Le Système Des Objets
The System of Objects is a tour de force—a theoretical letter-in-a-bottle tossed into the ocean in 1968, which brilliantly communicates to us all the live ideas of the day.
Pressing Freudian and Saussurean categories into the service of a basically Marxist perspective, The System of Objects offers a cultural critique of the commodity in consumer society. Baudrillard classifies the everyday objects of the "new technical order" as functional, nonfunctional and metafunctional. He contrasts "modern" and "traditional" functional objects, subjecting home furnishing and interior design to a celebrated semiological analysis. His treatment of nonfunctional or "marginal" objects focuses on antiques and the psychology of collecting, while the metafunctional category extends to the useless, the aberrant and even the "schizofunctional." Finally, Baudrillard deals at length with the implications of credit and advertising for the commodification of everyday life.
The System of Objects is a tour de force of the materialist semiotics of the early Baudrillard, who emerges in retrospect as something of a lightning rod for all the live ideas of the day: Bataille's political economy of "expenditure" and Mauss's theory of the gift; Reisman's lonely crowd and the "technological society" of Jacques Ellul; the structuralism of Roland Barthes in The System of Fashion; Henri Lefebvre's work on the social construction of space; and last, but not least, Guy Debord's situationist critique of the spectacle.
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absolute abstract advertising atmosphere automatism baroque become buying cathected cathexis civilization collecting colours concrete connotation constitute constraints consumer consumption cultural system David Riesman decor desire differences dimension direcdy experienced discourse Edgar Morin embodies Ernest Dichter everyday exacdy Facel-Vega fact fashion Father Christmas formal freedom functional object fundamentally furniture gestural system Gilbert Simondon gizmo hence human ideology imaginary individual inessential integration interior design kind Lewis Mumford living logic longer machine material Maurice Rheims means mechanical merely mirror mobility Models and Series modern moral myth mythology nature needs never once organization passion perfecdy person Peugeot phantasy play practical present production projection psychological pure reality realm reference regression relationship robot satisfaction serial object sexual signified simply simulacrum social society space status stricdy structure symbolic system of objects systematic technical object Technics and Civilization technological things tion traditional transcendence Vance Packard virtue whole