By Gary Genosko
This booklet relates Baudrillard's paintings to modern social r4248y. the writer strains the connections among Baudrillard's paintings and Marx and Marxism; Lefebvre and structuralist process; the works of Saussure, Bataille, Barthes, Foucault, Mauss, Peirce, McLuhan and the Prague university. the result's an authoritative and stimulating account of Baudrillard and smooth social concept.
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Extra info for Baudrillard and Signs: Signification Ablaze
Everyone may have learned the formula ‘value precedes signification’, but the focus on value has served to shift attention away from its poorer partner, signification. To focus on signification is not to seek to dis- or re-place value or to repeat the same kind of misemphasis, but rather, to create a i n t e r p re t i v e f o i l a g a i n s t t h o s e w h o h a v e s u b s u m e d signification under value. If I have surmised correctly, I, too, must in the end take the stand (venir à la barre).
If la barre saussurienne bars ambivalence, it is really une barre lacanienne: ‘It [the structural/inclusive/ copulative bar] becomes the bar of repression itself, no longer that which articulates, but that which censors, and thus the place of transgression’ (Baudrillard, 1972:197, n. 1). Even if, Baudrillard adds ironically, the bar found its ‘true meaning’ in the work of Lacan, he does not accede to the semiopsychoanalytic scheme of meaning. The bar may bar the symbolic, just as it barred the repressed, even though the symbolic bears no relation to the repressed and does not occupy the place of le signifié lacanien.
To the logic of conspicuous consumption (EcEVSgEV understood as a process of consumption), Baudrillard adds the practice of inconspicuous consumption, or voluntary deprivation. The obverse of conspicuous consumption, then, is underconsumption, a strategy of personalization by indistinction. This practice may be cast in either economic or cultural terms (EcEV-SgEV): one may possess the economic means to consume the trappings of underconsumption, whether these are eco-services or the novelties of downscaling (in some monied circles it is chic to appear to be less wealthy); the conspicuous absence of the marked tokens of underconsumption (‘organic’, ‘recycled’) as sumptuary value, has its own meanings and privileges (from minimalist to anarchic to the pretension of having no pretensions).