(con)juncture was lawson fletcher's thought pile. Now blogging at soundofruins.net
"stay critical or die!" | email | (con)temporary


leisure networks

What follows is probably a way too obvious account of Village Roadshow's proposal to turn the Werribee Open Range Zoo into a theme park similar to that of Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida. Illuminated by, of course, nothing other than Baudrillard's short essay, 'Disneyworld Company'.

Village will maintain a good deal of the animal attractions, even work it into the park's attractions (hippos in the waterslide pool?). "The idea would be simply to transform, in situ ... transforming the [animals] into extras (figurants) in their own world, metamorphosed into identical figures, museumified, disneyfied" (Baudrillard).

The $220m plan is one of now orthodox horizontal intergration - to penetrate hitherto non-media spaces and elements and reorient them as components of a pervasive electronic, interactive empire. "[Village]
, the precursor, the grand initiator of the imaginary as virtual reality, is now in the process of capturing all the real world to integrate it into its synthetic universe, in the form of a vast "reality show" where reality itself becomes a spectacle, where the real becomes a theme park" (Baudrillard).

Of course, there has always been something terribly strange about acknowledging there exists a 'slice of Africa' (I'm almost sure that's how Zoos Victoria might describe it) smack-bang on the Geelong-Melbourne highway, in the dusty plains of Werribee (at least a correspondence there - both can be arid - and isn't that itself a very telling comment from me - let's shy away from deconstructing that, however). Considering this, the 'disneyfication' of the Zoo presents a kind of secondary absurdity, the hyperrealisation of the already-hyperreal. "At Disney World in Orlando, they are even building an identical replica of the Los Angeles Disneyland, as a sort of historical attraction to the second degree, a simulacrum to the second power" (Baudrillard).

From entertainment, to education, and back again. "We are no longer alienated and passive spectators but interactive extras
; we are the meek lyophilized members of this huge "reality show" (Baudrillard).

Intergration across media industries - horizontal - to penetrate hitherto non media, turning them into components of a pervasive electronic interactive empire.

From entertainment to education and back again.

No comments: