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Tentative Andy
03-01-2009, 12:58 AM
Where would be a good place to start reading up on this? Society of the Spectacle? Or is there a better work in terms of an introduction?

If people want, this can also be a thread for debating the pros/cons of it as a political philosophy, but obv I can't contribute anything to that yet. ;)

luka
03-01-2009, 01:03 AM
http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/pub_contents/4

Tentative Andy
03-01-2009, 01:06 AM
Ooh, ta very much.

vimothy
03-01-2009, 01:07 AM
Bureau of Public Secrets anthology; Revolution of Everyday Life.; SoS, probably in that order. Greil Marcus and Sadie Plant's books are both worth reading as well.

Tentative Andy
03-01-2009, 01:09 AM
Cool, that's the sort of advice I'm looking for. Been meaning to read stuff by Greil Marcus for a while actually.
See this is why I like it here, people just know so much stuff. :D

jonny mugwump
03-01-2009, 01:17 AM
ubuweb has some Debord films: http://www.ubu.com/film/debord.html and some sound stuff and i second the sadie plant book too.

Tentative Andy
03-01-2009, 01:18 AM
Cheers eh, I'll watch them in the morning.

vimothy
03-01-2009, 01:19 AM
Well, I don't know about that. But anyway, Lipstick Traces might be the best -- the gentlest -- introduction, although see perhaps this note (http://www.bopsecrets.org/PS/autobio3.htm#N_1_) by Ken Knabb.

john eden
03-01-2009, 10:10 AM
I still think the best introductions are the little "Spectacular Times" booklets put out by Larry Law.

Vaneigem is more readable than Debord. The "on the poverty of student life" pamphlet is also good.

Oh yes, and this: http://uncarved.org/turb/articles/formulary.html

Knabb's SI Anthology is brick-like but essential - I think it's really important to look at texts from people who are NOT Debord.

There is a lot of it all and I haven't read Plant's book or any of the recent biographies.

I would also recommend Stewart Home's "Assault on Culture" for a broad (and sectarian) overview of movements like Fluxus, the Lettrists, and other stuff.

dubble-u-c
03-01-2009, 10:18 AM
ken knabb's website: ( which I just noticed vimothy referenced after i made this comment)
http://www.bopsecrets.org/

http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/index.htm

enjoy!

zhao
03-01-2009, 10:30 AM
this is the most complete collection of texts in one place, no? but i would probably skip the bits on art criticism...

http://littleblackcart.com/images/the_situationist_international_anthology.jpg

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface / ix
PRE-S.I. TEXTS
Formulary for a New Urbanism (Chtcheglov, 1953) / 1
Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography (Debord, 1955) / 5
Methods of Detournement (Debord & Wolman, 1956) / 8
The Alba Platform (Lettrist International, 1956) / 14
Notes on the Formation of an Imaginist Bauhaus (Jorn, 1957) / 16
Report of the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency's Conditions of Organization and Action (Debord, 1957)* / 17

SOUNDTRACKS OF TWO FILMS BY GUY DEBORD
On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Period of Time (1959) / 29
Critique of Seperation (1961) / 34

FRENCH S.I. JOURNALS
#1 (1958)

The Sound and the Fury / 41
Preliminary Problems in Constructing a Situation / 43
Definitions / 45
The Situationists and Automation (Jorn)* / 46
No Useless Leniency (Bernstein)* / 47
Action in Belgium Against the International Assembly of Art Critics / 48

#2 (1958)

Theory of the Derive (Debord) / 50

#3 (1959)

Detournement as Negation and Prelude / 55
Situationist Theses on Traffic (Debord) / 56

#4 (1960)

Gangland and Philosophy (Kotanyi)* / 59

#5 (1960)

The Adventure* / 60
The Fourth SI Conference in London* / 61

#6 (1961)

Instructions for Taking Up Arms / 63
Elementary Program of the Bureau of Unitary Urbanism (Kotanyi & Vaneigem) / 65
Perspectives for Conscious Alterations in Everyday Life (Debord) / 68

#7 (1962)

Geopolitics of Hibernation / 76
The Bad Days Will End / 82
The Fifth SI Conference in Goteborg* / 88
Basic Banalities (I) (Vaneigem) / 89

#8 (1963)

Ideologies, Classes and the Domination of Nature* / 101
The Avant-Garde of Presence* / 109
The Countersituationist Campaign in Various Countries* / 111
All the King's Men / 114
Basic Banalities (II) (Vaneigem) / 118
Situationist International Anti-Public Relations Service / 134

#9 (1964)

Now, the SI / 135
Questionnaire / 138
Response to a Questionnaire from the Center for Socio-Experimental Art / 143

#10 (1966)

Address to Revolutionaries of Algeria and of All Countries / 148
The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy / 153
The Class Struggles in Algeria / 160
Some Theoretical Questions To Be Treated Without Academic Debate or Speculation (Vaneigem) / 168
Captive Words: Preface to a Situationist Dictionary (Khayati) / 170
The Role of Godard / 175
The Ideology of Dialogue / 177
Interview with an Imbecile / 179
The Algeria of Daniel Guerin, Libertarian / 181
Domenach Against Alienation* / 183

#11 (1967)

The Explosion Point of Ideology in China / 185
Two Local Wars / 194
Our Goals and Methods in the Strasbourg Scandal / 204
The Situationists and the New Forms of Action Against Politics and Art (Vienet) / 213
To Have as Goal Practical Truth (Vaneigem) / 216
Contributions Toward Rectifying Public Opinion Concerning Revolution in the Underdeveloped Countries (Khayati) / 219
Minimum Definition of Revolutionary Organizations / 223
Six Postscripts to the Previous Issue* /224

#12

The Beginning of an Era / 225
Reform and Counterreform in Bureaucratic Power / 256
How Not To Understand Situationist Books* / 265
Preliminaries on the Councils and Councilist Organization (Riesel) / 270
Notice to the Civilized Concerning Generalized Self-Management (Vaneigem) / 283
The Conquest of Space in the Time of Power (Rothe) / 290
The Latest Exclusions* / 293
Maitron the Historian* / 295
The Elite and the Backward* / 296
Cinema and Revolution / 297
The Organization Question for the SI (Debord) / 298

MISCELLANEOUS S.I. PUBLICATIONS
Preliminaries Toward Defining a Unitary Revolutionary Program (Canjuers & Debord, 1960) / 305
For a Revolutionary Judgment of Art (Debord, 1961) / 310
Theses on the Paris Commune (Debord, Kotanyi & Vaneigem, 1962) / 314
The Situationists and the New Forms of Action in Politics and Art (Debord, 1963)* / 317
On the Poverty of Student Life (1966) / 319
Untitled programatic statements (1965 & 1969) / 337

MAY 1968 DOCUMENTS
Communique (Sorbonne Occupation Committee) / 343
Watch Out for Manipulators! Watch Out for Bureaucrats! (SOC) / 343
Slogans To Be Spread Now by Every Means (SOC) / 344
Telegrams (SOC) / 345
Report on the Occupation of the Sorbonne (CMDO) / 346
For the Power of the Workers Councils (CMDO) / 349
Address to All Workers (CMDO) / 350

INTERNAL S.I. TEXTS
Provisional Statutes of the SI (1969) / 355
Provisional Theses for the Discussion of the New Theoretico-Practical Orientations in the SI (Salvadori, 1970)* / 357
Remarks on the SI Today (Debord, 1970)* / 361
Declaration (Debord, Riesel & Vienet, 1970) / 366
Untitled text (Debord, 1971)* / 368

dubble-u-c
04-01-2009, 11:16 AM
I found this critique of the SI interesting:
source:
http://deoxy.org/rst.htm

...."The Situationist International (1958-1971) was an organization of theoretically oriented, ultra-left, European (especially French) marxists. Many believe, as did the original author(s) of this essay, that the situationists "made an immense contribution to revolutionary theory." That evaluation is, however, overly generous. Virtually all of the key insights attributed to situationist writers can be found in the works of earlier anarchists, social democrats, and philosphers such as Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Wilhelm Reich and Friedrich Nietzsche (though the insights in question were scattered and often were not developed with the rigor found in the better situationist texts). The primary reason that this is not widely recognized is that most of the early situationists and their followers came from marxist backgrounds and were simply not familiar with the vast body of non-marxist progressive writings produced in prior decades; and the younger situationist followers often have had very little in the way of political experience and are as unfamiliar with early progressive literature as were their marxist predecessors.

A secondary reason for the overestimation of the importance of the situationists is that situationism is a French ideology utilizing an arcane marxist-derived jargon ('poverty of...,' 'society of the spectacle,' 'reification,' 'dialectical,' etc., etc.); as well, virtually all situationist texts are written in a very difficult to follow, jargon-ridden, muddy style--which makes them inaccessible to most people. Thus, situationism has a great deal of snob appeal for those with intellectual pretensions. Once you've mastered the jargon and read (or claim to have read) the key (one is tempted to say "sacred") texts, you certainly at least appear to be an intellectual. Thus it's not surprising that "situationist" poseurs, 1atched as they are to their "situationist" roles and "intellectual" pretensions, often have little regard for truth and regard decent human behavior as "bourgeois"; it follows, then, that in political controversies they often resort to deliberate distortions, fabrications, and ad hominem attacks upon those who have the temerity to criticize their ideas. (Some, incredibly, have even used the slogan, 'the personal is political,' as an excuse for scurrilous personal attacks.) The destructive-and ultimately self~defeating~effects of these vicious tactics are so obvious as to need no further comment.

But perhaps the most critical~weakness of situationism is that it offers no coherent method for "getting from here to there," that is, from "the society of the spectacle" to the free society.

Having said this, it should be added that the great virtue of the situationist writers was that they presented their insights in a more or less coherent manner and expounded upon them at length. (The qualifer "more or less" is used due to the very low quality, stylistically, of almost all situationist texts.) At its best, situationist theory offered a critique of "spectacular" society, that is, society in which people are reduced to the level of passive observers and consumers rather than active participants. It made an extensive critique of how both ideology and commodification turn people into passive, alienated observers of their own lives. Thus, situationist theory is a body of critical thought which can be incorporated into one's own self-theory--but nothing more. Anything more--the unquestioning acceptance of situationist theories and the identification of oneself with those theories--is the ideological misappropriation known as situationism. Situationism can be quite the complete survival ideology, a defense against the wear and tear of daily life. And included in the ideology is the spectacular role of being a "situationist," that is, a radical jade and ardent esoteric. " ....

Agent Nucleus
04-01-2009, 07:28 PM
I've been meaning to check out McKenzie Wark's new book "50 Years of Recuperation of the SI". Has anyone read this? It came out this year. Wark is one of my favorites

I was introduced to SI via a biography published by Feral House. Can't remember the author but i think the title is "Guy Debord: Revolutionary." Definitely worth checking out for political/social contexts.

john eden
04-01-2009, 08:05 PM
The critique is pretty good (there cannot be enough of them...)

A few points - the language thing is undoubtedly an issue - the blame for which lies with the english translators rather than the S.I. Some of the translators can obviously be criticised for being over-intellectual and fascinated with the exotic french dudes.

But the language of the SI texts is something I personally find very evocative - and of course some of the slogans (esp. Paris 68 grafitti) have really caught on ("our ideas are already in everyone's heads")

The issue with SI ideas not being original is a non-starter for me - I don't care about originality, I like hearing the 638th version of "sleng teng" if it is done well enough and is produced at the right time. The same is true of political interventions. There is probably an issue with the SI not acknowledging its influences tho - Debord was knocking around with Socialism ou Barbarie for a few years and seems to have taken some stuff from them also.

The sectarianism is fair enough and this is well documented in the SI itself - Ralph Rumney being expelled for handing in a derive report late - because his child had just been born. I seem to recall that a lot of this is documented in Luther Blissett's "Guy Debord is Really Dead" which is probably online.

Stewart Home's "Situationism: A Reader" includes a lot of critical texts also.

I would also be interested in any comments or reviews of the "50 years of recuperation" book as this is the first I have heard of it...

PeteUM
04-01-2009, 09:03 PM
Yeah that Assault On Culture book Mr Eden mentions isn't too challenging and is still available at Stewart Home's website both as an online version and a hard copy to purchase.

dubble-u-c
04-01-2009, 11:32 PM
<i>The critique is pretty good (there cannot be enough of them...)

A few points - the language thing is undoubtedly an issue - the blame for which lies with the english translators rather than the S.I. Some of the translators can obviously be criticised for being over-intellectual and fascinated with the exotic french dudes.

But the language of the SI texts is something I personally find very evocative - and of course some of the slogans (esp. Paris 68 grafitti) have really caught on ("our ideas are already in everyone's heads")
</i>


I agree.
I love the graffiti and slogans from Paris's 68. It would be interesting to research whether or not a similarly evocative and creative approach to slogans and graffiti was used in Greece recently.

When I started reading the essay which contains the critique I thought i was reading a situationist derived text. The essay goes on to critique syndicalism as well but posits that both schools of thought are closest to the theory advocated by essay which is a "revolutionary self-theory" .

petergunn
05-01-2009, 10:36 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513TYYT6uPL._SS500_.jpg

john eden
11-01-2009, 01:04 PM
Stewart Home on the 50 Years of Recuperation book:
http://stewarthomesociety.org/blog/?p=130

josef k.
11-01-2009, 03:44 PM
With respect to the man, Stewart Home seems to always end up talking about himself...

mos dan
11-01-2009, 07:54 PM
I still think the best introductions are the little "Spectacular Times" booklets put out by Larry Law.

Vaneigem is more readable than Debord. The "on the poverty of student life" pamphlet is also good.

i finally bought society of the spectacle recently and it does seem a bit heavy going - maybe i'll give those booklets a go if i can find them :)

just found out the other day my mate was taught by stewart home for her m.a., as it goes.

Agent Nucleus
11-01-2009, 08:47 PM
a few essays i would start with:

"Theory of the Derive": http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/2.derive.htm

"Basic Program of the Bureau of Unitary Urbanism": http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/6.unitaryurb.htm

"Formulary for a New Urbanism": http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/Chtcheglov.htm

"The 1965 Watts Riot" http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/10.Watts.htm

i wrote a paper about psychogeography-as-aesthetic practice last semester, posted here (http://exo-media.blogspot.com/2008/12/psychogeography-in-21st-century.html)

Debord's 1959 psychogeographical map "The Naked City":

http://www.notbored.org/naked-city.gif

Tentative Andy
12-01-2009, 09:26 PM
Yeeeaahh... haven't made much progress with reading any of this stuff yet.
*shame-faced emoticon*

zhao
13-01-2009, 06:28 AM
but inna final analysis it was all pretty futile wasnt it. MTV won the detournment war didnt it. like dada and surrealism before, it just all got swallowed up by commodity culture didnt it.

but i suppose there is a thin, very thin line of thought that survives, will survive...

dubble-u-c
14-01-2009, 07:22 AM
but inna final analysis it was all pretty futile wasnt it. MTV won the detournment war didnt it. like dada and surrealism before, it just all got swallowed up by commodity culture didnt it.

but i suppose there is a thin, very thin line of thought that survives, will survive...

Yes it was/ is.

I personally like this line of thought. even though it has very little do with SI:
Hakim Bey-
CHAOS: THE BROADSHEETS OF ONTOLOGICAL ANARCHISM
*

COMMUNIQUES OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR ONTOLOGICAL ANARCHY

THE TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE

http://www.hermetic.com/bey/taz_cont.html

dubble-u-c
14-01-2009, 07:23 AM
Yeeeaahh... haven't made much progress with reading any of this stuff yet.
*shame-faced emoticon*


That's alright. Most people don't make much progress reading any of this stuff :D /s

john eden
14-01-2009, 09:44 AM
but inna final analysis it was all pretty futile wasnt it. MTV won the detournment war didnt it. like dada and surrealism before, it just all got swallowed up by commodity culture didnt it.

but i suppose there is a thin, very thin line of thought that survives, will survive...

Overturning the existing order takes time. :)

vimothy
14-01-2009, 10:43 AM
Yeeeaahh... haven't made much progress with reading any of this stuff yet.
*shame-faced emoticon*

Chtcheglov's essay is probably the best thing to come out of the SI. Just read that.

craner
14-01-2009, 11:16 AM
Interesting you're so familiar with this stuff, Vim. Do you have (whisper it) a radical background?

vimothy
14-01-2009, 11:46 AM
I used to read lots of pretentious crap, if that's what you mean!

vimothy
15-01-2009, 12:35 AM
Maybe that's a bit harsh. But nowadays I'd rather read about the Situationists -- who'd hate the title of this thread (http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q="there+is+no+such+thing+as+situationism"&btnG=Search&meta=), by the way -- than read them.

And I agree re Stewart Home point upthread -- the man is a total scenester, which is why I was mostly unmoved by The Assault on Culture.

zhao
15-01-2009, 03:51 AM
it still boggles the mind how you went from Situationism and the Frankfurt school to being a fan of the US milliatary Vimothy.

vimothy
15-01-2009, 04:04 AM
You ain't seen nothing yet!

zhao
15-01-2009, 04:10 AM
i guess in a world where Israeli army strategists implement Delusian theory to design tactical operations, anything is possible. (makes me feel ill)

vimothy
15-01-2009, 10:47 AM
Would it make you feel any better to learn that they aren't doing it very well (http://vimothy.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/the-unravelling-of-the-israeli-war-machine/)?

bashert
16-01-2009, 04:27 PM
This doc accompanied the 1989 exhibition on situationism
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2SvdWk8zRrI

A Guy Debord film here
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=g34XVscFkIs

xero
04-03-2009, 08:15 PM
Yes it was/ is.

I personally like this line of thought. even though it has very little do with SI:
Hakim Bey-
CHAOS: THE BROADSHEETS OF ONTOLOGICAL ANARCHISM
*

COMMUNIQUES OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR ONTOLOGICAL ANARCHY

THE TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE

http://www.hermetic.com/bey/taz_cont.html

Has everything to do with the SI really I think, Bey (a pseudonym of Peter Lamborn-Wilson I believe,) Baudrillard, Semiotexte (who published Bey) are all very much post-SI

thanks for the links in this thread everyone, as a long-time student of the teachings of Debord/Vaneigem/Chtcheglov/Jorn/& esp Constant who is undergoing a serious revival in interest they are extremely useful

Vimothy - saw Weizman give a lecture at the LSE last year where he showed some video of Shimon Naveh talking - any idea if this is on the web anywhere?

Agent Nucleus
04-03-2009, 08:41 PM
did anyone read the book 50 Years of Recuperation? It's not at any of the university libraries, in fact the closest location is in Knoxville according to WorldCat, and i don't have any cash atm (until i get a 4K grant from this new Obama program for aspiring teachers), and i can't find any reviews in the resources.

xero
04-03-2009, 09:51 PM
I have a copy of an English situationist pamphlet, called 'Revolutionary Theory for Beginners,' with texts by Nadine Bloch, Joel Cornuault and Jean Peres - it's compiled by Nick Brandt

I'm going to scan it and can post it here if anyone's interested

also there is or was a situationist archive somewhere in south London, I have a flyer for it somewhere from a couple of years ago - anyone know if this still exists?

john eden
04-03-2009, 11:22 PM
if it was 56a infoshop then yes it does. google em they have a site.

john eden
04-03-2009, 11:23 PM
did anyone read the book 50 Years of Recuperation? It's not at any of the university libraries, in fact the closest location is in Knoxville according to WorldCat, and i don't have any cash atm (until i get a 4K grant from this new Obama program for aspiring teachers), and i can't find any reviews in the resources.

http://stewarthomesociety.org/blog/?tag=50-years-of-recuperation-of-the-situationist-international

Tentative Andy
04-03-2009, 11:28 PM
Situationism will never die!

Tentative Andy
04-03-2009, 11:29 PM
My local library is sadly lacking in the key texts mentioned here. Going to give the on-line stuff a proper shot over the weekend.

vimothy
05-03-2009, 01:43 PM
Vimothy - saw Weizman give a lecture at the LSE last year where he showed some video of Shimon Naveh talking - any idea if this is on the web anywhere?

xeropreviouslyminusone (moving up the world;)): Not sure if the event was recorded, but there is an interview with Shimon Naveh in Weizman's film, Moving Through Walls. YouTube version here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXfV9iWYkDI).

xero
05-03-2009, 10:58 PM
xeropreviouslyminusone (moving up the world;))

well you know, we try...!


Not sure if the event was recorded, but there is an interview with Shimon Naveh in Weizman's film, Moving Through Walls. YouTube version here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXfV9iWYkDI).

cheers, wasn't aware of that film - will def. check it out

xero
05-03-2009, 11:07 PM
if it was 56a infoshop then yes it does. google em they have a site.

think it was indeed - thanks mate

ripley
06-03-2009, 03:18 AM
if it was 56a infoshop then yes it does. google em they have a site.

OMG I went there as a fledgling riot grrl in 1994! they have a WEB SITE?

stevied
08-03-2009, 12:10 PM
Early in Lipstick Traces (1989), his ‘secret history of the 20th century’ in which the Situationists figure centrally, Greil Marcus limns a phantom community in the shadows:


Is history simply a matter of events that leave behind those things that can be weighed and measured – new institutions, new maps, new rulers, new winners and losers – or is it also the result of moments that seem to leave nothing behind, nothing but the mystery of spectral connections between people long separated by place and time, but somehow speaking the same language?

In this sense the SI is not finished.

Then, too, there is the move, sometimes made by Debord and associates, whereby failure is recouped as success, as, for example, in the ‘Thesis on the Paris Commune’, published in 1962: ‘Theoreticians who examine the history of this movement from a divinely omniscient viewpoint (like that found in classical novels) can easily prove that the Commune was objectively doomed to failure and could not have been successfully consummated. They forget that for those who really lived it, the consummation was already there.’ This seems to hold for Debord and company too. Yet even here there is a fatalism that contradicts the Situ language of ‘situation’ and ‘construction’. This fatalism is voiced most vividly in a scene from the movie Mr Arkadin (1955), which Debord would use to conclude his own film version of The Society of the Spectacle (1973). Played by Orson Welles, the lordly Arkadin tells his guests at a ball in his castle the parable of the scorpion who asks a frog to carry him across a river. ‘Why should I risk it?’ the frog replies. ‘You’ll sting me.’ The scorpion responds that all logic would prevent such an outcome, for he too would then perish with his partner. Convinced, the frog agrees to assist the scorpion, but midway across he feels a deadly sting. Arkadin takes over from here: ‘“Logic?” cried the dying frog as he started pulling the scorpion down with him. “Where is the logic in this?” “I know,” said the scorpion, “but I can’t help it, it’s my character.”’ ‘Let’s drink to character!’ Arkadin cries, while on the screen Debord shows us found footage of a doomed cavalry charge. In these letters Debord is sometimes the scorpion and sometimes the frog – and always the cavalry charge.

From Hal Foster in the latest LRB on Correspondence: The Foundation of the Situationist International (June 1957-60) by Guy Debord. Full article here -

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n05/fost01_.html

subvert47
08-03-2009, 03:06 PM
this is the most complete collection of texts in one place, no?

http://littleblackcart.com/images/the_situationist_international_anthology.jpg

yes, except that it's almost unreadable.

their own writing was deliberately abstruse, and debord says somewhere that the most valid reaction is to throw it in the bin

subvert47
08-03-2009, 03:07 PM
But nowadays I'd rather read about the Situationists -- who'd hate the title of this thread (http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q="there+is+no+such+thing+as+situationism"&btnG=Search&meta=), by the way -- than read them.

exactly so ;)

Agent Nucleus
18-03-2009, 08:10 PM
"How does one begin to write about motion, a process, in itself, that is always passing by, slipping away while attempts to capture it are made in words, on a map, or in notes (musical or otherwise)? Spaces of transition, such as hotel lobbies, bus depots, and highways, are difficult to capture, and often impossible to understand without their crucial element of movement. Shopping malls are such a space, and involve multiple levels of movement. As a private space designed to facilitate commercial exchange, there is the necessary fiscal movement of commodities. This in turn requires a second level of motion: the circulation of consumers. The shopping mall cannot be described solely on the basis of its floor plan, location or size; it can only be encountered *in motion*, as a matrix of time and space through which passes a multitude of trajectories. Without the movement of people, the mall itself is dead, not just in the financial sense, but in the spatial sense as well: the mall is incomplete without the crowd. Mirrors reproduce only commodities, floors reflect only muzac, and escalators transport only their own steps. The dependence of the mall on its kinetic component establishes the constitutive role of the crowd." http://proxy.arts.uci.edu/~nideffer/_SPEED_/1.3/product/smith/smith.html

craner
20-04-2009, 04:37 PM
http://www.geocities.com/rashomon82/FreudMarx.jpg

Mr BoShambles
20-04-2009, 05:35 PM
Nucleus -- our choice of metaphors to describe the world around us is instructive in this regard. For the last few centuries the use of architectural metaphors - i.e. foundations, pillars, structures, etc - to depict the nature of things has been very powerful. This is a substantive way of seeing things in the sense that it seeks to isolate discrete and static "things" which can be observed, classified, and ascribed with essential properties.

So e.g. in calling a tree a tree, we represent it as a fixed thing. But actually it is clearly a process - photosynthesis - comprising of continous flux, movement, evolution. Also, when people are asked to draw a tree they regularly draw what they see above ground and forget/ignore the roots-system. Yet the roots are often as substantial, and they are intertwined with the roots of countless other trees/plants to such a degree that defining where the boundaries of the tree actually start/finish is fairly arbitrary.

A river = flows of water

The human body = many interconnected biological processes combining to create a visibly recognisable pattern of relationships (the body) which is similar in all of us, although obviously with massive diversity as to the precise way these appear.

The Nation-State = a pattern of relationships between individual actors, observable structures, abstract rules and regulations. Always coevolving in line with "internal" changes within its society/economy etc; and in line with "external" changes in the international system of states. Although states look sufficiently similar to allow some comparisons between them, actually they are incredibly diverse precisely because they are not "things" but processes.

I like Frijtof Capra's (relationist) take on all of this:


Ultimately – as quantum physics showed dramatically – there are no parts at all. What we call a part is merely a pattern in an inseparable web of relationships. Therefore, a shift from the parts to the whole can be seen as a shift from objects to relationships… In the mechanistic view, the world is a collection of objects. These, of course, interact with one another, and hence there are relationships between them. But the relationships are secondary… In the systems view, we realize that the objects themselves are networks of relationships, embedded in larger networks. For the systems thinker, the relationships are primary. The boundaries of the discernable patterns (‘objects’) are secondary…

massrock
01-09-2010, 07:02 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Acid-Diaries-Psychonauts-Guide-History/dp/1594773831/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283363412&sr=8-1

john eden
01-09-2010, 10:13 PM
yes, except that it's almost unreadable.

their own writing was deliberately abstruse, and debord says somewhere that the most valid reaction is to throw it in the bin

It's more readable than a lot of the Pomo toss that followed it. :)

Interesting about the Chris Grey book. Stewart Home has said for a while that the drugs angle has been really under exposed wrt the sits.

Mr. Tea
02-09-2010, 10:22 AM
I was at a festival over the weekend where there was this quite good live group playing sort of jungular dubstep stuff, and one of them was wearing a Situationist Hat. Which is to say, by wearing this Hat he was creating, or at least contributing to, a Situation.

The Hat was a kind of truncated cone of translucent plastic, held in place by a chin strap like a soldier's helmet, with a light inside that was free to spin round as he moved. It was all rather Chris Morris. In any other circumstance it would have been ridiculous but at that moment it was the most appropriate thing he could have possibly have been wearing.

STN
02-09-2010, 10:38 AM
yeah, that was a weird hat. I don't really have anything to contribute to the thread except that I was, by coincidence at the same little festival as Monsieur The, which was rather strange really.

Mr. Tea
02-09-2010, 10:43 AM
yeah, that was a weird hat. I don't really have anything to contribute to the thread except that I was, by coincidence at the same little festival as Monsieur The, which was rather strange really.

Yeah, sorry my conversation wasn't up to much...I'm sure you understand. :o

STN
02-09-2010, 11:06 AM
compared to my drunken mate you were like Dorothy Parker!

slim jenkins
08-09-2010, 05:41 PM
The ICA's 'situationist scrapbook' to go with their exhibition in '89 is good...'An endless adventure...'...especially since it has a sandpaper cover...