Jean Baudrillard
[Writer and theorist, b. 1929, Reims, France, d. 2007, Paris.]

 ... the age of simulation thus begins with a liquidation of all referentials—worse: by their artificial resurrection in systems of signs, a more ductile material than meaning... It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself. 

Jeff Wall
[Photographer, b. 1946, Vancouver, Canada, lives in Vancouver.]

 [Near documentary] means that they are pictures whose subjects were suggested by my direct experience, and ones in which I tried to recollect that experience as precisely as I could, and to reconstruct and represent it precisely and accurately. 

José Saramago
[Writer, b. 1922, Azinhaga, Portugal, d. 2010, Tias, Las Palmas, Spain.]

 We are finally living in Plato’s cave, if we consider how those who were imprisoned within the cave—who could do nothing but watch those shadows passing on the back wall—were convinced that those shadows were their one and only reality. I see a profound similarity to all this in the epoch we’re now living in. We no longer live simply through images: we live through images that don’t even exist, which are the result not of physical projection but of pure virtuality. 

Man Ray (Emanuel Radnitsky)
[Artist, b. 1890, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1976, Paris.]

 An original is a creation motivated by desire. Any reproduction of an original is motivated by necessity. It is marvelous that we are the only species that creates gratuitous forms. To create is divine, to reproduce is human. 

Lev Manovich
[Artist, theorist, and critic, b. 1960, Moscow, lives in New York.]

 Once we came to accept the photographic image as reality, the way to its future simulation was open. 

Pedro Meyer
[Photographer, b. 1935, Madrid, Spain, lives in Mexico City.]

 The notion of the real and the fake has come full circle. We now tend to dismiss the real because it looks like a fake. The “truth” is that in their own way, when all is said and done, all fakes and surrogates also become their own sort of original. 

Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 How foolish of me to have believed that it would be that easy. I had confused the appearance of trees and automobiles and people with reality itself and believed that a photograph of these appearances to be a photograph of it. It is a melancholy truth that I will never be able to photograph it and can only fail. I am a reflection photographing other reflections within a reflection. To photograph reality is to photograph nothing. 

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair)
[Writer, b. 1903, Motihari, Bengal, India, d. 1950, London.]

 It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Oglivy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence... Comrade Oglivy, who had never existed in the present, now existed in the past, and when once the act of forgery was forgotten, he would exist just as authentically, and upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius Caesar. 
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