Simulation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "simulation" Showing 1-30 of 110
Veronica Roth
“Simulation Tobias kisses my neck.

I try to think. I have to face the fear. I have to take control of the situation and find a way to make it less frightening.

I look Simulation Tobias in the eye and say sternly, “I am not going to sleep with you in a hallucination. Okay?”

Then I grab him by his shoulders and turn us around, pushing him against the
bedpost. I feel something other than fear—a prickle in my stomach, a bubble of laughter. I press against him and kiss him, my hands wrapping around his arms. He feels strong. He feels…good.

And he’s gone.

I laugh into my hand until my face gets hot. I must be the only initiate with this fear.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent

Veronica Roth
“His eyes search the crowd until they find my face. My heartbeat lives in my throat; lives in my cheeks.
"I still don't understand," he says softly, "how she knew that it would work.”
Veronica Roth, Insurgent

J.G. Ballard
“All over the world major museums have bowed to the influence of Disney and become theme parks in their own right. The past, whether Renaissance Italy or Ancient Egypt, is re-assimilated and homogenized into its most digestible form. Desperate for the new, but disappointed with anything but the familiar, we recolonize past and future. The same trend can be seen in personal relationships, in the way people are expected to package themselves, their emotions and sexuality, in attractive and instantly appealing forms.”
J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition

Erik Pevernagie
“Using fake feelings and relying on a trick box of artificial gadgets in order to create a simulation of desire, will not unravel the knotty puzzle to reinvent oneself. ( “Twilight of desire “ )”
Erik Pevernagie

Jean Baudrillard
“Whence the possibility of an ideological analysis of Disneyland (L. Marin did it very well in Utopiques, jeux d'espace [Utopias, play of space]): digest of the American way of life, panegyric of American values, idealized transposition of a contradictory reality. Certainly. But this masks something else and this "ideological" blanket functions as a cover for a simulation of the third order: Disneyland exists in order to hide that it is the "real" country, all of "real" America that is Disneyland (a bit like prisons are there to hide that it is the social in its entirety, in its banal omnipresence, that is carceral). Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation. It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality (ideology) but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer real, and thus of saving the reality principle.”
Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

Jean Baudrillard
“The media represents world that is more real than reality that we can experience. People lose the ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. They also begin to engage with the fantasy without realizing what it really is. They seek happiness and fulfilment through the simulacra of reality, e.g. media and avoid the contact/interaction with the real world. (Note: This quote is fake and does not appear in Simulacra and Simulation. I tried to delete it, but the system doesn't allow that because this quote has "too many fans" lol.)”
Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

Michio Kaku
“Something as superfluous as "play" is also an essential feature of our consciousness. If you ask children why they like to play, they will say, "Because it's fun." But that invites the next question: What is fun? Actually, when children play, they are often trying to reenact complex human interactions in simplified form. Human society is extremely sophisticated, much too involved for the developing brains of young children, so children run simplified simulations of adult society, playing games such as doctor, cops and robber, and school. Each game is a model that allows children to experiment with a small segment of adult behavior and then run simulations into the future. (Similarly, when adults engage in play, such as a game of poker, the brain constantly creates a model of what cards the various players possess, and then projects that model into the future, using previous data about people's personality, ability to bluff, etc. The key to games like chess, cards, and gambling is the ability to simulate the future. Animals, which live largely in the present, are not as good at games as humans are, especially if they involve planning. Infant mammals do engage in a form of play, but this is more for exercise, testing one another, practicing future battles, and establishing the coming social pecking order rather than simulating the future.)”
Michio Kaku, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

Michio Kaku
“Recent brain scans have shed light on how the brain simulates the future. These simulation are done mainly in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the CEO of the brain, using memories of the past. On one hand, simulations of the future may produce outcomes that are desirable and pleasurable, in which case the pleasure centers of the brain light up (in the nucleus accumbens and the hypothalamus). On the other hand, these outcomes may also have a downside to them, so the orbitofrontal cortex kicks in to warn us of possible dancers. There is a struggle, then, between different parts of the brain concerning the future, which may have desirable and undesirable outcomes. Ultimately it is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that mediates between these and makes the final decisions. (Some neurologists have pointed out that this struggle resembles, in a crude way, the dynamics between Freud's ego, id, and superego.)”
Michio Kaku, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

Daniel F. Galouye
“How do we know that even the realest of realities
wouldn't be subjective, in the final analysis? Nobody can prove his existence, can he?”
Daniel F. Galouye, Simulacron 3

Daniel F. Galouye
“Doomsday, when it came, wouldn't be a physical phenomenon; it would be an
all-inclusive erasure of simulectronic circuits.”
Daniel F. Galouye, Simulacron 3

Jean Baudrillard
“The revolutionary idea of contemporary art was that any object, any detail or fragment of the material world, could exert the same strange attraction and pose the same insoluble questions as were reserved in the past for a few rare aristocratic forms known as works of art.
That is where true democracy lay: not in the accession of everyone to aesthetic enjoyment, but in the transaesthetic advent of a world in which every object would, without distinction, have its fifteen minutes of fame (particularly objects without distinction). All objects are equivalent, everything is a work of genius. With, as a corollary, the transformation of art and of the work itself into an object, without illusion or transcendence, a purely conceptual acting-out, generative of deconstructed objects which deconstruct us in their turn.
No longer any face, any gaze, any human countenance or body in all this - organs without bodies, flows, molecules, the fractal. The relation to the 'artwork' is of the order of contamination, of contagion: you hook up to it, absorb or immerse yourself in it, exactly as in flows and networks. Metonymic sequence, chain reaction.
No longer any real object in all this: in the ready-made it is no longer the object that's there, but the idea of the object, and we no longer find pleasure here in art, but in the idea of art. We are wholly in ideology.
And, ultimately, the twofold curse of modem and contemporary art is summed up in the 'ready-made': the curse of an immersion in the real and banality, and that of a conceptual absorption in the idea of art.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“The end of this history saw the banality of art merge with the banality of the real world - Duchamp's act, with its automatic transference of the object, being the inaugural (and ironic) gesture in this process. The transference of all reality into aesthetics, which has become one of the dimensions of generalized exchange...
All this under the banner of a simultaneous liberation of art and the real world.
This 'liberation' has in fact consisted in indexing the two to each other - a chiasmus lethal to both.
The transference of art, become a useless function, into a reality that is now integral, since it has absorbed everything that denied, exceeded or transfigured it. The impossible exchange of this Integral Reality for anything else whatever. Given this, it can only exchange itself for itself or, in other words, repeat itself ad infinitum.
What could miraculously reassure us today about the essence of art? Art is quite simply what is at issue in the world of art, in that desperately self-obsessed artistic community. The 'creative' act doubles up on itself and is now nothing more than a sign of its own operation - the painter's true subject is no longer what he paints but the very fact that he paints. He paints the fact that he paints. At least in that way the idea of art remains intact.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“This is merely one of the sides of the conspiracy.
The other side is that of the spectator who, for want of understanding anything whatever most of the time, consumes his own culture at one remove. He literally consumes the fact that he understands nothing and that there is no necessity in all this except the imperative of culture, of being a part of the integrated circuit of culture. But culture is itself merely an epiphenomenon of global circulation.
The idea of art has become rarefied and minimal, leading ultimately to conceptual art, where it ends in the non-exhibition of non-works in non-galleries - the apotheosis of art as non-event. As a corollary, the consumer circulates in all this in order to experience his non- enjoyment of the works.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“Thought, too, while scattering its traces, leaves the literalness of the world intact, leaves intact the pure literalness of objects, though it sends their meaning up in smoke.
Shadowing the world - following the word like its shadow to cover up its tracks and to show that, behind its supposed ends, it is going nowhere.
It is in this way that thought connects up with the event of the world - not with the occurrence of a totality that is nowhere to be found, but with the occurrence of the world as it is, in its unpredictable coming-to-pass.
It is in this way that we attain to the literalness, the material imagining, of the world, by the elimination of whatever obstacle may be between the image and the gaze.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“Machines produce only machines. The texts, images, films, speech and programmes which come out of the computer are machine products, and they bear the marks of such products: they are artificially padded-out, face-lifted by the machine; the films are stuffed with special effects, the texts full of longueurs and repetitions due to the machine's malicious will to function at all costs (that is its passion), and to the operator's fascination with this limitless possibility of functioning.
Hence the wearisome character in films of all this violence and pornographied sexuality, which are merely special effects of violence and sex, no longer even fantasized by humans, but pure machinic violence.
And this explains all these texts that resemble the work of 'intelligent' virtual agents, whose only act is the act of programming.
This has nothing to do with automatic writing, which played on the magical telescoping of words and concepts, whereas all we have here is the automatism of programming, an automatic run-through of all the possibilities.
It is this phantasm of the ideal performance of the text or image, the possibility of correcting endlessly, which produce in the 'creative artist' this vertige of interactivity with his own object, alongside the anxious vertige at not having reached the technological limits of his possibilities.
In fact, it is the (virtual) machine which is speaking you, the machine which is thinking you.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“We must have a sense of this illusion of the Virtual somewhere, since, at the same time as we plunge into this machinery and its superficial abysses, it is as though we viewed it as theatre. Just as we view news coverage as theatre.
Of news coverage we are the hostages, but we also treat it as spectacle, consume it as spectacle, without regard for its credibility. A latent incredulity and derision prevent us from being totally in the grip of the information media.
It isn't critical consciousness that causes us to distance ourselves from it in this way, but the reflex of no longer wanting to play the game.
Somewhere in us lies a profound desire not to have information and transparency (nor perhaps freedom and democracy - all this needs looking at again). Towards all these ideals of modernity there is something like a collective form of mental reserve, of innate immunity.
It would be best, then, to pose all these problems in terms other than those of alienation and the unhappy destiny of the subject (which is where all critical analysis ends up).
The unlimited extension of the Virtual itself pushes us towards something like pataphysics, as the science of all that exceeds its own limits, of all that exceeds the laws of physics and metaphysics. The pre-eminently ironic science, corresponding to a state in which things reach a pitch that is simultaneously paroxystic and parodic.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“Perhaps the agnostic even prefers signs to reality. Perhaps he prefers this undecidable situation, since you can play with these floating signs and that is not possible with so-called 'objective' reality.
The move from the real to the sign opens up an enormous field of play and uncertainty.
Particularly where the reality of power is concerned.
For if there is, indeed,a risk of anaesthesia and manipulation by signs and images that is to power's advantage, there is the risk that power itself may find itself reduced merely to the signs of power.
This profusion of signs and of what is manifested does, moreover, effect a profound change in the symbolic relation to power.
That relation is based on the unilateral gift (of laws, institutions, work, security, etc.). It is not so much by violence and constraint, but only by this symbolic obligation that power exists. Now, from the point when all that it gives us is signs, our debt to it is infinitely less great. With power distributing nothing but signs to us, we merely give back signs in return, and our servitude is the lighter for it. Admittedly, the enjoyment of immaterial goods is not so great, but this also means we owe little in return and we respond to the airiness of signs with an equal indifference. We can deny power and set it aside by mere incredulity, simply responding to the signs of power with the signs of servitude. This is perhaps what is meant by 'weak thought' (pensiero debole).
With Virtual Reality, this process of disinvestment becomes even more radical, and we enter upon a phase of unbinding [deliaison], of quasi-total disobligation.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“In this way, in a sociality of accelerated circulation but low sign-value, in a game of interaction with neither questions nor responses, power and individuals have no purchase on each other, have no political relationship with each other.
This is the price to be paid for flight into the abstraction of the Virtual. But is it a loss?
It seems that it is, today, a collective choice. Perhaps we would rather be dominated by machines than by people, perhaps we prefer an impersonal, automatic domination, a domination by calculation, to domination by a human will? Not to be subject to an alien will, but to an integral calculus that absorbs us and absolves us of any personal responsibility. A minimal definition of freedom perhaps, and one which more resembles a relinquishment, a disillusioned indifference, a mental economy akin to that of machines, which are themselves also entirely irresponsible and which we are coming increasingly to resemble.
This behaviour is not exactly a choice, nor is it a rejection: there is no longer sufficient energy for that. It is a behaviour based on an uncertain negative preference.
Do you want to be free? I would prefer not to ...
Do you want to be represented? I would prefer not to ...
Do you want to be responsible for your own life? I would prefer not to ...
Do you want to be totally happy? I would prefer not to.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“Globalization believed it would succeed in the neutralization of all conflicts and would move towards a faultless order. But it is, in fact, an order by default: everything is equivalent to everything else in a zero-sum equation. Gone is the dialectic, the play of thesis and antithesis resolving itself in synthesis. The opposing terms now cancel each other out in a levelling of all conflict. But this neutralization is, in its turn, never definitive, since, at the same time as all dialectical resolution disappears, the extremes come to the fore.
No longer a question of a history in progress, of a directive schema or of regulation by crisis. No longer any rational continuity or dialectic of conflicts, but a sharing of extremes. Once the universal has been crushed by the power of the global and the logic of history obliterated by the dizzying whirl of change, there remains only a face-off between virtual omnipotence and those fiercely opposed to it.
Hence the antagonism between global power and terrorism - the present confrontation between American hegemony and Islamist terrorism being merely the visible current twist in this duel between an Integral Reality of power and integral rejection of that same power.
There is no possible reconciliation; there never will be an armistice between the antagonistic forces, nor any possibility of an integral order.
Never any armistice of thought either, which resists it fiercely, or an armistice of events in this sense: at most, events go on strike for a time, then suddenly burst through again.
This is, in a way, reassuring: though it cannot be dismantled, the Empire of Good is also doomed to perpetual failure.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“It seems nothing can counteract the proliferation of this Artificial Intelligence based on the zero degree of thought.
Nothing, that is, except this reversibility of intelligence and stupidity - the latter representing a renewed challenge to victorious intelligence.
There is something here too like a revenge of evil.
Something to which the tyranny of reality leads equally well - to appreciating any old form of madness and illusion.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

Jean Baudrillard
“The more daily life is eroded, routinized and interactivized, the more we must counter this trend with complex, initiatory sets of rules.
The more reality becomes reconciled with its concept in an objectless generality, the more we must seek out the initiatory rupture and the power of illusion.
If we cannot make the world the object of our desires, we can at least make it the object of a higher convention - which, precisely, eludes our desire.
Any illusion, any initiatory form, involves a severe rule.
Any created object, visual or analytic, conceptual or photographic, has to condense all the dimensions of the game into a single one: the allegorical, the representative (mimicry), the agonal (agon), the random (alea) and the vertiginous (ilinx).
Recomposing the spectrum.
A work, an object, a piece of architecture, a photograph, but equally a crime or an event, must: be the allegory of something, be a challenge to someone, bring chance into play and produce vertigo.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact

“Capitalism isn’t merely amoral, it is actively immoral, and it has to conceal its immortality via the simulation of morality. Morality is not part of capitalism. Capitalism is all about serving the self-interest of the individual, and there’s nothing moral about that unless, like Ayn Rand, you insanely proclaim, “Selfishness is virtuous.” Morality is always external to capitalism, something alien to capitalism. Capitalism addresses morality through simulation. It even reifies morality and turns it into commodities. The Vatican sells religious trinkets to the credulous masses. Evangelical Christianity in America is a vast money-making machine. Disneyland and Hollywood simulate a moral order where the good are rewarded and the wicked punished (the opposite of what actually happens in capitalism).”
Mark Romel, Unreal City: The Strange Disappearance of Reality

“Prisons exist to hide the fact that the entire system is a jail. Shopping malls conceal the reality that the whole of America is a shopping mall. America is a vast shop. It is not a nation. It does not exist these days to land men on the men and do “the difficult thing”. It exists to shop and do the easy thing. The purpose of America is to create maximum profits for the 1% who run America. Everything is designed to serve that end, and everyone goes along with it. One of the 1% is now the President. The middlemen – the politicians – have been cut out. America creates apparent perimeters around explicitly imaginary domains (such as Disneyland), but the truth is that reality no more exists outside the limits than inside the limits. The effect of the “imaginary” is to conceal the loss of the real. The more energy that America devotes to the imaginary – via Disney, Hollywood, “reality” TV (actually unreality TV), video games, virtual reality, social media, “fake news”, post-truth, and so on – the further the real recedes into the distance. Is it possible for America to return to the real now? Would it even know what the real was? How would it recognize it? America has become hyperreal. It’s not real at all. It is “more real than real” and also “less real than real”, the problem being that “more” and “less” would make sense only if there were a reality to serve as a comparison point. That’s exactly what is lacking.”
Mark Romel, Unreal City: The Strange Disappearance of Reality

César Aira
“Because all of this was the same as a medical “hidden camera,” the difference being that they could no longer catch him off guard; they had already tried so many times that all they could do was risk “hiding the hidden,” hoping to slip it in between levels.
He watched them talk, his attention waxing and waning at irregular intervals, as a result of which the two enthusiastic and youthful — almost frenetic — faces he had so close to his began to seem unreal. And they were, he had no doubt about this, though only up to a certain point; because they did belong to two human beings of flesh and blood. The intensive use of hidden cameras in the last few years (in order to pull off all kinds of pranks, but also to catch corrupt officials, dishonest businessmen, tax evaders, and criminal infiltrators into the medical profession) required using up actors at a phenomenal rate, for they could never be employed a second time because of the risk of blowing their cover. They had to always be new, debutants; they couldn’t have appeared on any screen ever before, not even as extras, because given the high degree of distrust that had infiltrated society, the least hint of recognition was enough to ruin the operation. And that same, constantly increasing distrust forced actors to be constantly getting better, more believable. It was astonishing that they didn’t run out of them; of course, they didn’t need to be professionals (with the new Labor Contract Law, they were not strictly required to be members of the union), but in cases where a lot was at stake, it must have required a difficult decision to place the success or failure of an operation in the hands of an amateur.”
César Aira, The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira

César Aira
“The ends of the screen continued to exceed the fields of meaning and create others that immediately, and almost through the impetus of their unfolding, cut huge and savage zigzags. Astronomy. The ability of parrots and blackbirds to speak. The diesel engine. The Assyrians. Coffee. Clouds. Screens, screens, and more screens. They were proliferating everywhere, and he had to pay close attention to make sure that no sector failed to be sorted. Fortunately, Dr. Aira had no time to notice the stress he was experiencing. Attention was key, and perhaps no man had ever brought as much of it to bear as he did for that hour. If the circumstances had been less serious, if he had been able to adopt a more frivolous perspective, he could have said that the entire procedure was an incomparable creator of attention, the most exhaustive ever conceived to exercise this noble mental faculty. And it did not require an extraordinary person; a common man could do it (and Dr. Aira would have been quite satisfied to become a common man), for the Cure created all the attention it demanded. It wasn’t like those video games, which are always trying to trick it or avoid it or get one step ahead of it; to continue with this simile, it should be said that the operator of the Cure was his own video game, his own screen, and his own decoys, and that far from defying attention, they nurtured it. Despite all this, the effort was superhuman, and it was yet to be seen if Dr. Aira could hold out till the end.”
César Aira, The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira

Michael Bassey Johnson
“Nature is a cinema.
God, the cinematographer.”
Michael Bassey Johnson, Song of a Nature Lover

J.G. Ballard
“Auto-Zoomar. Talbert knelt in the a tergo posture, his palms touching the wing-like shoulder blades of the young woman. A conceptual flight. At ten-second intervals the Polaroid projected a photograph on to the screen beside the bed. He watched the auto-zoom close in on the union of their thighs and hips. Details of the face and body of the film actress appeared on the screen, mimetized elements of the planetarium they had visited that morning. Soon the parallax would close, establishing the equivalent geometry of the sexual act with the junctions of this wall and ceiling.
‘Not in the Literal Sense.’Conscious of Catherine Austin’s nervous hips as she stood beside him, Dr Nathan studied the photograph of the young woman. ‘Karen Novotny,’ he read off the caption. ‘Dr Austin, may I assure you that the prognosis is hardly favourable for Miss Novotny. As far as Talbert is concerned the young woman is a mere modulus in his union with the film actress.’ With kindly eyes he looked up at Catherine Austin. ‘Surely it’s self-evident - Talbert’s intention is to have intercourse with Miss Taylor, though needless to say not in the literal sense of that term.’
Action Sequence. Hiding among the traffic in the near-side lane, Koester followed the white Pontiac along the highway. When they turned into the studio entrance he left his car among the pines and climbed through the perimeter fence. In the shooting stage Talbert was staring through a series of colour transparencies. Karen Novotny waited passively beside him, her hands held like limp birds. As they grappled he could feel the exploding musculature of Talbert’s shoulders. A flurry of heavy blows beat him to the floor. Vomiting through his bloodied lips, he saw Talbert run after the young woman as she darted towards the car.
The Sex Kit.‘In a sense,’ Dr Nathan explained to Koester, ‘one may regard this as a kit, which Talbert has devised, entitled “Karen Novotny” - it might even be feasible to market it commercially. It contains the following items: (1) Pad of pubic hair, (2) a latex face mask, (3) six detachable mouths, (4) a set of smiles, (5) a pair of breasts, left nipple marked by a small ulcer, (6) a set of non-chafe orifices, (7) photo cut-outs of a number of narrative situations - the girl doing this and that, (8) a list of dialogue samples, of inane chatter, (9) a set of noise levels, (10) descriptive techniques for a variety of sex acts, (11) a torn anal detrusor muscle, (12) a glossary of idioms and catch phrases, (13) an analysis of odour traces (from various vents), mostly purines, etc., (14) a chart of body temperatures (axillary, buccal, rectal), (15) slides of vaginal smears, chiefly Ortho-Gynol jelly, (16) a set of blood pressures, systolic 120, diastolic 70 rising to 200/150 at onset of orgasm . . . ’ Deferring to Koester, Dr Nathan put down the typescript. ‘There are one or two other bits and pieces, but together the inventory is an adequate picture of a woman, who could easily be reconstituted from it. In fact, such a list may well be more stimulating than the real thing. Now that sex is becoming more and more a conceptual act, an intellectualization divorced from affect and physiology alike, one has to bear in mind the positive merits of the sexual perversions. Talbert’s library of cheap photo-pornography is in fact a vital literature, a kindling of the few taste buds left in the jaded palates of our so-called sexuality.”
J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition

J.G. Ballard
“The Primary Act. As they entered the cinema, Dr Nathan confided to Captain Webster, ‘Talbert has accepted in absolute terms the logic of the sexual union. For him all junctions, whether of our own soft biologies or the hard geometries of these walls and ceilings, are equivalent to one another. What Talbert is searching for is the primary act of intercourse, the first apposition of the dimensions of time and space. In the multiplied body of the film actress - one of the few valid landscapes of our age - he finds what seems to be a neutral ground. For the most part the phenomenology of the world is a nightmarish excrescence. Our bodies, for example, are for him monstrous extensions of puffy tissue he can barely tolerate. The inventory of the young woman is in reality a death kit.’ Webster watched the images of the young woman on the screen, sections of her body intercut with pieces of modern architecture. All these buildings. What did Talbert want to do - sodomize the Festival Hall?

Pressure Points. Koester ran towards the road as the helicopter roared overhead, its fans churning up a storm of pine needles and cigarette cartons. He shouted at Catherine Austin, who was squatting on the nylon blanket, steering her body stocking around her waist. Two hundred yards beyond the pines was the perimeter fence. She followed Koester along the verge, the pressure of his hands and loins still marking her body. These zones formed an inventory as sterile as the items in Talbert’s kit. With a smile she watched Koester trip clumsily over a discarded tyre. This unattractive and obsessed young man - why had she made love to him? Perhaps, like Koester, she was merely a vector in Talbert’s dreams.

Central Casting. Dr Nathan edged unsteadily along the catwalk, waiting until Webster had reached the next section. He looked down at the huge geometric structure that occupied the central lot of the studio, now serving as the labyrinth in an elegant film version of The Minotaur . In a sequel to Faustus and The Shrew , the film actress and her husband would play Ariadne and Theseus. In a remarkable way the structure resembled her body, an exact formalization of each curve and cleavage. Indeed, the technicians
had already christened it ‘Elizabeth’. He steadied himself on the wooden rail as the helicopter appeared above the pines and sped towards them. So the Daedalus in this neural drama had at last arrived.

An Unpleasant Orifice. Shielding his eyes, Webster pushed through the camera crew. He stared up at the young woman standing on the roof of the maze, helplessly trying to hide her naked body behind her slim hands. Eyeing her pleasantly, Webster debated whether to climb on to the structure, but the chances of breaking a leg and falling into some unpleasant orifice seemed too great. He stood back as a bearded young man with a tight mouth and eyes ran forwards. Meanwhile Talbert strolled in the centre of the maze, oblivious of the crowd below, calmly waiting to see if the young woman could break the code of this immense body. All too clearly there had been a serious piece of miscasting.

‘Alternate’ Death. The helicopter was burning briskly. As the fuel tank exploded, Dr Nathan stumbled across the cables. The aircraft had fallen on to the edge of the maze, crushing one of the cameras. A cascade of foam poured over the heads of the retreating technicians, boiling on the hot concrete around the helicopter. The body of the young woman lay beside the controls like a figure in a tableau sculpture, the foam forming a white fleece around her naked shoulders.”
J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition

J.G. Ballard
“Death Games (a) Conceptual.
Nader again. His assault on the automobile clearly had me worried. Living in grey England, what I most treasured of my Shanghai childhood were my memories of American cars, a passion I’ve retained to this day. Looking back, one can see that Nader was the first of the ecopuritans, who proliferate now, convinced that everything is bad for us. In fact, too few things are bad for us, and one fears an indefinite future of pious bourgeois certitudes. It’s curious that these puritans strike such a chord - there is a deep underlying unease about the rate of social change, but little apparent change is actually taking place. Most superficial change belongs in the context of the word ‘new’, as applied to refrigerator or lawn-mower design. Real change is largely invisible, as befits this age of invisible technology - and people have embraced VCRs, fax machines, word processors without a thought, along with the new social habits that have sprung up around them. They have also accepted the unique vocabulary and grammar of late-20th-century life (whose psychology I have tried to describe in the present book), though most would deny it vehemently if asked.”
J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition

J.G. Ballard
“Export Credit Guarantees.‘After all, Madame Nhu is asking a thousand dollars an interview, in this case we can insist on five and get it. Damn it, this is The Man . . . ’ The brain dulls. An exhibition of atrocity photographs rouses a flicker of interest. Meanwhile, the quasars burn dimly from the dark peaks of the universe. Standing across the room from Catherine Austin, who watches him with guarded eyes, he hears himself addressed as ‘Paul’, as if waiting for clandestine messages from the resistance headquarters of World War III.

Five Hundred Feet High. The Madonnas move across London like immense clouds. Painted on clapboard in the Mantegna style, their composed faces gaze down on the crowds watching from the streets below. Several hundred pass by, vanishing into the haze over the Queen Mary Reservoir, Staines, like a procession of marine deities. Some remarkable entrepreneur has arranged this tour de force; in advertising circles everyone is talking about the mysterious international agency that now has the Vatican account. At the Institute Dr Nathan is trying to sidestep the Late Renaissance. ‘Mannerism bores me. Whatever happens,’ he confides to Catherine Austin, ‘we must keep him off Dali and Ernst.’

Gioconda. As the slides moved through the projector the women’s photographs, in profile and full face, jerked one by one across the screen. ‘A characteristic of the criminally insane,’ Dr Nathan remarked, ‘is the lack of tone and rigidity of the facial mask.’

The audience fell silent. An extraordinary woman had appeared on the screen. The planes of her face seemed to lead towards some invisible focus, projecting an image that lingered on the walls, as if they were inhabiting her skull. In her eyes glowed the forms of archangels. ‘That one?’ Dr Nathan asked quietly. ‘Your mother? I see.”
J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition

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