In an ordered culture the sign follows the signified. In pop culture, the the order is reversed with the sign preceding the signified. In the chaos of our super-pop culture, the sign now refers to only itself or signifies nothing at all.
Sorry to go Baudrillard on you again, but a new story from the Anything but Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is pushing the boundaries of the hyperreal (again).
The mysterious, never-photographed Rick Beard has dispatched a two-year travelling exhibition to roam the continent:
- The exhibition never unloads. Visitors clamber around the back of a tractor trailer
- The exhibit contains only replicas of artifacts
- The truck will park at major music and sporting events
- The purpose of the truck and trailer is to generate visitors to Springfield
- The exhibit is driven and "curated" by a husband/wife team not connected to the ALPLM
- They are not actually familiar with Lincoln or with the simulated objects stored in the trailer ("... the couple has visited the Springfield museum to learn answers to frequently asked questions.")
It is a fake museum on wheels that does not even try to be a museum but rather offers drunken/stoned idlers a taste of the kind of stimulation available at the mothership entertainment center in Springfield.
It is not even a sideshow per se but an attempt to inveigle random, disinterested visitors into making a long journey to Illinois where they will see a more outlandishly faked sideshow on a larger scale.
Beard has outdone himself this time.
Story here; first road report here. The road report has a marvelous sentence, "Lincoln never visited Colorado, but Colorado and the other western territories were constantly on Lincoln's mind..."