's, through further consultation with Plato and Nietzsche, the simulacrum is a "bad copy" who undermines the structure of representation itself, causing difference and creativity by perverting repetition as a Nietzschean eternal return. For both Klossowski and Deleuze, the simulacrum is the (Platonic) product of both the effort of communication and the structure (language) designed to universalize it. The simulacrum is a representational dissonance that undermines the clarity of communicative structures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRhizomes: cultural studies in emerging knowledge
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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