Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Talia Lieberman


We are in the age of the hyperreal. In 2017, it is no secret that everything we see is curated, changed, copied, or altered. In an era of virtual technologies so advanced that “reality” can literally be engineered, reproduced, and mass produced, we have come to accept this hyperreality. Philosopher Jean Baudrillard coined this term in the 1980s, theorizing that the postmodern experience consists of simulations. Simulations imitate reality to such a perfect degree that they in turn become real, and precede precisely what they were trying to replicate in the first place.

However, with each successive level of simulation, humans have pushed back. In an effort to break this cycle, humans have turned to a physical process of making. As simulation creates distance from the real, making material things engages the real. Craftsmanship, representing the human desire to interact with and design the physical world, has been an alluring practice in the wake of hyperreality. In an age of simulation, craft provides a vital tactile experience rooted in material substance.

My installation seeks to both visually represent the ideas stated above as well as document the ways in which humans have reacted to these simulations. The installation includes features of local “contemporary craftsmen,” or more broadly, “makers.” The project ultimately hopes to elucidate human’s relationship to making in an age of hyperreality. 


Sector C: Art Practice and Technology | Advised by: Kayla Romberger (FNAR) | Carson Young (WH)