1818 death of Jacques Gondouin
1853 death of Louis Tullius Joachim Visconti
Patriarchs of Time
symbolism of the Porticus Neronianae
program of the Area Martis
breakfasts with Winka
Sontag died on Dienstag
an architecture of memory lane
In the future, everything will be a museum.
How a mobile home community created a co-op and bought its own land
BC: I am wondering if you've encountered Baudrillard's ideas of simulcra and simulation in relation to reenactment. I am wondering how they are similiar/different/parallel ideas.
SL: As it happens, I purchased and started reading Baudrillard's Simulation and Simulacra just over a week before I went to Brussels (i.e., mid-November). I was prompted to do this when (in early November) I started reading Neil Leach's The Anaesthetics of Architecture, where, in the introduction Leach writes a good bit about Baudrillard's sim-sim ideas. I right away saw the similarities to what I'm formulating regarding reenactment, and thus sought out Baudrillard's book.
I've only read the first three essays of Simulation and Simulacra, and that's now over a month ago. Of the three essays, only the first relates reasonably to reenactment; the other two essays reminded me of Barthes' Mythologies. I have to finish the book, as well as give it a more careful analysis. So, your wondering about "similar/different/parallel ideas" is right on target, and that is precisely what I intend to investigate.
The excerpt you supplied from the online source is very useful, particularly the passage:
So it is with simulation, insofar as it is opposed to representation. The latter starts from the principle that the sign and the real are equivalent (even if this equivalence is utopian, it is a fundamental axiom). Conversely, simulation starts from the utopia of this principle of equivalence, from the radical negation of the sign as value, from the sign as reversion and death sentence of every reference. Whereas representation tries to absorb simulation by interpreting it as false representation, simulation envelops the edifice of representation a itself a simulacrum. This would be the successive phases of the image:
* it is the reflection of a basic reality.
* it masks and perverts a basic reality.
* it masks the absence of a basic reality.
* it bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum.
If I may be so bold, I'd say that the notion of reenactment is indeed missing form the above set of 'simulation', 'representation', 'sign', and 'simulacra', that is, even though what Baudrillard says here is succinct and 'correct', it might just be nonetheless incomplete because reenactment is a continuation, an ongoing affirmation of specific past 'realities'. There is more than a mere thin distinction between 'reflection' and 'ongoing affirmation' or 'continuation'. The core issue for reenactment may be the distinction between enactment and a subsequent(ly necessary by definition) reenactment. Is it correct to say that, for example, Beethoven's actual composing of a symphony is the enactment of the symphony, and hence every performance of the symphony (even the first performance and regardless of the interpretive differences of the rest) is a reenactment? As I said here about a month ago, reenactment involves a play with degrees of separation, specifically degrees of separation from the original enactment, and what Baudrillard does above is essentially map out degrees of separation in the mostly negative extreme.
So far, for me at least, the notion of reenactment (especially with regard to architecture and design and the built environment in general), helps raise significant questions, the answers to which may define what reenactment is or what reenactment is not.
Is Disney's Magic Kingdom really a reenactment of the Garden of Eden (including the unavoidable temptation of capitalism) with some very carefully designed degrees of separation? Is Las Vegas really a reenactment of all that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil had/has to offer? And yes, is New Urbanism really a reenactment of the American Dream?