Guy Debord, ‘Situationist Theses on Traffic’
Guy Debord (1931-1994) What Is "The Spectacle"?
The spectacle speaks, "social atoms" listen.
The spectacle cannot be abstractly contrasted to concrete social activity. Each side of such a duality is itself divided. The spectacle that falsifies reality is nevertheless a real product of that reality. Conversely, real life is materially invaded by the contemplation of the spectacle, and ends up absorbing it and aligning itself with it. Objective reality is present on both sides. Each of these seemingly fixed concepts has no other basis than its transformation into its opposite: reality emerges within the spectacle, and the spectacle is real. This reciprocal alienation is the essence and support of the existing society.
“In clinical descriptions of schizophrenia,” says Gabel, “the disintegration of the dialectic of totality (with dissociation as its extreme form) and the disintegration of the dialectic of becoming (with catatonia as its extreme form) seem closely interrelated.” Imprisoned in a flattened universe bounded by the screen of the spectacle that has enthralled him, the spectator knows no one but the fictitious speakers who subject him to a one-way monologue about their commodities and the politics of their commodities. The spectacle as a whole serves as his looking glass. What he sees there are dramatizations of illusory escapes from a universal autism.
Itis not enough to decry the existence of the Spectacle.
Despite the fact that this development excludes the qualitative, it is itself subject to qualitative change. The spectacle reflects the fact that this development has crossed the threshold of its own abundance. Although this qualitative change has as yet taken place only partially in a few local areas, it is already implicit at the universal level that was the commodity’s original standard — a standard that the commodity has lived up to by turning the whole planet into a single world market.
Confronting fundamental problems of the human condition and pressing problems of the day, using the broad resources of social research, we seek to provoke critical and informed discussion by any means necessary.
Situationist Theses on Traffic (Debord)
The positive significance of the modern decomposition and destruction of all art is that the language of communication has been lost. The negative implication of this development is that a common language can no longer take the form of the unilateral conclusions that characterized the art of historical societies — belated portrayals of someone else’s dialogueless life which accepted this lack as inevitable — but must now be found in a praxis that unifies direct activity with its own appropriate language. The point is to actually participate in the community of dialogue and the game with time that up till now have merely been represented by poetic and artistic works.
Once society has lost its myth-based community, it loses all the reference points of truly common language until such time as the divisions within the inactive community can be overcome by the inauguration of a real historical community. When art, which was the common language of social inaction, develops into independent art in the modern sense, emerging from its original religious universe and becoming individual production of separate works, it too becomes subject to the movement governing the history of all separate culture. Its declaration of independence is the beginning of its end.
Situationist Theses on Traffic by Guy-Ernest Debord
guy debord situationist thesis on traffic - …
Everything life lacks is to be found within the spectacle, conceived of as an ensemble of independent representatons.
Guy Debord (1931-1994) What Is "The Spectacle ..
The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images.
But Guy Debord and our little Situationist friends ..
Classic Situationist texts include: , by Guy Debord, and by Raoul Vaneigem.
The Society of the Spectacle - Revolvy
The spectacle was born from the world’s loss of unity, and the immense expansion of the modern spectacle reveals the enormity of this loss. The abstractifying of all individual labor and the general abstractness of what is produced are perfectly reflected in the spectacle, whose manner of being concrete is precisely abstraction. In the spectacle, a part of the world presents itself to the world and is superior to it. The spectacle is simply the common language of this separation. Spectators are linked solely by their one-way relationship to the very center that keeps them isolated from each other. The spectacle thus reunites the separated, but it reunites them only in their separateness.
The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord - [PDF …
Situationist ideas have continued to echo profoundly through many aspects of culture and politics in Europe and the USA. Even in their own time, with limited translations of their dense theoretical texts, combined with their very successful self-mythologisation, the term 'situationist' was often used to refer to any rebel or outsider, rather than to a body of surrealist-inspired Marxist critical theory. As such, the term 'Situationist' and those of 'spectacle' and 'detournement' have often been decontextualised and recuperated.
Guy Debord and the Situationist ..
The alienation of the spectator, which reinforces the contemplated objects that result from his own unconscious activity, works like this: The more he contemplates, the less he lives; the more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him. The spectator does not feel at home anywhere, because the spectacle is everywhere.
Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, ..
The reigning economic system is a vicious circle of isolation. Its technologies are based on isolation, and they contribute to that same isolation. From automobiles to television, the goods that the spectacular system chooses to produce also serve it as weapons for constantly reinforcing the conditions that engender “lonely crowds.” With ever-increasing concreteness the spectacle recreates its own presuppositions.
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