Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007) was a philosopher, sociologist, cultural critic, and theorist of postmodernity who challenged all existing theories of contemporary society with humor and precision. An outsider in the French intellectual establishment, he was internationally renowned as a twenty-first century visionary, reporter, and provocateur.

  • The Divine Left

    The Divine Left

    A Chronicle of the Years 1977–1984

    Jean Baudrillard

    An analysis of how Mitterand came to power in France and how political power seduced the French Left and became a simulacrum.

    First published in French in 1985, The Divine Left is Jean Baudrillard's chronicle of French political life from 1977 to 1984. It offers the closest thing to political analysis to be found from a thinker who has too often been regarded as apolitical. Gathering texts that originally appeared as newspaper commentary on François Mitterand's rise to power as France's first Socialist president and the Socialist Party's fraught alliance with the French Communist Party, The Divine Left in essence presents Baudrillard's theory of the simulacrum as it operates in the political sphere.

    In France, the Left, and even the ultra-Left, had been seduced by power. This scenario—dissected by Baudrillard with deadpan humor and an almost chilling nonchalance—produced a Socialist Party that devoted itself to rallying the market economy and introducing neoliberalism, and replaced an intellectual class with the media stars and hyper-professionals of the spectacle. Starting from the elections of 1977, Baudrillard analyzes—in “real time,” as it were—how the Left's taking of power had in fact been an enaction of not just its own death throes, but those of power itself. The Divine Left outlines a simulation of politics that offers discomfiting parallels to our political world today, a trajectory that has only grown more apparent in recent years: the desire and intention to fail.

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  • The Ecstasy of Communication, New Edition

    The Ecstasy of Communication, New Edition

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard's essential crib-book, lexicon, and companion piece to any and all of his books and a prescient portrait of our contemporary condition.

    “The need to speak, even if one has nothing to say, becomes more pressing when one has nothing to say, just as the will to live becomes more urgent when life has lost its meaning.”—from The Ecstasy of Communication

    First published in France in 1987, The Ecstasy of Communication was Baudrillard's summarization of his work for a postdoctoral degree at the Sorbonne: a dense, poetically crystalline essay that boiled down two decades of radical, provocative theory into an aphoristically eloquent swan song to twentieth-century alienation. Baudrillard's quixotic effort to be recognized by the French intellectual establishment may have been doomed to failure, but this text immediately became a pinnacle to his work, a mid-career assessment that looked both forward and back. By carefully distilling the most radical elements of his previous books, Baudrillard constructed the skeleton key to all of the work that was to come in the second half of his career, and set the scene for what he termed the “obscene”: a world in which alienation has been succeeded by ceaseless communication and information. The Ecstasy of Communication is a decisive, compact description of what it means to be “wired” in our braver-than-brave new world, where sexuality has been superseded by pornography, knowledge by information, hysteria by schizophrenia, subject by object, and violence by terror.

    The Ecstasy of Communication is an anti-manifesto that confronted and dispensed with such influences as Marshall McLuhan, Guy Debord, and Georges Bataille. It is an essential crib-book, lexicon, and companion piece to any and all of Baudrillard's books. Twenty-five years after its original publication, it remains not only a prescient portrait of our contemporary condition, but also a dark mirror into which we have not yet dared to look.

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  • The Agony of Power

    The Agony of Power

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard's unsettling coda: previously unpublished texts written just before the visionary theorist's death in 2007.

    History that repeats itself turns to farce. But a farce that repeats itself ends up making a history.—from The Agony of Power

    In these previously unpublished manuscripts written just before his death in 2007, Jean Baudrillard takes a last crack at the bewildering situation currently facing us as we exit the system of “domination” (based on alienation, revolt, revolution) and enter a world of generalized “hegemony” in which everyone becomes both hostage and accomplice of the global market. But in the free-form market of political and sexual liberation, as the possibility of revolution (and our understanding of it) dissipates, Baudrillard sees the hegemonic process as only beginning. Once expelled, negativity returns from within ourselves as an antagonistic force—most vividly in the phenomenon of terrorism, but also as irony, mockery, and the symbolic liquidation of all human values. This is the dimension of hegemony marked by an unbridled circulation—of capital, goods, information, or manufactured history—that is bringing the very concept of exchange to an end and pushing capital beyond its limits: to the point at which it destroys the conditions of its own existence. In the system of hegemony, the alienated, the oppressed, and the colonized find themselves on the side of the system that holds them hostage. In this paradoxical moment in which history has turned to farce, domination itself may appear to have been a lesser evil.This book gathers together three essays—“From Domination to Hegemony,” "The White Terror of World Order," and "Where Good Grows"—and a 2005 interview with Baudrillard by Sylvère Lotringer. Semiotext(e) launched Baudrillard into English back in the early 1980s; now, as our media and information infested “ultra-reality” finally catches up with his theory, Semiotext(e) offers The Agony of Power, Baudrillard's unsettling coda.

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  • Radical Alterity

    Radical Alterity

    Jean Baudrillard and Marc Guillaume

    A focused exploration of Baudrillard's understanding and use of alterity and “otherness,” a crucial theme that appears and reappears throughout his work as a whole.

    Alterity is in danger. It is a masterpiece in peril, an object lost or missing from our system, from the system of artificial intelligence and the system of communication in general.—from Radical Alterity

    Where is the Other today? Can Otherness challenge our arrogant, insular cultural narcissism? From artificial intelligence to the streets of Venice, from early explorers to contemporary photographers, Jean Baudrillard and Marc Guillaume discuss the traces of radical alterity in our world. These provocative seminars, held in 1990 and 1991, follow the multiple, intertwined trajectories first projected in Baudrillard's work and his reading of the “radical exoticism” posited by Victor Segalen—ideas Baudrillard extends into the realms of mass media, pseudonyms, technology, and that illusorily close yet radically foreign “primitive society of the future,” America. In a world where no corner is unexplored, the Other remains a challenge to thought, a crack in the shell of universal understanding, impossible to communicate but potentially the linchpin of communication itself. Together, Baudrillard and Guillaume explore the threatened and fatal figures of radical alterity. This collection is no longer available in French, and this English edition includes an additional essay by Baudrillard, “Because Illusion and Reality Are Not Opposed.”

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  • Fatal Strategies, New Edition

    Fatal Strategies, New Edition

    Jean Baudrillard

    An early work in which Baudrillard became Baudrillard.

    When Fatal Strategies was first published in French in 1983, it represented a turning point for Jean Baudrillard: an utterly original, and for many readers, utterly bizarre book that offered a theory as proliferative, ecstatic, and hallucinatory as the postmodern world it endeavored to describe. Arguing against the predetermined outcomes of dialectical thought with his renowned, wry, ambivalent passion, with this volume Jean Baudrillard mounted an attack against the “false problems” posed by Western philosophy. If his Marxist days were firmly behind him, Baudrillard here indicated that metaphysics had also gone the way of sociology and politics: the contemporary world demanded nothing less than Pataphysics, Alfred Jarry's absurdist philosphy that described the laws of the universe supplementary to this one. In effect, with Fatal Strategies, Baudrillard became Baudrillard. In his extrapolationist manner, Baudrillard sought to replace Western philosophy's circular arguments with a ritualistic Theater of Cruelty. Using this line of thought developed in Fatal Strategies, Baudrillard went on, throughout the 1980s, to find new and shatteringly accurate ways of discussing American corporatocracy, arms build-up, and hostage taking. Fatal Strategies asserts a profound critique of American politics, and it is an important step towards his examination of evil.Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) was a philosopher, sociologist, cultural critic, and theorist of postmodernity who challenged all existing theories of contemporary society with humor and precision. An outsider in the French intellectual establishment, he was internationally renowned as a twenty-first century visionary, reporter, and provocateur. His Simulations (1983) instantly became a cult classic and made him a controversial voice in the world of politics and art.

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  • In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, New Edition

    In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, New Edition

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard's remarkably prescient meditation on terrorism throws light on post-9/11 delusional fears and political simulations.

    Published one year after Forget Foucault, In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities (1978) may be the most important sociopolitical manifesto of the twentieth century: it calls for nothing less than the end of both sociology and politics. Disenfranchised revolutionaries (the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof Gang) hoped to reach the masses directly through spectacular actions, but their message merely played into the hands of the media and the state. In a media society meaning has no meaning anymore; communication merely communicates itself. Jean Baudrillard uses this last outburst of ideological terrorism in Europe to showcase the end of the "Social." Once invoked by Marx as the motor of history, the masses no longer have sociological reality. In the electronic media society, all the masses can do—and all they will do—is enjoy the spectacle. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities takes to its ultimate conclusion the "end of ideologies" experienced in Europe after the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the death of revolutionary illusions after May 1968. Ideological terrorism doesn't represent anything anymore, writes Baudrillard, not even itself. It is just the last hysterical reaction to discredited political illusions.

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  • Forget Foucault, New Edition

    Forget Foucault, New Edition

    Jean Baudrillard

    Characterizing it as a "mythic discourse," Jean Baudrillard proceeds, in this brilliant essay, to dismantle the powerful, seductive figure of Michel Foucault.

    In 1976, Jean Baudrillard sent this essay to the French magazine Critique, where Michel Foucault was an editor. Foucault was asked to reply, but remained silent. Forget Foucault (1977) made Baudrillard instantly infamous in France. It was a devastating revisitation of Foucault's recent History of Sexuality—and of his entire oeuvre—and also an attack on those philosophers, like Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, who believed that desire could be revolutionary. In Baudrillard's eyes, desire and power were interchangeable, so desire had no place in Foucault's work. There is no better introduction to Baudrillard's polemical approach to culture than these pages, in which Baudrillard dares Foucault to meet the challenge of his own thought. This Semiotext(e) edition of Forget Foucault is accompanied by a dialogue with Sylvère Lotringer, "Forget Baudrillard," a reevaluation by Baudrillard of his lesser-known early works as a post-Marxian thinker. Lotringer presses Baudrillard to explain how he arrived at his infamous extrapolationist theories from his roots in the nineteenth and early twentieth century social and anthropological works of Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, and Emil Durkheim.

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  • Utopia Deferred

    Utopia Deferred

    Writings from Utopie (1967–1978)

    Jean Baudrillard

    Seminal essays written by Baudrillard for a journal devoted to a radical leftist critique of architecture, urbanism, and everyday life.

    The Utopie group was born in 1966 at Henri Lefebvre's house in the Pyrenees. The eponymous journal edited by Hubert Tonka brought together sociologists Jean Baudrillard, René Lourau, and Catherine Cot, architects Jean Aubert, Jean-Paul Jungmann, Antoine Stinco, and landscape architect Isabelle Auricoste. Over the next decade, both in theory and in practice, the group articulated a radical ultra-leftist critique of architecture, urbanism, and everyday life. Utopia Deferred collects all of the essays Jean Baudrillard published in Utopie as well as recent interviews with Jean Baudrillard and Hubert Tonka.Utopie served as a workshop for Baudrillard's thought. Many of the essays he first published in Utopie were seminal for some of his most shockingly original books: For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, The Mirror of Production, Simulations, Symbolic Exchange and Death, and In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities. But Utopie was also a topical journal and a political one; the topics of these essays are often torn from the headlines of the tumultuous decade following the uprisings of May 1968.

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  • The Conspiracy of Art

    The Conspiracy of Art

    Manifestos, Interviews, Essays

    Jean Baudrillard and Sylvère Lotringer

    Cutting-edge theorist Jean Baudrillard on the complicitous dance of art, politics, economics, and media; includes "War Porn," on Abu Ghraib as a new genre of reality TV.

    The images from Abu Ghraib are as murderous for America as those of the World Trade Center in flames. The whole West is contained in the burst of sadistic laughter of the American soldiers, as it is behind the construction of the Israeli wall. This is where the truth of these images lies. Truth, but not veracity. As virtual as the war itself, their specific violence adds to the specific violence of the war. In The Conspiracy of Art, Baudrillard questions the privilege attached to art by its practitioners. Art has lost all desire for illusion: feeding back endlessly into itself, it has turned its own vanishment into an art unto itself. Far from lamenting the "end of art," Baudrillard celebrates art's new function within the process of insider-trading. Spiraling from aesthetic nullity to commercial frenzy, art has become transaesthetic, like society as a whole. Conceived and edited by life-long Baudrillard collaborator Sylvère Lotringer, The Conspiracy of Art presents Baudrillard's writings on art in a complicitous dance with politics, economics, and media. Culminating with "War Porn," a scathing analysis of the spectacular images from Abu Ghraib prison as a new genre of reality TV, the book folds back on itself to question the very nature of radical thought.

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  • Forget Foucault

    Forget Foucault

    & Forget Baudrillard

    Jean Baudrillard

    Characterizing it as a "mythic discourse," Jean Baudrillard proceeds, in this brilliant essay, to dismantle the powerful, seductive figure of Michel Foucault. In a torrent of haikus, which can now be seen as classically Baudrillardian, he swirls Foucault's concepts of repression, sexuality, production, consumption, and history around in an intense, and often comical, reversal of forces. Exceeding the boundaries of literary or philosophical critique, Baudrillard writes from beyond the horizon of political thought and in a space of phantasmic speculation, finally "using" Foucault's terminologies and public significance to launch his own form of occult, philosophical clarity. In the second half of the book, Baurillard meets his match in an interview with Sylvere Lotringer, who teases Baudrillard with his own ideas, in turn making commentaries on subjects as diverse as panic, ecstasy, and May '68.

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  • Fatal Strategies

    Fatal Strategies

    Jean Baudrillard and Jim Fleming

    Baudrillard cuts across historical and contemporary space with profound observations on American corporations, arms build-up, hostage-taking, transgression, truth, and the fate of theory itself.

    In this shimmering manifesto against dialectics, Jean Baudrillard constructs a condemnatory ethics of the "false problem." One foot in social science, the other in speculation about the history of ideas, this text epitomizes the assault that Baudrillard has made on the history of Western philosophy. Posing such anti-questions as "Must we put information on a diet?" Baudrillard cuts across historical and contemporary space with profound observations on American corporations, arms build-up, hostage-taking, transgression, truth, and the fate of theory itself. Not only an important map of Baudrillard's continuing examination of evil, this essay is also a profound critique of 1980s American politics at the time when the author was beginning to have his incalculable effect on a generation of this country's artists and theorists.

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  • The Ecstasy of Communication

    The Ecstasy of Communication

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard leaves behind his older and better-known concept of the "simulacrum" and tackles the new problem of digital technology acquiring organicity.

    This book marks an important evolution in Jean Baudrillard's thought as he leaves behind his older and better-known concept of the "simulacrum" and tackles the new problem of digital technology acquiring organicity. The resulting world of cold communication and its indifferent alterity, seduction, metamorphoses, metastases, and transparency requires a new form of response. Writing in the shadow of Marshall McLuhan, Baudrillard insists that the content of communication is completely without meaning: the only thing that is communicated is communication itself. He sees the masses writhing in an orgiastic ecstasy of communications. Baudrillard navigates the Object's maelstrom with the euphoria of the astronaut reentering Earth's atmosphere with no possibility of assistance from Mission Control.

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  • In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities

    In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities

    or, The End of the Social and Other Essays

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard's remarkably prescient meditation on terrorism throws light on post-9/11 delusional fears and political simulations.

    The whole chaotic constellation of the social revolves around that spongy reference, that opaque but equally translucent reality, that nothingness: the masses. A statistical crystal ball, the masses are 'swirling with currents and flows,' in the image of matter and the natural elements. So, at least, they are represented to us.

    Written in 1978 and first published in English in 1983, In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities was the first postmodern response to the delusional strategies of terrorism. At a time when European terrorists were taking politics into their own hands, Baudrillard was the first to announce that the "critical mass" had stopped being critical of anything. Rather, the "masses" had become a place of absorption and implosion; hence the ending of the possibility of politics as will and representation.

    The book marked the end of an era when silent majorities still factored into the democratic political process and were expected to respond positively to revolutionary messages. With the masses no longer "alienated" as Marx had described, but rather indifferent, this phenomenon made revolutionary explosion impossible, says Baudrillard.

    The mass absorbs all the social energy, but no longer refracts it. It absorbs every sign and every meaning, but no longer reflects them... it never participates. It is a good conductor of information, but of any information. It is without truth and without reason. It is without conscience and without unconscious. Everybody questions it, but never as silence, always to make it speak. This silence is unbearable. It is the simulation chamber of the social. As a mere shadow cast by power, the silent majority and its hyper-real conformity have no meaning and nothing to say to us. To that, terrorism responds by an equally hyper-real act equally caught up from the onset in concentric waves of media and of fascination.

    It aims at the mass silence, the masses in their silence. It aims at the white magic of simulation, deterrence, of anonymous and random control, and by the black magic of a still greater, more anonymous, arbitrary and more hazardous abstraction; that of the terrorist act.

    Remarkably prescient, Baudrillard's meditation on terrorism throws light on post-September 11th delusional fears and political simulations.

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  • Simulations

    Simulations

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard's bewildering thesis, a bold extrapolation on Ferdinand de Saussure's general theory of general linguistics, is in fact a clinical vision of contemporary consumer societies where signs don't refer anymore to anything except themselves. They all are generated by the matrix.

    Simulations never existed as a book before it was "translated" into English. Actually it came from two different bookCovers written at different times by Jean Baudrillard. The first part of Simulations, and most provocative because it made a fiction of theory, was "The Procession of Simulacra." It had first been published in Simulacre et Simulations (1981). The second part, written much earlier and in a more academic mode, came from L'Echange Symbolique et la Mort (1977). It was a half-earnest, half-parodical attempt to "historicize" his own conceit by providing it with some kind of genealogy of the three orders of appearance: the Counterfeit attached to the classical period; Production for the industrial era; and Simulation, controlled by the code. It was Baudrillard's version of Foucault's Order of Things and his ironical commentary of the history of truth. The book opens on a quote from Ecclesiastes asserting flatly that "the simulacrum is true." It was certainly true in Baudrillard's book, but otherwise apocryphal.One of the most influential essays of the 20th century, Simulations was put together in 1983 in order to be published as the first little black book of Semiotext(e)'s new Foreign Agents Series. Baudrillard's bewildering thesis, a bold extrapolation on Ferdinand de Saussure's general theory of general linguistics, was in fact a clinical vision of contemporary consumer societies where signs don't refer anymore to anything except themselves. They all are generated by the matrix.In effect Baudrillard's essay (it quickly became a must to read both in the art world and in academe) was upholding the only reality there was in a world that keeps hiding the fact that it has none. Simulacrum is its own pure simulacrum and the simulacrum is true. In his celebrated analysis of Disneyland, Baudrillard demonstrates that its childish imaginary is neither true nor false, it is there to make us believe that the rest of America is real, when in fact America is a Disneyland. It is of the order of the hyper-real and of simulation. Few people at the time realized that Baudrillard's simulacrum itself wasn't a thing, but a "deterrence machine," just like Disneyland, meant to reveal the fact that the real is no longer real and illusion no longer possible. But the more impossible the illusion of reality becomes, the more impossible it is to separate true from false and the real from its artificial resurrection, the more panic-stricken the production of the real is.

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  • Utopie

    Utopie

    Texts and Projects, 1967–1978

    Craig Buckley and Jean-Louis Violeau

    Key writings and projects from the group of architects, sociologists, and urbanists known as Utopie.

    “When the imagination reaches and oversteps the boundaries authorized by the institution of culture, we speak of poetry, of utopia.... When the event reaches and oversteps the boundaries authorized by judicial law and by the anomic rules, we speak of revolution.”—René Lourau

    The short-lived grouping of architects, sociologists, and urbanists known as Utopie, active in Paris from 1967 to 1978, was the product of several factors: the student protests for the reform of architectural education, the unprecedented expansion and replanning of the Parisian urban fabric carried out by the government of Charles de Gaulle, and the domestication of military and industrial technologies by an emerging consumer society. The group's collaborative publications included the work of Jean Aubert, Isabelle Auricoste, Jean Baudrillard, Catherine Cot, Charles Goldblum, Jean-Paul Jungmann, Henri Lefebvre, René Lourau, Antoine Stinco, and Hubert Tonka. Offering a militant alternative to professional urban planning journals, these writers not only formulated a critique of the technocratic and administrative rule over a disabled and alienated urban society but also projected an ephemeral urban poetics. With ties to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) in central Paris and to the sociology department established by Henri Lefebvre at the suburban campus of Nanterre, the group challenged postwar modernization and urban planning and questioned the roles into which architects, sociologists, and urban planners had been cast. Utopie makes the group's diverse body of theoretical work accessible in English for the first time, offering translations of more than twenty key texts. Designed in a facsimile format that follows the innovative graphic layouts of the journals, pamphlets, posters, and articles produced by Utopie, the volume not only provides the first thorough overview of the group's activities but also seeks to capture Utopie's linkage of architectural and urban theory to radical publication strategies.

    • Hardcover $26.95 £21.00
  • The German Issue, New Edition

    The German Issue, New Edition

    Sylvère Lotringer

    A first-hand account of the Western world on the threshold of a major global mutation, bridging art and intellect, culture and politics, Europe and America.

    The German Issue (1982) was originally conceived as a follow-up to Semiotext(e)'s Autonomia/Italy issue, published two years earlier. Although ideological terrorism was still a major issue in Germany, what ultimately emerged from these pages was an investigation of two outlaw cities, Berlin and New York, which embodied all the tensions and contradictions of the world at the time. The German Issue is the Tale of Two Cities, then, with each city separated from its own country by an invisible wall of suspicion or even hatred. It is also the complex evocation of the rebelling youth—squatters, punks, artists and radicals, theorists and ex-terrorists—who gathered all their energy and creativity in order to outlive a hostile environment. Like a time capsule, The German Issue brings together all the major “issues” that were being debated on both sides of the Atlantic—which eventually found their abrupt resolution in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It involved the most important voices of the period—from writers and filmmakers to anthropologists, activists and poets, terrorists and philosophers: Joseph Beuys, Michel Foucault, Christo, Christa Wolf, Walter Abish, Alexander Kluge, Paul Virilio, Ulrilke Meinhof, William Burroughs, Jean Baudrillard, Hans Magnus Enzenberger, Maurice Blanchot, Hans Jürgen Syberberg, Heidegger, André Gorz, Helke Sander. Opening with Christo's “Wrapping Up of Germany” and the celebrated dialogue between East German dramaturge Heiner Müller and Sylvère Lotringer on the Wall (“Mauer”), since published in many languages, The German Issue offers a first-hand account of the Western world on the threshold of a major global mutation. It also embodies at its best Semiotext(e)'s tenacious effort to establish a creative bridge between art and intellect, culture and politics, Europe and America.

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  • Appropriation

    Appropriation

    David Evans

    Important documents and appraisals of appropriation art from Duchamp's readymades to feminist and postcolonial critique.

    Scavenging, replicating, or remixing, many influential artists today reinvent a legacy of “stealing” images and forms from other makers. Among the diverse, often contestatory strategies included under the heading “appropriation” are the readymade, détournement, pastiche, rephotography, recombination, simulation and parody. Although appropropriation is often associated with the 1980s practice of such artists as Peter Halley, Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman, as well as the critical discourse of postmodernism and the simulacral theory of Jean Baudrillard, appropriation's significance for art is not limited by that cultural and political moment. In an expanded art-historical frame, this book recontextualizes avant-garde photomontage, the Duchampian readymade, and the Pop image among such alternative precursors as Francis Picabia, Bertolt Brecht, Guy Debord, Akasegawa Genpei, Dan Graham, Cildo Meireles, and Martha Rosler. In the recent work of many artists, including Mike Kelley, Glenn Ligon, Pierre Huyghe, and Aleksandra Mir, among others, appropriation is central to their critique of the contemporary world and vision for alternative futures

    Artists surveyed include Akasegawa Genpei, Santiago Álvarez, Art Workers Coalition, Ross Bleckner, Marcel Broodthaers, Victor Burgin, Maurizio Cattelan, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Douglas Gordon, Johan Grimonprez, Peter Halley, Hank Herron, Pierre Huyghe, Mike Kelley, Idris Khan, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Steve McQueen, Alexandra Mir, Keith Piper, Richard Prince, Jorma Puranen, Cindy Sherman, John Stezaker, Retort, Martha Rosler, Philip Taaffe.

    Writers include Malek Alloula, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Nicolas Bourriaud, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Johanna Burton, Douglas Crimp, Thomas Crow, Guy Debord, Georges Didi-Huberman, Marcel Duchamp, Okwui Enwezor, Jean-Luc Godard, Isabelle Graw, Boris Groys, Raoul Hausmann, Sven Lütticken, Cildo Meireles, Kobena Mercer, Slobodan Mijuskovic, Laura Mulvey, Jo Spence, Elisabeth Sussman, Lisa Tickner, Reiko Tomii, Andy Warhol.

    • Paperback $24.95 £16.95
  • Colour

    Colour

    David Batchelor

    Writings on color from modernism to the present, by writers from Baudelaire to Baudrillard, surveying art from Paul Gauguin to Rachel Whiteread.

    Whether it is scooped up off the palette, deployed as propaganda, or opens the doors of perception, color is central to art not only as an element but as an idea. This unique anthology reflects on the aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical meaning of color through the writings of artists and critics, placed within the broader context of anthropology, film, philosophy, literature, and science. Those who loathe color have had as much to say as those who love it. This chronology of writings from Baudelaire to Baudrillard traces how artists have affirmed color as a space of pure sensation, embraced it as a tool of revolution or denounced it as decorative and even decadent. It establishes color as a central theme in the story of modern and contemporary art and provides a fascinating handbook to the definitions and debates around its history, meaning, and use.

    Artists surveyed include: Joseph Albers, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Jimmie Durham, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Gauguin, Donald Judd, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Kazimir Malevich, Piero Manzoni, Henri Matisse, Henri Michaux, Beatriz Milhazes, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Hélio Oiticica, Paul Signac, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, Yinka Shonibare, Jessica Stockholder, Theo van Doesburg, Vincent van Gogh, Victor Vasarely, Rachel Whiteread

    Writers include: Theodor Adorno, Roland Barthes, Charles Baudelaire, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Charles Blanc, Jacques Derrida, Thierry de Duve, Umberto Eco, Victoria Finlay, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Johannes Itten, Julia Kristeva, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, John Ruskin, Adrian Stokes, Ludwig Wittgenstein

    • Paperback $24.95 £16.95
  • The Cinematic

    The Cinematic

    David Campany

    Key writings by artists and theorists chart the shifting relationship between film and photography and how the rise of cinema forced photography to make a virtue of its stillness.

    The cinematic has been a springboard for the work of many influential artists, including Victor Burgin, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Stan Douglas, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Cindy Sherman, and Jeff Wall, among others. Much recent cinema, meanwhile, is rich with references to contemporary photography. Video art has taken a photographic turn into pensive slowness; photography now has at its disposal the budgets and scale of cinema. This addition to Whitechapel's Documents of Contemporary Art series surveys the rich history of creative interaction between the moving and the still photograph, tracing their ever-changing relationship since early modernism.

    Still photography—cinema's ghostly parent—was eclipsed by the medium of film, but also set free. The rise of cinema obliged photography to make a virtue of its own stillness. Film, on the other hand, envied the simplicity, the lightness, and the precision of photography. Russian Constructivist filmmakers considered avant-garde cinema as a sequence of graphic "shots"; their Bauhaus, Constructivist and Futurist photographer contemporaries assembled photographs into a form of cinema on the page. In response to the rise of popular cinema, Henri Cartier-Bresson exalted the "decisive moment" of the still photograph. In the 1950s, reportage photography began to explore the possibility of snatching filmic fragments. Since the 1960s, conceptual and postconceptual artists have explored the narrative enigmas of the found film still. The Cinematic assembles key writings by artists and theorists from the 1920s on—including László Moholy-Nagy, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Victor Burgin, Jeff Wall, and Catherine David—documenting the photography-film dialogue that has enriched both media.

    • Paperback $24.95 £16.95
  • Hatred of Capitalism

    Hatred of Capitalism

    A Semiotext(e) Reader

    Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer

    Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction.

    Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.

    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99
  • More & Less 2

    More & Less 2

    Sylvère Lotringer

    Contributors: Todd Alden, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, David Brown, Gilles Deleuze, Craig Ellwood, Bob Flanagan, Michel Foucault, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Mike Kelley, Joseph Kosuth, Chris Kraus, Julia Kristeva, Don Kubly, Sylvère Lotringer, Deran Ludd, John Miller, Eileen Myles, Darcy Jo Paley, Ann Rower, Sue Spaid, Frances Stark, Mark Stritzel, James Tyler.

    Contributors Todd Alden, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, David Brown, Gilles Deleuze, Craig Ellwood, Bob Flanagan, Michel Foucault, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Mike Kelley, Joseph Kosuth, Chris Kraus, Julia Kristeva, Don Kubly, Sylvère Lotringer, Deran Ludd, John Miller, Eileen Myles, Darcy Jo Paley, Ann Rower, Sue Spaid, Frances Stark, Mark Stritzel, James Tyler.

    • Paperback $16.95 £11.95
  • Looking Back on the End of the World

    Looking Back on the End of the World

    Dietmar Kamper and Christoph Wulf

    Looking Back on the End of the World raises provocative questions about the possibilities of critical knowledge in social systems that seem to have "surpassed history."

    First published in 1989, Looking Back on the End of the World raises provocative questions about the possibilities of critical knowledge in social systems that seem to have "surpassed history." Unlike recent works that make history end with the consumer, or project the conflict between the capitalist and the oppressed into the future, the writers in these essays perform a much more basic task: they argue that we can now think through the "end of the world." The idea of a "unified world," they claim, has given way to new sensibilities about history. The essays evaluate current negative obsessions such as apocalypse and the elimination of difference, and offer positive approaches to the "gamble of thinking" required in a society without traditional subjects and institutions. Capitalism, the book argues, has changed all the rules of the game, and any nostalgia for "starting" from the familiar in terms of intellectual critique is doomed. Collectively, the authors sketch the unfamiliarity of the new, those moments when our categories dissolve in the face of connections and relations that announce all sorts of "ends." And other things besides.

    Contributors: Jean Baudrillard, Gunter Gebauer, Dieter Lenzen, Edgar Morin, Gerburg Treusch-Dieter, Paul Virilio

    • Paperback $13.95 £10.99