Jean Baudrillard's work on how contemporary society is dominated by the mass media has become extraordinarily influential. He is notorious for arguing that there is no real world, only simulations which have altered what events mean, and that only violent symbolic exchange can prevent the world becoming a total simulation. An ideal introduction to this most singular cultural critic and philosopher, Jean Baudrillard: Live Theory offers a comprehensive, critical account of Baudrillard's unsettling, visionary and often prescient work. Baudrillard's relation to a range of thinkers as diverse as Nietzsche, Marx, McLuhan, Foucault and Lyotard is explained, and the impact of his thought on contemporary politics, popular culture and art is analysed. Finally, in the new interview included here, Baudrillard outlines his own position and responds to his critics.
Paul Hegarty teaches Philosophy and Visual Culture at University College Cork, in Ireland. He is the author of Noise/Music (Continuum, 2007). He jointly runs the experimental record label dotdotdotmusic, and performs in the noise bands Safe and La Societe des Amis du Crime.
1. Introduction; 2. Simulation and Hyperreality; 3. Geopolitics of the Real; 4. Cultural Objects; 5. Baudrillard on Others: Others on Baudrillard; 6. Baudrillard Live; 7. Conclusion