By Gary Genosko
This booklet relates Baudrillard's paintings to modern social r4248y. the writer lines the connections among Baudrillard's paintings and Marx and Marxism; Lefebvre and structuralist procedure; the works of Saussure, Bataille, Barthes, Foucault, Mauss, Peirce, McLuhan and the Prague university. the result's an authoritative and stimulating account of Baudrillard and sleek social thought.
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Additional resources for Baudrillard and Signs: Signification Ablaze
Everyone may have learned the formula ‘value precedes signification’, but the focus on value has served to shift attention away from its poorer partner, signification. To focus on signification is not to seek to dis- or re-place value or to repeat the same kind of misemphasis, but rather, to create a i n t e r p re t i v e f o i l a g a i n s t t h o s e w h o h a v e s u b s u m e d signification under value. If I have surmised correctly, I, too, must in the end take the stand (venir à la barre).
What Baudrillard ‘found’ in Marx was a complementary effect of a structural deduction which can only admit one unique element which does not acquire value in terms of differential relations in a system. But like the symbolic, use value in its purest conceptual form is ‘never truly inscribed’ in the domain of value (Baudrillard, 1972:54–5); they are both said to be ‘concrete’ and ‘particular’. I am not claiming that this is Marx’s conception of use value. It is, on the contrary, a notion which Baudrillard takes in the opposite direction from the charge that Marx naturalized needs: the imaginary of use value is SbE.
I am not, to be sure, seeking a modus vivendi. My argument does not occlude recognition that one is always ‘reading Saussure’ (Harris, 1987). It would be more accurate to say that one is always reading readings which have been read and edited and presented as the Cours before one reads the sorts of pronouncements which pass as the so-called ‘lessons’ of Saussure, who is really ‘two’, etc. Baudrillard has, for one, two Saussures to handle. The paragraph that Derrida could not help but ignore begins in this way: ‘But to say that everything is negative in language is true only of the signified and signifier taken separately: when we consider the sign in its totality, we find ourselves in the presence of a positive thing in its own order’ (Saussure, 1985: 166).