I've been a fan of Baudrillard ever since Sam Gordon tossed me his copy of "The Evil Demon of Images", a set of lectures outlining the concept of the hyperreal. He also gave me the first fischerspooner album that week. Good instructor, that Sam. Anyway since then I had only read an article here or there (most memorably - Cybernetics and the New Technologies, where Baudrillard addresses global information networks as mazes that the individual seeks to lose itself in, not as bridges that are in fact making the world smaller, a notion I can't help but to agree with, think myspace, IM convos, avatars), but I've anticipated reading everything I could get my hands on. First had to be Conspiracy of Art. Baudrillard, obsessed with proclaiming the end, uses Warhol as his timeline's catalyst. After Warhol we can only seek to engage the irony of art's status in the postmodern, no longer able to seduce with illusion. Honestly I'll have to reread to check if that sentence was accurate. What astonishes me is that, though he reminds us constantly that he's an outsider and not commenting directly on current art practice, Conspiracy of Art became an instant phenomenon in the art world, with a generation carrying a copy around like the Communist Manifesto. Oh irony of ironies. The all-devouring art world created by the avante-garde strikes again. My own attraction to Baurdrillard's theories has very little to do with my art practice (that's sort of silly isn't it, if it means I'd have to say the same about my other reading material?)....
Other lectures and interviews in this collection discuss a great variety of topics, though much of the politics is quite foreign to me (though Le Pen also has a role in Grant Morrison's The Filth). There's also a hilarious interview discussing the Matrix, where Baudrillard concludes that if the Matrix were real, the Matrix is exactly the movie that the Matrix would produce about itself.
High replay value on this bitch.