Life in the Fifth World

In the article, Approaching the Real and the Fake: Living Life in the Fifth World, architecture critic and historian Ada Louis Huxtable states her belief that in our society, we have lost our sense of reality. The article says, “In her view, we have become so adept at synthesizing and creating surrogates that distinctions between the real and fake are diminishing” (9). Before reading this article, I never realized how true this statement is, and how much of our society is based on fakes, replicas, and synthetics. Disneyland has always been one of my favorite vacation spots, and the article lists it as an example of this fake appeal. One minute you are walking through New Orleans square, and the next you are on a cruise through the jungle. People, including me, love these kinds of fake worlds, and they are all around us. The article discusses the Otsuka Museum of Art which contains over 1,000 full sized replicas by artists such as Monet and da Vinci. The cost of this museum is about $320 million dollars, but some believe it to be well worth it. Patron Masahito Otsuka says, “The fakes are more valuable because they are more durable than the originals” (5). Taking it a step further, Boston’s new Computer Museum has fake fish. These are said to be better than real fish because you are able to program them. I can appreciate replicas for entertainment purposes among other reasons, but think it is so important to value original art forms. It will be a sad day when we are not satisfied with real living fish as pets, and must have programmed fake ones swimming around in our tanks.


~ by mccaule2 on May 24, 2010.

One Response to “Life in the Fifth World”

  1. I agree with your point that sometimes people forget the original creativity in our life. People go with whatever is convenient for them. Like the example you mentioned in the post that there are many small worlds in one theme park. It is duplicated in a form that allows people have a look in different region if people do not have the chance to travel around. It is really a vague distinction whether it is bad or not because when it comes to art it is hard to tell if it’s a new creation or copying. I guess people need to double think before they use other’s work before creating a new art form.

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