PRINT April 2003


As editor of Semiotext(e) for close to three decades, SYLVÈRE LOTRINGER has introduced American readers to Continental theorists from Gilles Deleuze to Michel Foucault, from Paul Virilio to Antonio Negri. But when it comes to the ’80s, Lotringer, who here recounts his passage through the decade, will probably always be remembered for his Foreign Agents series—those little black books through which the art world first learned the name Jean Baudrillard.

They are already purged of death, and are even better than life; more smiling, more authentic . . .

—Jean Baudrillard, Simulations (1983)

The ’80s began in 1983, with the publication of Jean Baudrillard’s Simulations, which propelled a kind of weightless nebula into culture just before a charge of Orwellian paranoia took over. At the time, there was this lingering anxiety: Would 1984 keep its appointment? The answer was no. The society of the

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