ISSN: 1705-6411
Volume 5, Number 1 (January 2008)
Author: Mark S. Roberts

Benjamin and McLuhan saw more clearly than Marx, they saw that the real message, the real ultimatum, lay in reproduction itself. Production itself has no meaning: its social finality is lost in the series. Simulacra prevail over history.1

Benjamin is someone I admire profoundly.2

I. From the Arcades
Since its publication in 1982, Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project (Das Passagen-Werk) has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Common to virtually all of these interpretations, however, is an emphasis on his use of some version of the Marxian dialectic as a means of recording and explaining history, particularly the history of Paris in the nineteenth century. Ordinarily the applications of Marxian dialectics as a tool for understanding human history are more or less consistent with what Marx and Engels proposed in the German Ideology and elsewhere concerning historical materialism. Marx, as is widely acknowledged, was not a materialist in the sense of the late seventeenth and eighteenth century mechanistic doctrines popular in both the science and philosophy of that era. He did not, as did earlier materialists, take the position that only matter exists. Subsequently, he viewed history not as the result of the purely accidental and ungovernable fluctuations of atomic accretions, but as the product of the aggregate expression of human consciousness, action, and resistance in a particular epoch. Thus the historical record of an era would be formed within the more or less full context of the modes and instruments of production, including, as Marx insists, the working class itself. This context also includes the remnants of past civilizations, worked over by the present civilization: “Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted by the past”.3

At first glance, Benjamin’s Passagen-Werk would appear to be a project entirely consistent with this Marxian approach to the recording and interpretation of the past. Benjamin went to remarkable extremes to collect what amounts to perhaps the most definitive gathering of artifacts, photographs, drawings, graphs, poems, texts, letters, commercial receipts, and so on referring to the construction

1. The Passage de l’Opera (1822-23)4

of the socio-economic and cultural reality of nineteenth century Parisian life. This project constitutes a virtual museum of tiny bits and pieces reflecting the ideas, actions and inventions of an extraordinary range of poets, artists, artisans, novelists, engineers, architects, workers and more.  From the sheer size of The Arcades Project – nearly 954 pages – it seems that practically no snippet of Paris’s cultural or commercial past was overlooked, nor was the subtle connection between these various literary and visual images and the history Benjamin hoped to reconstruct. In this respect Benjamin’s obsessive collecting of interrelated images runs the gamut from elegiac descriptions of the successful

2. Nadar – The Sewers of Paris (1861-62) 5

drainage of the Paris sewer system – “The poets would say that Haussmann was inspired more by the divinities below than the gods above” – to the preferred dispersion routes of bankers after the “prohibition:” “the French bankers in the Palais-Royal, Benazet and Chabert, departed for Baden-Baden and Weisbaden, and the may employees went to Pyrmont, Aachen, Spa and elsewhere”.6

But, as The Arcades Project editor, Rolf Tiedemann, maintains, there is a noteworthy drift away from the traditional Marxian conception of historical materialism and dialectic in this work. After many years of organizing the various snippets of dialogue, image and discourse that constitute the Passagen-Werk, Tiedemann arrived at the conclusion that the whole project involves what Benjamin himself referred to as a state of “dialectics at a standstill.” What is meant by this phrase is that historical time becomes encapsulated in images forming what Tiedemann calls a “historical constellation.” Time is no longer past time, but, rather, “coagulated” in the imagistic configuration of a “Now.” “The Now

3. Nadar – Charles Baudelaire (1855) 7

would have shown itself to be the ‘inmost image’ of the arcades themselves, of fashion, of the bourgeois interior – appearing as the image of all that had been, and whose cognition is the heart of the Passagen-Werk”.8 It is in this general context of “standstill” that Benjamin invented the term “dialectic image.” For him the image – though having two distinct meanings, according to Tiedemann –  takes on the character of unconscious fantasy tied to a kind of collective subconscious, reflective of the “Ur-past.” This, in turn, particularizes the historical image, removing it from the traditional Marxian vision of an interactive, fluent, and ever-becoming history:

The temporal core of history cannot be grasped as really happening, stretching forth in the real dimension of time; rather it is where evolution halts for a moment, where the dynamics of what is happening coagulates into stasis, where time itself is condensed into a differential, and where a Now identifies itself as the Now of a particular recognizability.9

In the above sense, then, Benjamin’s Arcades Project can be seen as an instance of a particular and, one should add, quite unorthodox – i.e., as far as Marxian dialectics is concerned – vision of the formation and function of images.

4. Shops in the Passage Véro-Dodat 10

On Benjamin’s view, images are no longer the ever-shifting repositories of the collective history of human production, but rather static phenomena that reveal their contents as a result of their transitory apprehension and readability. This theory of the image is not, of course, unique to The Arcades Project itself. Benjamin offers a similar vision in his now famous essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility”.11 Here he centers his discussion on the question of the “aura” attached to original works of art, and how that aura somehow disappears when the original work of art is technologically reproduced, that is , reproduced either in graphic form, illustrative photographs, or films. The implication here is that the work of art only reveals itself fully when it is directly apprehended; this is the point at which the historical dynamic of the work emerges:

In even the most perfect reproduction, one thing is lacking: the here and now of the work of art – its unique existence in a particular place. It is this unique existence – and nothing else – that bears the mark of history to which the work has been subject. This history includes changes to the physical structure of the work over time, together with any changes in ownership. Traces of the former can be detected only by chemical or physical analyses (which cannot be performed on a reproduction), while changes of ownership are part of the tradition which can be traced only from the standpoint of the original in its present location.12

Thus, reproduced images, like those contained in the copious historical

5. Passage Vivienne 13

data of The Arcades Project, are set adrift from their immediate referent due to the loss of an originary aura. The old photographs, poetic images, visual reports, advertisements, and so on that fill the Arcades dossier, are, in this respect, nothing more or less than the technologically reproduced “shadow forms” of the original architectural, fine art, commercial items and artifacts they represent. Benjamin further underscores this disconnection from the original by arguing that the reproduced image frees itself completely from the particular rituals commonly associated with artworks: “for the first time in world history, technological reproducibility emancipates the work of art from its parasitic subservience to ritual. To an ever-increasing degree, the work reproduced becomes the reproduction of a work designed for reproducibility”.14 This characteristic of the

6. Diorama, Rue Bondy 15

reproduced image in turn creates a condition of specific inherence in the image, distinct from the original work of art, with its complex historical framework and dynamic. The reproduced image is not really an image of the work of art itself, but rather an image per se, viewed as something that contains its own history – a history connected tangentially to the artwork it reproduces, but one issuing primarily from the field of technological and mechanical processes. In this sense the reproduced image is much like what Benjamin called the “dialectical image,” in that it consists in a reconstitution of complex historical information and human actions condensed in a “Now.” The reproduced image clearly conveys something to the viewer, but what it conveys is estranged from the original that it reproduces. It is thus reproducibility that becomes the source of historical

7. Honoré Daumier – Nadar in his balloon (1862) 16

knowledge and information, rather than the aesthetic experience of the art work itself. What is apprehended by the viewer is, so to speak, the “unreality” of the image, since the “reality” of the reproduced object, with its multifaceted aura, is no longer present, no longer a factor in its full comprehension. Benjamin envisions a similar extrication when discussing the relationship between the panorama, painting, and photography:

The entrance of the temporal factor into the panorama is brought about through its succession of times of day (with well-known lighting tricks). In this way, the panorama transcends painting and anticipates photography. Owing to the technological formation, the photograph, in contrast to the painting, can and must be correlated with a well-defined and continuous segment of time (exposure time). In this chronological specifiability, the political significance of the photograph is already contained in nuce.17

The significance of the photographically reproduced image inheres therefore in the image itself, since what the image refers to is, as it were, lost in translation. The “original,” with its specific presence in space and time, is set adrift from the copy, nowhere to be found in the remote photographic process.

8. Charles Meryon – The Pont Neuf (1853-54) 18

The only sense of presence that remains is that of recognition and reproducibility, which taken by itself, has its own internal history and composition. Or, as Tiedemann suggests in clarifying Benjamin’s revision of the Marxian dialectic, “Benjamin’s dialectic tried to halt the flow of movement, to grasp each becoming as being. . . .Images became dialectical for this philosophy because of the historical index of every single image”.19

Tiedemann’s reading is further substantiated by David S. Ferris in his article on Benjamin’s view of history and its relation to the aura. Ferris, like Tiedemann, argues that for Benjamin the image is cut off completely from the ordinary flow of history, and therefore must be understood in terms of its present recognizability:

If, as Benjamin argues, everything that achieves presence only does so through this now of recognizability, then history cannot belong to the past, but, rather, it must belong to the present. This present is constituted by the image as the sole means by which the image itself can be recognized. This image therefore cannot provide any means to recover the past in the present. . . .To Benjamin, history becomes legible and therefore readable through the relation that can be articulated only from a present that belongs to image and to the passage of time that history is supposed to reflect.20

If Ferris is correct, the image can be read only in terms of its immediately recognizable content, and is thus understood as an interpretation of the passage of time, and not as inextricably connected to some progressive historical sequence. The image is in this sense an interpretation of temporal progression, but one that is given outside the context of continuous temporality. “While the relation of past and present is defined by the continuous passage of time, such a passage has little to do with what Benjamin recognizes as the historical. Indeed, from these remarks, it becomes clear that history arises not from the passage of time, but from the ability to read the image that interrupts such a passage”.21

At this juncture, one could argue that, for Benjamin, the image is an isolated entity, standing largely by and in itself. With “dialectics at a standstill,” whatever historical data the image conveyed originally vanishes with its passage out of conventional time. The technologically reproduced image is isolated by its specific temporal context, its point of exposure, so to speak. The literary, graphic and photographic images contained in The Arcades Project, likewise, are subject to stoppage of historical time, to the discrete collation of events, actions and, as Ferris suggests, readings. This would in turn lend the image an aura of unreality, in that it would not convey a “real” event or object, connected to it by interwoven bits and pieces within a complex historical dynamic, but, rather, the abstract, reproduced space and feel of a certain kind of mechanical reproducibility. The image, as Benjamin himself argues, is frozen in time. This suspension in time would, moreover, create a certain amount of incongruity between the image and its referent. If the historical past vanishes at some point in the reproductive process of image making, this past, along with its “aura,” can no longer serve as the image’s frame of reference, as its “reality.” The various poetic images, photographs, graphic designs, drawings, advertisements, etc. composing The Arcades Project would thus stand alone, apart from the historical dialectic that would presumably be entailed in their references to actual historical events and objects. This would in turn create a situation in which the referent, the object or event represented in the image, has no substantive connection to that image; what the image actually refers to is only a sign representing the image itself, as something to be read and recognized as the meaning of the image.

Given this view, the question of reference becomes decidedly problematic. What precisely do these images, so lovingly collected by Benjamin in The Arcades Project, refer to? It would seem, taking into account Benjamin’s idea of “dialectics at a standstill,” that a critical breakdown occurs between image and reality; what the image tends to point to is itself and its peculiar technological constitution, not, as is commonly thought, to some unassailable historical and material reality. Thus, in his quest to transform Marxian dialectics and to criticize both the idealist and positivistic constructions of history – that is, constructions of history that move decidedly back into the past or that follows some predetermined plan of progress, respectively – we could argue that Benjamin had anticipated one of the most intriguing problems of the postmodern era: the question of the simulation of a hyperreality, a reality composed entirely of the signs of reality.

II. To Hyperreality
The ideas of simulation and hyperreality are most commonly associated with the work of Jean Baudrillard. But these ideas, particularly in their relation to the image, predate Baudrillard’s distinctive use of them. The media theorist and literary critic Marshall McLuhan, for example, devised a formula for media that incorporated , albeit in nascent form, precisely the sort of relationship between image content and referent that inspired Baudrillard’s later, more elaborate, theorizing. The phrase he used to formulate this relation is, of course, “The medium is the message.” This very phrase, moreover, serves as the title of the first chapter of McLuhan’s most popular work, Understanding Media – a chapter in which he defines the concept in terms of media themselves containing certain intrinsic messages, apart from their representational content. This being the case, the form of the medium is already fraught with meaning, but a meaning that is peculiar to the structure and internal relations of that particular medium. McLuhan further explains this phenomenon by stating that the form/content relation, once weighed heavily toward content, has changed considerably in the modern era:

In other words, cubism, by giving the inside and the outside, the top and the bottom, back and front and the rest, in two dimensions drops the illusion of perspective in favor of the instant sensation of awareness of the whole. Cubism, by seizing on the instant total awareness, suddenly announced the medium is the message. . . .Specialized segments of attention have shifted top total field, and we can now say, “:The medium is the message,” quite naturally.22

Besides their shift from content, McLuhan also stresses the blinding speed with which modern electronic media convey messages. Whereas messages in the past where taken in at a rather leisurely pace – from books, scrolls, or various ideographic and pictographic representations – modern content, depending on the medium, is brought to the reader or viewer immediately. Watching television, for instance, does not only involve taking in an isolated image on a screen, but also a radical breakdown of traditional ways of processing information. Like Benjamin’s notion of “captive history” in the dialectical image, televisual images are a “hot” fusion of many processes and information bits, delivered instantaneously to the viewer. Effectively, the viewer has no course other than to take in these various bits of information, inhered within but yet separate from the obvious images and sounds, that is, the content.

Baudrillard expanded the concept of the medium is the message considerably. He not only extended the idea to all messages and media – indeed, to postmodern social reality itself – but also employed the concept to announce what amounted to the death of traditional Marxian dialectics in face of communicative ecstasy and simulation. “The sole revolution of things is no longer today in their dialectical transcendence but in their elevation to the tenth power, whether it be that of terrorism, irony or simulation. It is no longer the dialectic, but rather ecstasy that is in force”.23 So, rather than dialectical openness to the reflections of time, event, history, culture and custom, one is confronted today by the hyperreal, which, as Baudrillard stresses, is composed of a set of signs that not only stand for reality, but also constitute a separate and competing reality – in his view, the only reality.

The necessary condition for the formation of this competing reality is, according to Baudrillard, the model. Much like Saussure’s conception of the sign, models are composed of more or less arbitrary bits and pieces of “reality.” Effectively, every information function emanates from the model, nothing has an end, makes sense without “an affiliation to the model.” One might, then, interpret the model much in the same way Benjamin viewed reproducibility. Indeed, reproducibility is closely aligned with both the structure and purpose of models in general. On this, Baudrillard writes: “This is a matter of reversing origins and finalities, since all forms change from the moment they are no longer mechanically reproduced, but conceived instead in the light of their reproducibility as a diffraction from a generating nucleus called a model”.24 Moreover, as is the case with Benjamin’s idea of “dialectics at a standstill,” the model eliminates continuous time, introducing reversibility and reducibility, played out in the simulative forms generated by the model. One can modulate, invert, even invent, any set of events as long as they appear to stem from some particular model. Like reproducibility, the model grounds the fundamental historical structure of the message, rendering history “captive” to the various meanings generated at the level of the model. This striking resemblance between the model and reproducibility, between the production of the hyperreal and that of dialectical stasis, does not, of course, escape Baudrillard’s notice. In Symbolic Exchange and Death, he lauds Benjamin (and McLuhan) for having revealed the onset of an age of simulation, as prophets of the coming world of pure simulacra and hyperreality:

It was Walter Benjamin who first separated the implications of the principle of production. He showed that reproduction absorbs the process of production and alters its goals, the status of the product, and the producer. He established this on the terrain of art, cinema and photography. … But we know now that today all production returns to this sphere. It is at the level of production – fashion, media, ,advertising, information and communication networks – the level that Marx described as faux frais of capital. …Benjamin (and later McLuhan) grasped technique not as a product of force (where Marxian analysis remains trapped) but as a medium, as the form and principle of a whole new generation of meaning.25

Baudrillard thus acknowledges explicitly that his idea of the model borrows generously from Benjamin’s original vision of reproducibility. Simply stated, what can be reproduced can be reduced to an interactive set of signs, combinable in a virtually infinite number of ways. Reproducibility, as Baudrillard repeatedly stresses, replaces the complexity of dialectics, of the flow of historical events, one into the other, one across the other. Traditionally, the combinations caused by the interaction of the historical and material dialectic are readable differentially, in terms of their similarities or differences regarding events, images, and a whole range of both real and symbolic forms. Given the Marxian dialectic schema, the images of Parisian commerce and cultural life in the nineteenth century are always informed by those that existed formerly, by the socio-economic and cultural conditions that dominated past epochs. But with the introduction of reproducibility, these past events and images lose their coherence, their regular temporal ebb and flow, the apprehension of which will, at least partially, determine the history of the forthcoming era. Isolated in their mutual origins by the very act and concept of reproducibility, each event, each image is torn from its historical source point, left to interact in a skein of disconnected signs, that is, in the end, all that remains of historical reality.

Baudrillard’s postmodern world of simulation and Benjamin’s bustling world of the nineteenth century Paris arcades therefore share a common feature: they both can be considered instances of the production of a certain kind of hyperreality. If, as Baudrillard himself proposes, Benjamin had anticipated the advent of simulation and the hyperreal in his theories of recognizability, reproducibility and static dialectics, he clearly laid the foundation for the coming “age of simulation.” Rather than viewing image and event as moving through and across interactive historical and discursive lines, one is now met with the immediacy inherent in reproducibility. Each image orbits within its self-induced trajectory, each event and object drifts apart from its source in historical reality. All of reality is, as it were, infused with itself; nothing can any longer be determined as the “real,” since what is taken for the real is only a sign of the real. In this universe of interchangeable equivalencies – that is, signs generated from a model – there is no return possible to the streets, quays and grand boulevards of nineteenth century Paris. This Paris is real only to the extent that one can recognize instantaneously those images that simulate its former reality – a reality that does not exist then, in the past, but only now.

In the end, Benjamin’s prescient vision of a now, of dialectics at a standstill in his massive study of the Paris arcades, has had a profound, if not entirely explicit, impact on postmodern criticism in general, and on Baudrillard’s approach in particular. For example, Baudrillard’s claim that “the society of spectacle” has come to an end – a rejection of Guy Debord’s concept of a society seduced by commodity images – is to a significant degree substantiated by Benjamin’s prophetic discoveries. If the image is indeed a Now point, self referring and self-constituting, then its potential for influencing commodity consumption is limited to its internal messages, to an “imploded” meaning that bears an equivalence to all other images and messages, and thus hides nothing, symbolizes nothing in particular. “Thus the consumer society was lived under the sign of alienation; it was a society of spectacle, and the spectacle, even if alienated, is never obscene. Obscenity begins when there is no more stage, no more illusion, when everything becomes immediately transparent, visible.”26 The “religious ecstasy” induced by the commodity image, what Debord referred to as “the principle of commodity fetishism. . . .where the tangible world is replaced by a selection of images which exist above it, and which simultaneously impose themselves as the tangible par excellence”,27 is in this case reduced to the apprehension of the mere repetition of signs of the real (commodities themselves). The various representations of commodities, in the form of commodity images, are not, as Debord asserts, the result of some distinct shift in society from material production to commodity fetishism. Instead, the shift is from the representation of images to their repetition – a repetition that becomes possible due to their reproducibility As such, the image no longer represents the real, stands in place of the “tangible,” but takes on the very substance of the “real,” quite apart from history, temporality and reference. Andy Warhol’s serial depictions of Marilyn Monroe, for example, are not, in the above sense, actually a portrait of a famous movie star repeated several times over. The repeated images are exactly what they are – reproduced silk screen images – and therefore can no longer be seen as grounded in some external reality, bathed in the “aura” of an original work of art. With the advent of mechanical reproducibility, first explored by Benjamin, place, time, history, and event—the very ground revealed traditionally by the image – are thrown into a vertiginous hyperreality, one that extends from the Paris arcades to Disneyland, and beyond.

9. Passage des Panoramas 28

About the Author
Mark S. Roberts has written extensively in the fields of Continental Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Media Studies, and Cultural Studies. He has edited seven books in these areas, and his most recent project is a book entitled The Mark of the Beast: Animality and Human Oppression, forthcoming, Purdue University Press, 2008.

1 – Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death (c 1976). New York: Verso, 1993:56.

2Jean Baudrillard in: “Interview with G Bellavance” (c 1983) in Mike Gane (Editor). Baudrillard Live: Selected Interviews. London: Routledge, 1993:54.

3 – Cited in David McLellan, The Thought of Karl Marx. New York: Harper and Row, 1971:125.

4 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:49. The photograph is in the collection of the Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

5 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:413. The photograph is in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris.

6 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:89.

7 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:229. The photograph is in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.



10 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:34. The photograph is in the collection of the Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

11 – Walter Benjamin. “The Work of Art in the Age if Its Technological Reproducibility,” in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings. Boston: Harvard University Press, 2000.


13 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:35. The photograph is in the collection of Johan Friedrich Geist (Prestel Verlag, Munich).


15 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:534. The photograph is in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

16 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:682. The drawing included the caption: “Nadar raising photography to the level of art”.


18 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:232.

19 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:690-691.

20 – David S. Ferris. “Introduction: Aura, Resistance, and Event in History.” In Walter Benjamin: Theoretical Questions. Stanford University Press, 1998:10.


22 – Marshall McLuhan. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: New American Library, 1964:28.

23 – Jean Baudrillard. Cool Memories (1980-1985). Paris: Editions Galilee, 1987:44.

24 – Jean Baudrillard. Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1987:32.

25 – Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death (c 1976).New York: Verso, 1993:56. This translation is from Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings (Edited by Mark Poster). Stanford University Press, 1987:138.

Editor’s note: Baudrillard refers to Benjamin at several places in his writing, including: For A Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, (1972), St. Louis, Mo: Telos Press, 1981):174 ff.; The Mirror of Production. (1973), St. Louis, Mo: Telos Press, 1975:36; Symbolic Exchange and Death, (1976), London: Sage Publications, 1993: 55 ff., 62 ff., 186; Seduction (1979). Montreal: New World Perspectives, 1990:171; Simulacra and Simulation (1981). Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1994:99, 162; Fatal Strategies: Revenge of the Crystal (1983). New York: Semiotext(e)/ Pluto Press, 1990:118, 177; Simulations. New York: Semiotexte, 1983:98, 99, 102, 117-119; The Evil Demon of Images. Sydney: Power Institute Publications, 1987:13; Forget Foucault, New York: Semiotexte, 1987:62; Cool Memories, 1980-1985 (1987). New York: Verso, 1990:4, 205; Cool Memories III. Durham, Duke University, 1996:45; The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena (1990). New York: Verso, 1993:118-119; The Illusion of the End (1992) Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1994:21; Baudrillard Live: Selected Interviews (1982-1993). Edited by Mike Gane,  London: Routledge, 1993:54, 146, 148; Art and Artefact. New York: SAGE, 1997:10; The Singular Objects of Architecture (c 2000) (With Jean Nouvel. University of Minnesota Press, 2002:21; Fragments: Conversations with Francois L’Yvonnet (2001). New York: Routledge, 2004:6, 85, 96-98, 109; The Conspiracy of Art. New York: Semiotext(e) / MIT, 2005:102, 184; The Lucidity Pact Or The Intelligence of Evil (2004). New York: Berg, 2005:35.

26 – Jean Baudrillard. Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1987:25.

27 – Guy Debord. Society of the Spectacle. Detroit: Black and Red Press, 1983: paragraph 36.

28 – Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999:36. The watercolour is in the collection Agence Giraudon.