Travels in Hyper Reality

November 1, 2009

Eco, Umberto.  Travels in Hyper Reality.  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. San Diego 1986

Eco posits that in America, there is a search for reality.  It is not a conscious, researched process, but an inevitable, almost maniacal bent towards finding something which does not wholly exist.  It is a perversion of wealth and fulfillment towards which America has embarked; “the American imagination demands the real thing and, to attain it, must fabricate the absolute fake”.

This book is a collection of texts that have been written by Eco on various subjects.  They may perhaps loosely relate to searching for the ‘real’, but in general the topics are varied and the hypotheses are individual.  The question within much of the text seems to be: what is and what isn’t?

In connection with the theme of interactivity and textiles, this work has much to offer.  What Eco would write on the topic would surely be a question on the goal of such interactivity: Why create interactive machines?  Is what is real important, and isn’t this a production of ultimate fakeness?  The goal of interactivity is indeed in question.  What is its purpose?



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