Simulacra and Simulation

simulation-and-simulacraSimulacra and Simulation, 1994
Jean Baudrillard

“In order for ethnology to live, its objects must dye; by dying, the object takes its revenge for being “discovered” and with its death defies the science that wants to grasp it.

Doesn’t all science live on this paradoxical slope to which it is doomed by the evanescence of its objects in its very apprehension, and by the pitiless reversal that the dead objects excerts on it? Like Orpheus, it always turns around too soon, and, like Eurydice, its object fall back into Hades.

It is against this hell of the paradox that the ethnologists wished to protect themselves by cordoning off the Tasaday with virgin forest. No one can touch them anymore: as in a mine the vein is closed down. Science loses precious capital there, but the object will be safe, lost to science, but intact in its “virginity”. It is not a question of sacrifice (science never sacrifices itself, it is always murderous), but of the simulated sacrifice of its object in order to save its reality principle.”

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