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Situationism

GUY DEBORD EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE AT THE BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE

The conference will be held during the Guy Debord exhibition at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in Spring 2013.

PRESENTATION

In 2009, the archives of Guy Debord became a “national treasure”; a year later, they entered the collections of BnF’s manuscripts department. This has given researchers access to the sources of Guy Debord’s work as well as to many other documents from the Situationist movement. These extensive archives confirm a now well-established story, but they also give us new insights into texts, events, relationships, and gather numerous contextual elements from the period. They’re precious for what they reveal about Guy Debord’s intentions and circumstances. They show Guy Debord to be the author, protagonist and key witness of a story that he so often masterminded.

This conference invites researchers to take full advantage of the archives. We are encouraging researchers to use the new evidence to question every assumption and interpretation. Papers based on other sources than the Guy Debord Archives are also welcome.

CONTENT

This two-day conference will explore the four issues below. The questions and sources mentioned here are mere propositions. Participants are free to propose others, in accordance with the four main issues of the conference.

The author
This first part of the conference will examine the material and the making of Guy Debord’s writings. It will mostly present archive-based research that explores the author’s reading practices, his personal library or his intellectual education, as well as the genesis of his writing, the sources and workings of détournement, the author’s stylistic and rhetoric armoury, the wide range of literary genres he practiced, or the various strategies he invented to write the self and the world.

Available sources in the archive: various states of the texts, preliminary documents for the cinema, reading notes, library (as in 1994)

The material of the action
In this second part of the conference, we will further consider the means and ends of Guy Debord’s revolutionary project: how did Guy Debord practically promote the Situationist theory and praxis, supersede the arts, realize philosophy, fight against the spectacle, and occupy his positions within various fields (arts, Marxism, radical politics, etc.)? The main focus will be the action as considered through its documentation. We would like to study the material conditions of Guy Debord’s revolution of everyday life, his strategies to articulate theory and practice, along with the means and various consequences of their diffusion.

Available sources in the archive: Press gathered by Guy Debord all along his life, documentation on the International Situationist’s publications and organisation, documents on the publishing activities, correspondence.

Guy Debord and the others
The Situationist adventure was a collective one. This third part of the conference will examine Debord’s relations with his friends, enemies, or partners in revolution. The role of specific individuals or groups in Guy Debord’s life and projects shall here be developed – for instance: Joseph G. Wolman, Pinot Gallizio, Asger Jorn, Henri Lefebvre, Alexander Trocchi, Socialisme ou Barbarie, Jacqueline de Jong, SPUR, the Nashists of the Second S.I., Raoul Vaneigem, I.C.O., anarchists in France and abroad, Gérard Lebovici, Jean-Jacques Pauvert, etc.

Available sources in the archive: correspondence, received documentation, other archives.

Guy Debord and Us
The Situationist posterities and Guy Debord’s heritage are vast and perilous issues. We would like them to be addressed with the use of archival sources, field work, or interviews. The idea of this fourth part of the conference will be to determine how the Situationist and Debordian heritage has been travelling, passed on, recuperated or “détourné”, in many different fields, including of course the arts, literature, political theory or activism, etc. The current accuracy of Guy Debord’s thought shall also be examined, as well as the different aspects of its possible or impossible posterity in the contemporary world.

Available sources in the archive: Press gathered by Guy Debord, received documentation, correspondence, other archives, interview, field work.

Format: 20 minutes

Deadline for submissions: May, 15th 2012

All researchers, from every discipline or institution (as well as independent researchers) can submit a paper to this conference. Proposals shouldn’t exceed 500 words, and should be sent, along with a short presentation (or c.v.) to the following email addresses: laurence.le-bras@bnf.fr and emmanuel.guy@bnf.fr by May 15th, 2012.

These addresses should also be used for further questions on the archives or the conference.
The online inventory (in process) is available through the BnF manuscripts online catalogue at the following address: http://archivesetmanuscrits.bnf.fr/ead.html?id=FRBNFEAD000057433&c=FRBNFEAD000057433_e0000015&qid=sdx_q18

Host institution :
Bibliothèque nationale de France
http://www.bnf.fr

Organisation :
Laurence Le Bras and Emmanuel Guy
Curators of the Guy Debord exhibition
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Département des Manuscrits
5 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Situationism

SPECTACULAR CAPITALISM

Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy
Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Despite recent crises in the financial system, uprisings in Greece, France, Tunisia, and Bolivia, worldwide decline of faith in neoliberal trade policies, deepening ecological catastrophes, and global deficits of realized democracy, we still live in an era of “spectacular capitalism.” But what is “spectacular capitalism?” Spectacular capitalism is the dominant mythology of capitalism that disguises its internal logic and denies the macroeconomic reality of the actually existing capitalist world. Taking on this elusive mythology, and those who too easily accept it, Richard Gilman-Opalsky exposes the manipulative and self-serving narrative of spectacular capitalism.

Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, Gilman-Opalsky argues that the theory of practice and practice of theory are superseded by upheavals that do the work of philosophy. One could ask: Who better raises questions about public and private spheres of influence and control, Jürgen Habermas or the water war activists who made a rebellion in Cochabamba, Bolivia in the spring of 2000? Or, has any sociological theorist done better than the Zapatistas to reframe and raise questions about indigenous identity? Spectacular Capitalism makes the case not only for a new philosophy of praxis, but for praxis itself as the delivery mechanism for philosophy – for the field of human action, of contestation and conflict, to raise directly the most irresistible questions about the truth and morality of the existing state of affairs.

“Richard Gilman-Opalsky’s Spectacular Capitalism rescues Situationist theory and praxis from merely antiquarian and art-historical commentary and puts it in dialogue with the project of a radical philosophy for leaving the 21st century.” – McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto and Gamer Theory

Bio: Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is the author of Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory (Lexington Books, 2008), as well as numerous articles.

PDF available freely online: http://www.minorcompositions.info/spectacularcapitalism.html
ISBN 978-1-57027-228-8

Released by Minor Compositions, London / New York / Port Watson
Minor Compositions is a series of interventions & provocations drawing from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.
Minor Compositions is an imprint of Autonomedia
www.minorcompositions.info |info@minorcompositions.info

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Situationism

THE BEACH BENEATH THE STREET: THE EVERYDAY LIFE AND GLORIOUS TIMES OF THE SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL

BY MCKENZIE WARK

PUBLISHED: 22 AUGUST 2011

“The lack of politicisation in the recent riots around Britain can be frustrating to those steeped in French theory, those who see the riot as what Martin Luther King described as the “language of the unheard”. But London 2011 is quite evidently not Paris 1968. A new book about the ideas that led to that moment in Paris sheds light on quite how different the two countries’ traditions are…

Wark has done us a great favour by explaining how situationist ideas (which included a proto-internet, an information super-network free of government control) still represent the sharpest and most surprisingly prescient critiques of the contemporary city.” Edwin Heathcote, FINANCIAL TIMES
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EVENTS:

August 23, 2011, 8.00pm
Cafe OTO
18—22 Ashwin street, Dalston
London E8 3DL UK

McKenzie Wark appears at cafe OTO to talk about his book on the life and times of the Situationist International, The Beach Beneath the Street.
For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/191-the-beach-beneath-the-street-at-cafe-oto

August 24, 2011, 7.00pm
Housmans
5 Caledonian Road , King’s Cross
London N1 9DX

McKenzie Wark’s new book on the subject The Beach Beneath the Street: The Glorious Times of the Situationist International, explores anew the history of the movement and connects the Situationist’s work to new practices in communication, built form, and everyday life.
For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/196-the-glorious-times-of-the-situationist-international

August 25, 2011, 7.00pm
Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7QX UK

Writer McKenzie Wark explores the diversity of the Situationist International in his new book The Beach Beneath the Street, re-reading their history in the light of our contemporary experience of communications, architecture, and everyday life.
For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/188-the-beach-beneath-the-street-new-new-babylon
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McKenzie Wark’s history of the Situationist International writes against twenty-first century boredom with art and politics, in which both have ‘ceased to be modern, and finding it too passé to be postmodern… is now merely contemporary.’ Creating a new kind of historiography from the group’s legendary oeuvre, Wark re-presents the SI’s history in light of contemporary experiences to shake us out of our boredom and re-kindle the explosive potential of everyday life.

Over 50 years after the Situationist International appeared, its legacy of Marxism mixed with 20th century European artistic avant-garde continues to influence activists, artists and theorists. From the Invisible Committee’s bestselling The Coming Insurrection to Iain Sinclair’s psychogeographic explorations, the work of the Situationists echoes through twenty-first century thought. Yet, despite the rich possibilities, its breadth, diversity, and potential impact are still largely unexplored. Wark’s volume is a radical re-imagining of the Situationist legacy, which reconnects their work to new practices in communication, architecture, and everyday life.

Arguing that ‘Situations are temporary, singular unities of space and time… They call for a different kind of remembering,’ Wark takes readers on a tour of the movement from bohemian after-hours drinks in the cellars of 1950s St. Germain-des-Prés to the mythical beach ‘sous les pavès’ of the explosive days of May ’68.

Blending history and narrative, biography and literature, Wark traces the group’s development as an ensemble creation, rather than the brainchild of its most famous member, Guy Debord. Roaming through Europe and the lives of those who made up the movement – including Constant, Asger Jorn, Michèle Bernstein, Alex Trocchi and Jacqueline De Jong – Wark uncovers an international movement riven with conflicting passions, expanding the gaze beyond the Paris coterie.

Taking up Guy Debord’s famous injunction, “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” Wark delves into the SI’s diverse body of work to re-present the legendary Situationists in a way that ignites the possibility of resistance for our time. Wark puts the Situationist experiments into context for twenty-first century struggles, and in doing so, suggests that while the Situationists failed to escape the world of twentieth-century spectacle, there might still be hope for us to escape the twenty-first century, while we still can.

The book jacket is also a fold out poster, Totality for Beginners. A collaborative graphic essay, the beautifully rendered poster employs text selected by McKenzie Wark with composition and drawings by Kevin C. Pyle
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PRAISE FOR THE HACKER MANIFESTO

“This is a perceptive, provocative study, packed to the seams with acute analysis.” Terry Eagleton, NATION

“Wark’s book challenges the new regime of property relations with all the epigrammatic vitality, conceptual innovation, and revolutionary enthusiasm of the great manifestos.” Michael Hardt, co-author of EMPIRE

“Infuriating and inspiring in turn, A Hacker Manifesto will spawn a thousand theses, and just maybe spawn change.” Mike Holderness, NEW SCIENTIST

“A Hacker Manifesto will yield some provocative ideas and real challenges to a world in which everything is commodified.” Eric J. Iannelli, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
———————————–
MCKENZIE WARK is the author of A HACKER MANIFESTO, GAMER THEORY, 50 YEARS OF RECUPERATION OF THE SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL and various other books. He teaches at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.
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ISBN: 978 1 84467 720 7 / $26.95 / £14.99 / $33.50CAN / Hardback / 224 pages
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For a look into MCKENZIE WARK work visit:
http://vectorsjournal.org/issues/7/totality/

For more information about THE BEACH BENEATH THE STREET or to buy the book visit:
http://www.versobooks.com/books/980-the-beach-beneath-the-street
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Visit Verso’s website for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers:http://www.versobooks.com

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**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Asger Jorn

ASGER JORN’S WRITINGS ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE

Guy Debord and Asger Jorn were the key co-founders of the Situationist International (1957). Despite significant differences in style and personality, the two were close collaborators at that time and remained close personal friends until Jorn’s death in 1973, long after Jorn had left the SI.

One of the first projects of the newly formed SI was the publication of a large French-language collection of Asger Jorn’s texts from the immediately preceding period: “Pour la Forme: ébauche d’une méthodologie des arts” (1958). This collection was reprinted by Éditions Allia and is still in print, but up till now very few of Jorn’s writings have been available in English.

Now, at long last, there is a comprehensive English-language collection of Jorn’s writings:

FRATERNITÉ AVANT TOUT:
ASGER JORN’S WRITINGS ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE, 1938-1958
Edited by Ruth Baumeister
Translated by Paul Larkin and Ken Knabb
Published by “010” (Rotterdam)
http://www.010.nl/catalogue/book.php?id=760

Most of this new collection consists of articles translated from the Danish and Swedish by Paul Larkin, but it also includes four articles from “Pour la Forme” translated from the French by Ken Knabb. Excerpts from these latter articles are online at: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/asger-jorn/index.htm

Those excerpts provide just a little taste of the richness and liveliness of Jorn’s ideas and explorations. I encourage you to get Baumeister’s book if you are interested in further exploring this provocative yet genial pioneer of the interface between cultural and political radicalism.

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The Bureau of Public Secrets website features writings by Ken Knabb, Knabb’s translations from the Situationist International, and the Rexroth Archive (texts by and about the great writer and social critic Kenneth Rexroth).

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BUREAU OF PUBLIC SECRETS
POB 1044, Berkeley CA 94701, USA
http://www.bopsecrets.org

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com