Simulation vs Reality

Hyperreality as Simulation

  • What you have to do is enter the fiction of America, enter America as fiction. It is, indeed,on this fictive basis that it dominates the world. (Baudrillard)
  • The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction.The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced. The hyper real. (Baudrillard)
  • Deep down, the US, with its space, its technological refinement, its bluff good conscience,even in those spaces which it opens up for simulation, is the only remaining primitive society. (Baudrillard)

According to the French post-modern philosopher Jean Baudrillard, Disney World is a simulation of a fictitiuos real world which does not exist. In other words, Disney World is an example of hyperreality.

Baudrillard makes a distinction between reality and hyperreality according to the following characteristics:

  • real: what can be reproduced
  • hyperreal: what is already reproduced
  • hyperreal: model of real without real origin
  • hyperreal: masks non-existence of real origin

as expressed in his treatise Simulacra and Simulation:

  • The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.

Baudrillard identifies the following forms of simulation:

1st Order Simulation:

  • map of territory
  • simulation with real origin
  • clear difference between simulation and origin

2nd Order Simulation:

  • map covers territory (Borges On Exactitude in Science)
  • simulation cannot be distinguished from origin
  • including reproductions of original art, clothes,…

3rd Order Simulation:

  • map replaces territory
  • simulation without origin
  • outside realm of good and evil only performance counts computer game.

Baudrillard gives the following examples:

  • Disneyland: simulation of non-existing idyllic America
  • Barbie doll: simulation of non-existing female physics
  • Watergate process: mask of non-existing true judiciary process.

Once you start to think about it, you will find that matematical simulation of real phenomena have qualities of hyperreality, as exposed in Hyperreality in Physics.

See also Simulations by Wittgenstein

Jacking in to the Matrix

Avatar Simulation Techniques

  • Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here is the dream. (Jake Sully)

Avatar is based on performance image capture which creates computerized images from real human action including human emotions through facial of body expression.

A number of new revolutionary visual effects techniques were used in the production of Avatar: To achieve the face capturing, actors wore individually made skull caps fitted with a tiny camera positioned in front of the actors’ faces; the information collected about their facial expressions and eyes is then transmitted to computers. According to Cameron, the method allows the filmmakers to transfer 100 percent of the actors’ physical performances to their digital counterparts. Besides the performance capture data which weretransferred directly to the computers, numerous reference cameras gave the digital artists multiple angles of each performance.

Unlike past methods that captured dots placed on human faces to trace movements that are reconstructed digitally, each frame was analyzed for facial details such as pores and wrinkles that help re-create a moving computerized image.

Avatar emotion capture


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