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Even his autobiographic writings offer little to those seeking clues to a life cluttered with t he rumour and intrigue which inevitably fills such vacuums. It can certainly be said that Debord drank too much, wrote too little and developed an incisive critique of the socio- economic order which he saw dominating 20th-century life. As a young film-maker in Paris, Debord worked with the Lettrist International's Isidor Isou and Maurice Lamaitre on the line of anti-art experimentation which had its sources in Dada and Surrealism.

After writing numerous articles, making films includingHurlements en Faveur de Sade , and editing several editions of the journal Internationale Situationniste, he published The Society of the Spectacle in The Revolution of Everyday Life, a more flamboyant book by Debord's co-conspirator Raoul Vaneigem, appeared in the same year. Twelve months later, France was on strike and revolution was in the air. And if neither the Situationists nor the events of May brought the social order down, they certainly had an extraordinary impact on both thepolitical underground and theoretical developments which came in their wake.

With typical affected arrogance, Debord considered his critique of 20th-century capitalism to be brilliant.


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Much of this conceit was quite justified. Drawing on Situationist interests in the avant-garde, architecture, urban planning, cinema, and Marxist theory, Debord defined the spectacle as the high-point of a process of alienation and commodification which turns people into spectators, even of their own lives. Although his work can seem steeped in alcoholic nostalgia for some notion of a long-lost self, Debord is at his most effective when he insists that the desire for wholesale change emerges as the inevitable and subversive product of a social order which then has the problem of containing it.

Suicide is not always an act of despair, but it seems likely that Debord's last move was made in the weary belief that such fundamental change would never come. In his terms, the revolution had failed, and Comments of the Society of the Spectacle, published in his late s, made the spectacle seem even more entrenched than it had been 20 years before.

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But there are enormous and unprecedented shifts afoot for the social order he defined so well. Debord's spectacle was frozen in place by the complicitybetween market interests and those of the state, and driven by the imperatives of the Cold War and television. It was an order which was governed by the West, and predates the emergence of Pacific Asia, the crisis of the state, the anarchy of the Interne t, the interconnectivities of dance culture and other Generation X adventures, and an underworld of discontented renegades for whom Watch Only TV, like Read Only Memory, is no longer the only thing to do.

Debord spent his last years in the heart of rural France.

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No doubt the world looks different from there. But the real tragedy of his death is that, even as the spectacle was coming undone, Debord seems to have believed its own hype about its immortality. Debord loved war games, and was a great strategist. It is a shame that he will miss the adventures to come.

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    Society of the Spectacle: WTF? Guy Debord, Situationism and the Spectacle Explained - Tom Nicholas

    Citing Literature. Volume 26 , Issue 1 February Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Stockholm: Moderna Museet, Green and white cover with text in black. A few years later, having written a long piece for Artforum on Constructivism, which ran across two issues, Pontus Hulten contacted me asking would I like to do a show on Constructivist theatre and film at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

    Transform the world! The Black Panthers were there, they were in exile in Stockholm. The first time I knew it was resurfacing again was the event in Zurich Poetry will be made by all! Federation des Comites Ouvriers-Etudiants. Detourned comic in the Situationist tradition. We would be grateful to our readers if they could help in our efforts to identify the 5 men shown on p.

    Referenced in Marcolini Le mouvement situationnistE p. Facsimile reprint of the free broadside by Ron Hunt, which relates to the Poetry must be made by all! I designed the poster for the exhibition with a detourned Brigitte Bardot and Hulten designed the catalogue. The broadside consists of a detourned image of Brigitte Bardot on one side, and a fictional interview with the actress where she discusses May 68 and the Situationists as well as a comic strip about unruly children on the other side. Situationistisk Revolution 2 — Elendigheden i studentens milieu. Randers Denmark : S.

    Cream wrappers with text in black. Second and rarest issue of Situationistisk Revolution, the journal of the Scandinavian section of the SI.

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    Bernstein, Debord, Khayati, Vaneigem and Vienet are listed as members of the editorial committee, with J. Martin as editor-in-chief. However, other items are included: an original collage by J. Martin p. Constant — Amsterdam. Bochum: Stadtische Kunstgalerie,