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The moment of potential collapse

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“The only question in this journey is: how far can we go in the extermination of meaning, how far can we go in the non-referential desert form without cracking up and, of course, still keep alive the esoteric charm of disappearance? A theoretical question here materialized in the objective conditions of a journey which is no longer a journey and therefore carries with it a fundamental rule: aim for the point of no return. This is the key. And the crucial moment is that brutal instant which reveals the journey has no end, that there is no longer any reason for it to come to an end. Beyond a certain point, it is movement itself that changes. Movement which moves through space of its own volition changes into an absorption by space itself—end of resistance, end of the scene of the journey as such (exactly as the jet engine is no longer an energy of space-penetration, but propels itself by creating a vacuum in front of it that sucks it forward, instead of supporting itself, as in the traditional model, upon the air’s resistance). In this way, the centrifugal, eccentric point is reached where movement produces the vacuum that sucks you in. This moment of vertigo is also the moment of potential collapse. Not so much from the tiredness generated by the distance and the heat, as from the irreversible advance into the desert of time.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Read by C. Womack
Baudrillard, Jean. America. London: Verso, 2010.

CT+CR Collective

The Critical Theory and Creative Research Collective is devoted to socio-political critique, including the rethinking and recalibration of unstable, fast-changing relations between machine-generated data and human experience, theory and practice, the possible and the real, time and judgment, process and end-driven behavior. Its members include Anne-Marie Oliver, Barry Sanders, Marie-Pierre Hasne, Joan Handwerg, Nicole Smith, Marshall Astor, Carmen Denison, Peter Falanga, Andre Fortes, Dustin Freemont, Val Hardy, Lauren Heagerty, Hannah Horovitz, Evangelina Owens, Mel Ponis, Kevin Smith, Mohammed Usrof, Brooke Wendt, and Chloé Womack.

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02.19.13

From Dustin Freemont:

“Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible. It is the whole political problem of the parody, of hypersimulation or offensive simulation, which is posed here. For example: It would be interesting to see whether the repressive apparatus would not react more violently to a simulated holdup than to a real one. […] Simulation is infinitely more dangerous, however, since it always suggests, over and above its object, that law and order themselves might really be nothing more than a simulation. […] Parody makes obedience and transgression equivalent, and that is the most serious crime, since it cancels out the difference upon which the law is based” (266-67, emphasis in original).
-Baudrillard The Precession of Simulacrum

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