Visualizing the past: Baudrillard, intensities of the hyper-real and the erosion of historicity

Voase, Richard (2010) Visualizing the past: Baudrillard, intensities of the hyper-real and the erosion of historicity. In: Culture, Heritage and Representation: Perspectives on Visuality and the Past. Heritage, Culture & Identity . Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, Surrey, UK, pp. 105-123. ISBN 9780754675983


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This chapter aims to bring specificity to the links between the hyper-real, and visualizations of the past. Theoretically, it draws on the work of Jean Baudrillard, particularly his exploration of the consequences of the proliferation of transmitted information. Here, he argues, technological change has created a world sated with informational messages, in which everyday life is increasingly lived through mediated images. These images sometimes faithfully represent the real; but commonly, to attract attention, engage and entertain, they simulate the real in varying levels of intensity. The result is beyond real: it is a hyper-real. While this term has had a tendency to be deployed rather loosely, in this chapter I show that Baudrillard’s writings, admittedly opaque, offer a model by which the hyper-real can be understood in specific contexts. For example, by applying the model to particular cases in the fields of cinematic film and heritage interpretation, different intensities of the hyper-real can be diagnosed; and as shall be seen, historicity is compromised.

Keywords:Baudrillard, hyper-real, historicity, heritage, cinema, interpretation, Digitised
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P131 Museum studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V320 Social History
N Business and Administrative studies > N830 UK Tourism
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:2369
Deposited On:27 Apr 2010 18:29

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