the battered simulacrum



It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself [...] Never again will the real have to be produced [...Only] the orbital recurrence of models and the simulated generation of difference.
Jean Baudrillard Simulacra and Simulations





The simulacrum, the identical copy for which no original has ever existed. Appropriately enough, the culture of the simulacrum comes to life in a society where exchange value has been generalised to the point at which the very memory of use value is effaced. [History has become] a vast collection of images, a multitudinous photographic simulacrum
Frederic Jameson Postmodernism: Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism



Images are a battered and bartered currency that we have uploaded, downloaded, shared, reformatted, and reedited. The poor image is an illicit fifth-generation bastard of an original image. Its genealogy is dubious. [It follows a trajectory away from the original master copy, and is in constant flux and evolution. ]  
Hito Steyerl In Defense of the Poor Image