about The Simulator

c o r e d u m p
q u o t e s

while it promises numerous advantages as a simulation device for training surgeons or pilots or for manipulating machines electronically at a distance the primary issue raised by virtual reality technology relates to whether we experience simulation as a mark or a mask this distinction was made by dennis doordan in an article on simulation techniques in museum exhibits [25][25] when the designer marks the edge of simulation it is distinguished as a second-order experience whose referent is more authentic when the edge is masked the simulation becomes a simulacrum as baudrillard has pointed out with no reference to an experience outside itself thus the boundary between the simulated and the real collapses and the simulated becomes the new real as in gibson's novel the real for baudrillard as he states it in the precession of simulacra is nothing more than operational [11][11] according to him the simulacrum is a sign for the real that substitutes for the real itself the result is what he calls the hyperreal baudrillard believes there can be no representation since simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum the politics of the artificial the politics of the artificial victor margolin u10972@uicvm.uic.edu introduction if we consider design to be the conception and planning of the [14] http://www-mitpress.mit.edu/Leonardo/isast/articles/margoli n.html size 44K 18 Jul 95 this is max headroom as a harbinger of the post-bourgeois individual of aestheticized liberalism who actually vanishes into the simulacra of the information system whose face can be digitalized and fractalized by computer imaging because max is living out a panic conspiracy in tv as the real world and whose moods are perfectly postmodern because they alternate between kitsch and dread between the ecstasy of catastrophe and the terror of the simulacrum max headroom then as the first citizen of the end of the world it is the same thing for art with its power of illusion what does this become in a world which itself ends up being totally illusory even random it becomes very difficult to find a form of intervention like that so ideology yes the world is now so totally ideologized where everything passes through the narrative of ideology that it no longer serves any purpose to have any out of that follows the situation the transcendence if you like of ideology which actually in fact no longer exists i had an experience with simulation and the simulacrum nowadays i have had enough of it 20 years of it or almost is enough something interesting happened to me recently on this subject in relation to japan there was an erudite japanese who had come to interview me and I asked him why for a number of years he had been translating my books I had not received any word of it I had been translated there several times before and I had been told at that time ah, simulation and the simulacrum in japan you are an important spokesman so I asked him why I no longer heard about readers reactions and he told me but it is very simple very simple you know simulation and the simulacrum have been realized you were quite right the world has become yours and so we no longer have any need of you you have disappeared you have been volatilized in reality or in the realization of hyperreality it is over in terms of theory we no longer need you and there is no longer a need to defend your theories that is the paradox of utopia made real it clearly makes every utopian dimension perfectly useless.

when the designer marks the edge of simulation




Building The Simulator is an attempt at accenting and exploring the edge between the simulacrum of the internet and banal physical existence. By reverting physicalness into digital space, one is alerted discrepancies between physical and digital existence. Physical concepts of linear time and space - when re-created in digital format - seem odd or humorous. Writing, working, and physically relaxing do not translate literally into a digital realm. The attempt to do so, however, makes the parallax between the two noticeable.



The physical existence within The Simulator is formulated in a drab, non-eventful manner - similar to the physical existences led by many. The pattern of sleeping, showering, eating breakfast, working, eating supper, watching TV, and sleeping symbolizes a common daily ritual. Using this pattern alerts the viewer to similar patterns in their life, brings to mind other banal patterns in society, and possibly brings into question the usefulness and value of this banal and repititous existence.



The concept of 'interactivity' is also played with in The Simulator. Utilized to market everthing from phone-in radio programs to corporate websites, 'interactivity' has become so overused that the concept is prima facie meaningless. Playing off the meaningless of 'interactivity', The Simulator offers a completely 'interactive' world - in which hundreds of choices can be made, but none offer any choices of significant consequence.



While corporate advocates of the internet market it as a plethora of useful and easy-to-access information, the reality of the space is massively unorganized, constantly under construction, and difficult to navigate. Often filled with information excess and digital garbage, the internet is more akin to a dense jungle than an information superhighway. The Simulator revels in this meaningless tangle and does not attempt to be convenient, useful, or informative. As an antithesis to corporate internet ideals, The Simulator proposes that easy navigation, usefulness, and factual information should not be the goal of all websites. Without the information noise and jungle, the web would be reduced to a dry, sterile marketing spam-center.



The Simulator is a photo-based web work which was prepared by Canadian artist Garnet Hertz as a B.F.A. graduating exhibition at the University of Saskatchewan in the spring of 1997. The basic premise of the project was simple - to attempt to translate the daily routine of an individual into a website.

The project is composed of 330 media elements - 113 photo-based images and 217 individual webpages. Images were shot on 35mm print film and post-processed in Adobe Photoshop on Apple Macintosh computers. Webpages were manually built using SimpleText and BBEdit text editors.

Since its release, The Simulator has won numerous online awards and press coverage. Selected online awards include Cool Site of The Day, Yahoo! Pick of the Week, ProjectCool 'Sighting', Microsoft Network's Pick of The Day (UK), telemarksnett's Top 100 sites (Norway), Yahoo Internet Life's 'The Charts': Guide to The Best of the Best, Cool Central Award, LaPremiere - Sites of the Day (Switzerland), and 'Internet Cool Site of the Day Website' at Internet Magazine. The site has been featured at Compuserve Netherlands, 'Grouse', AOL' s EZConnect, and The Kolbo Magazine Weekly Internet Column (Israel).

Reviews of The Simulator have been printed in The Times (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Morgenbladet (Oslo, Norway), The Sunday Daily News (Halifax, Canada), Aftonbladet:kultur (Sweden), branches-vous.com's 'Webinette' (Montreal, Canada), and Yahoo Internet Life (Japan).

Comments about The Simulator and requests for press information can be sent directly via email. Other works of the artist can be found at his online studio/domain : c o n c e p t L A B.

Curators or writers that wish to include The Simulator in an exhibition, review or article can arrange to obtain more information about the project via email - including high resolution digital images, text, prints, slides, and reviews.

Garnet Hertz © 1997