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Lecture by Andrey Velikanov: Chuck Panahniuk, David Fincher, Fight Club // Reality and simulation. Hubris

Andrey Velikanov’s Lecture Cycle: Ideas and Forms
8 April 2018


During the lecture, Andrey Velikanov will approach the iconic book and film Fight Club as a demonstration of simulation as a notion of contemporary culture. 

The protagonist of David Fincher’s movie Fight Club finds out that there’s a double living in his body. Analyzing these odd psychological conditions might have been an amazing thing to do, but the study of alternative realities absorbing entire cultures, rather than individuals, is no less compelling. How does the world we live in operate? Is it fully simulated, or does deceive us only on the level of details? How do the realities of the physical world and that of semiotic systems correlate? And even if we never question our identity—doesn’t a vague twinkling of simulacra still surround us?

“Thus all hold ups, hijacks and the like are now as it were simulation hold ups, in the sense that they are inscribed in advance in the decoding and orchestration rituals of the media, anticipated in their mode of presentation and possible consequences. In brief, where they function as a set of signs dedicated exclusively to their recurrence as signs, and no longer to their "real" goal at all. But this does not make them inoffensive. On the contrary, it is as hyperreal events, no longer having any particular contents or aims, but indefinitely refracted by each other…”

(Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation, 1981)


Andrey Velikanov is a philosopher, art theorist, and artist. His publications on art and cultural theory include Am I a Trembling Simulacrum, or Do I Have the Right? (NLO, 2007). He has taught at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian State University for the Humanities, UNIC Institute, Wordshop Communications Academy, Moscow 1905 Art Academy, MediaArtLab Open School, Center of Avant-Garde at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, and Free Workshops Art School, and regularly gives talks and takes part in discussions at various venues. He is also a recipient of several media art awards and prizes including Ostranenie (Germany), DADANET (Russia), Art on the Net (Japan), TrashArt (Russia), Southwest Interactive Festival (U.S.A.), and Split (Croatia).


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