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Hyperreality

Hyperreality literally means “more (real) than real.” According to Jean Baudrillard, with whom the term is particularly associated, “The hyperreal … effaces the contradiction of the real and the imaginary” (1993, 72). Unsurprisingly, the term has gained currency wherever reality has been remade to the measure of the imaginary: one thinks of theme parks like Disneyland, the themed environments of shopping malls, and the “virtual worlds” conjured up by digital technologies. The term hyperrealism was, however, initially coined in the 1960s, as the European term for superrealism or photorealism (Battcock 1975)—the U.S. art movement that engaged in generating “hyperrealistic” reproductions of the real (such as paintings of incredible, “photographic” accuracy and detail). The way in which the term is most frequently used today is aptly ...

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