Posted by: HAT | September 17, 2009

Situationist Discourse

An example of détournement

An example of détournement

At Michigan State, in 1974 and 1975, it was sometimes possible to get a copy of a newspaper called Spectacle. It was great, when it came out, which was irregularly. I actually met one of the editors, in a reading group on Hegel’s Phenomenology, and was utterly starstruck.

Something like 20 years later, wandering through some bookstore, I encountered a copy of Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle, and putting two and two together, realized that this was the inspiration for that Spectacle. In a classic example of acting on the bourgeois premise that money can grant a person any desirable quality whatever, including the quality of actually having read Debord, I bought it.

Well, as Benjamin says, every text has its moment of legibility.

In this case, the second week of September, 2009. For what it’s worth, I put my notes on The Society of the Spectacle on the notes page.

Credit for my recent crash course on Debord and the Situationist International goes to:

Ken Knabb’s Bureau of Public Secrets

Not Bored

Situationist International Archive

Situationist International online

Wikipedia (Hey, it helped.)



  1. “Pro-situationist” texts are everywhere. I find it odd that most people who should give credit to the SI do not acknowledge it for some reason. I started writing a local magazine which gets a lot of inspiration from the SI, but we actually put quotes from the SI in the text, etc. My blog is also very inspired by the SI movement.

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