This just came in across the transom and seems fascinating on many, many levels:

BAUDRILLARD CAMP at Trade School Feb. 8-22nd
139 Norfolk St., NYC

Misunderstood as a “cynic” advocating moral relativism and apathy, Baudrillard is actually an exemplar of a melancholic postmodernism lamenting the evacuation of “authenticity,” “agency,” and political autonomy in a hyper-mediated world where the virtual has overtaken the actual, simulation has usurped the role of representation, and the destruction of the reality principle leaves us floundering in a Truman Show-like vertigo of bloated floating signifiers with no referents. Far from advocating complicity with the conditions he portends, Baudrillard’s excoriating critique is a form of political resistance against an ineluctable condition.

Baudrillard Camp is a three-day workshop to review, clarify, and immerse ourselves in Baudrillard’s dystopian prognosis of the deterrence of the real by the virtual, information’s profound function of deception, and spectacle as the terminal condition of late capitalist society.

Session One: Theory of the Hyperreal Monday, Feb. 8, 6-8PM

Bypassing the binary opposition of real/unreal, the “hyperreal” is that which no longer refers to an origin outside of itself but is its own simulacra. Neither true nor false, the hyperreal negates the reality principle altogether. We will review the first, second, third and fourth orders of simulacra, the affinities with Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, the roots of his theory in Saussure’s idea of the signified and the signifier, and Baudrillard’s rejection of Marx’s simplistic distinction of “false” and “true” consciousness.

Session Two: Baudrillard and War–Antonio Serna Monday, Feb. 15, 6-8PM

Baudrillard’s 1991 essay “The Gulf War Did Not Take Place” describes the sanitization of traditional wartime conflict and adversarial confrontation with “clean war,” media spectacle rehearsed as an abstracted videogame with anti-septic “collateral damage”. We will look at the ramifications of the theory of simulacra for wartime conflict, as well as motifs of the hostage, the non-event, the non-war, and simulation’s role in Cold War deterrence. There will be a screening from Antonio Serna’s series “Appropriate War,” a series of strategic interventions into the simulacra.

Session Three: Media Theory vs. Literary Criticism Monday, Feb. 22, 6-8PM

How Baudrillard is used differs greatly, depending on the social sciences vs. the arts. Sociology and media theory recuperate him into a Marshall McLuhan-like empirical debate about the nature of media’s impact on society, whereas the visual arts react to his critique not so much as literal prescriptions, but as a rhapsody of poetic incantation that is part of a larger postmodern assault on modernist assumptions of truth, falsity, self, and human agency.

Grand Finale: Baudrillard Bonfire Friday, February 26, 6PM

Bring your own notes, readings, passages, questions and presentations on Baudrillard to share. Has Baudrillard become so popularized as to become a Zizek-like digestible form of pop culture? Is Baudrillard a cynic advocating we smugly resign ourselves to these conditions or a romanticist trying to galvanize our resistance to them? Baudrillard Fun Packs will be distributed (Vocabulary Cards, quotes, and B-knick knacks).

Baudrillard Camp is curated by the Naxal Belt/Andrea Liu for Trade School.


Trade School is a month long experiment in pedagogy, collectivist organization, and alternative counter-economies with classes in artist union organizing, the relationship between art production & economy, and more. With a non-hierarchical rhizomatic organizational structure, Trade School seeks to avert the dollar system and operate solely on barter. Teachers are compensated in studio work space and students pay for class by bringing goods to trade.

article on Trade School in Rhizome:

NOTE: Sessions 1, 2, and 3 will be held at Trade School; the Baudrillard Bonfire will be held at the Naxal Belt, 175 Jefferson Street, Bushwick, NY.

Trade School is a project of Caroline Woolard’s OurGoods. Circumventing the circuit of super-commodity art objects, OurGoods is a network premised upon radical autonomy and self-organization outside of capitalist individualist models of private property exchange. OurGoods is not based in theory or discourse, but pragmatic action. In the vein of the Russian Constructivists, OurGoods seeks and implements new kernels in the operational infrastructure of art, society, and economy.

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