Monthly Archives: April 2015

From Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects

There is a moral to be drawn from the following little tale. We are in the eighteenth century. An illusionist well versed in clockwork has devised an automaton. An automaton so perfect, with movements so fluid and natural, that when the illusionist and his creation appear on the stage together, the audience cannot tell which is which. The illusionist then finds himself obliged to make his own gestures mechanical, and – in what is really the pinnacle of his art – to alter his own appearance slightly so as to give his show its full meaning; the spectators would eventually chafe if they were left in doubt as to which of the two figures was ‘real,’ and the neatest solution is that they should take the man for the machine, and vice versa….