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29 AUGUST 2017

On the Passage of a few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972

"The Situationist International (SI) was an international organization of social revolutionaries, the exclusive membership of which was made up of avant-garde artists, intellectuals, and political theorists, active from its formation in 1957 to its dissolution in 1972.

The intellectual foundations of the Situationist International were derived primarily from anti-authoritarian Marxism and the avant-garde art movements of the early 20th century, particularly Dada and Surrealism. Overall, situationist theory represented an attempt to synthesize this diverse field of theoretical disciplines into a modern and comprehensive critique of mid-20th century advanced capitalism. The situationists recognized that capitalism had changed since Marx's formative writings, but maintained that his analysis of the capitalist mode of production remained fundamentally correct; they rearticulated and expanded upon several classical Marxist concepts, such as his theory of alienation. In their expanded interpretation of Marxist theory, the situationists asserted that the misery of social alienation and commodity fetishism were no longer limited to the fundamental components of capitalist society, but had now in advanced capitalism spread themselves to every aspect of life and culture. They resolutely rejected the idea that advanced capitalism's apparent successes—such as technological advancement, increased income, and increased leisure—could ever outweigh the social dysfunction and degradation of everyday life that it simultaneously inflicted.

Essential to situationist theory was the concept of the spectacle, a unified critique of advanced capitalism of which a primary concern was the progressively increasing tendency towards the expression and mediation of social relations through objects. The situationists believed that the shift from individual expression through directly lived experiences, or the first-hand fulfillment of authentic desires, to individual expression by proxy through the exchange or consumption of commodities, or passive second-hand alienation, inflicted significant and far-reaching damage to the quality of human life for both individuals and society. Another important concept of situationist theory was the primary means of counteracting the spectacle; the construction of situations, moments of life deliberately constructed for the purpose of reawakening and pursuing authentic desires, experiencing the feeling of life and adventure, and the liberation of everyday life.

When the Situationist International was first formed, it had a predominantly artistic focus; emphasis was placed on concepts like unitary urbanism and psychogeography. Gradually, however, that focus shifted more towards revolutionary and political theory. The Situationist International reached the apex of its creative output and influence in 1967 and 1968, with the former marking the publication of the two most significant texts of the situationist movement, The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord and The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem. The expressed writing and political theory of the two aforementioned texts, along with other situationist publications, proved greatly influential in shaping the ideas behind the May 1968 insurrections in France; quotes, phrases, and slogans from situationist texts and publications were ubiquitous on posters and graffiti throughout France during the uprisings."

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TAGS

195719721989 • advanced capitalism • anti-authoritarianart movement • authentic desires • avant-garde art • Branka Bogdanov • capitalist society • commodity fetishism • commodity spectacle • consumer societyconsumerism • consumption of commodities • Dadadegradationdetournement • directly lived experiences • documentary filmearly 20th centuryeveryday life • exchange of commodities • expression and mediation of social relations through objects • feeling of adventure • feeling of life • first-hand fulfillment of authentic desires • graffiti • Greil Marcus • Guy Debord • individual expression by proxy • Jamie Reid • liberation of everyday life • Malcolm Mac Laren • Marxism • Marxist concepts • Marxist theory • May 1968 • means of production • mid-20th century advanced capitalism • mode of production • moments of life • political theorists • political theorypsychogeography • Raoul Vaneigem • reawakening • revolutionary theory • second-hand alienation • Situationist International • situationist movement • situationist theory • situations • slogan • social alienation • social dysfunction • social relations • social revolutionaries • Society of the Spectacle (Guy Debord)spectaclesurrealism • The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967) • theory of alienation • Thomas Levine • UbuWeb • unified critique • unitary urbanism • video documentary

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 OCTOBER 2012

The Feral Diagram: Graffiti and Street Art 2011

"This diagram was meant as a challenge to the prevailing art world hegemony. It was created to prove the argument that graffiti and street art were already at the center of the art world whether they were officially recognized or not.

Utilizing the same graphic vocabulary as Alfred H. Barr, Jr (the first director of MoMA for the cover of the catalog for Cubist and Abstract Art exhibition in 1937) to create an impression of authority equivalent to his diagram. The Feral Diagram picks up chronologically where Barr left off, thereby subverting and redirecting the officially recognized historical trajectory.

Six years after the first draft of this diagram, the acknowledgement of graffiti and street art as important movements within the fine art community, if not the most important movements at the beginning of the new millenium, has come to light with major museum retrospectives, a never ending stream of books on the subject, websites, products, etc."

(Daniel Feral, 2011, Flickr)

Fig.1 revised "Feral Diagram 2.0" version.

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TAGS

19372011 • Alfred Barr • art movementauthorised voicechartcritiquecubist and abstract art • Daniel Feral • diagram • Feral Diagram 2.0 • Futurism 2.0 • graffitigraffiti art • graphic vocabulary • hegemony • historical imaginings • historical trajectory • information graphicsMoMANYC • Pantheon Projects Group • posterpowerstreet art • The Feral Diagram • visual artvisual communicationvisualisation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 JUNE 2012

Tape Art

"Watch what happened when Foot Locker and Converse invited a collective of street artists to create tape art installations inspired by the new Converse winter collection created for Foot Locker."

(Uploaded by footlocker on 15 Nov 2010)

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TAGS

2010actual environmentadvertisingartworkback and forth • Chuck Taylor • Converse Inc • Converse Padded Collar 2 • creative advertisingcreative workdesign collectivedrawing • drawing with tape • extended play • Foot Locker • giant turntable • graffitigraphic artillusionillusionistic spaceillustrationillustrative stylemural • new Converse winter collection • painting as illusionperspectiveperspective viewscratchingstreet artstreet artistsstreetweartape • tape art • tape art installations • turntable • turntablist technique • vinyl recordvisual perspectivevisual representation

CONTRIBUTOR

Kay Van Bellen
15 SEPTEMBER 2011

Nina Wenhart's blog on the prehysteries of new media

"this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today."

(Nina Wenhart, 26/06/2008)

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TAGS

20th centuryAlan Turingapplied researchARarchiveArs Electronicaart • art + science • art + technologyart of codeartificial intelligenceartificial life • artistic molecules • artistic practice • artistic software • artistsASCIIASCII-Artatom • atomium • audiofiles • augmented realityavant-gardebody • Cave Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE) • code art • cold warcollection • collection of resources • computercomputer animationcomputer graphicscomputer history • computer programming language • computer research • computer sculptureconcept artconceptual artconceptualisationconcrete poetry • copy-it-right • creative practicecritical theorycross-disciplinaryculture industrycuratingcurationcut-up techniquecybernetic artCybernetic Serendipitycyberneticscyberpunkcyberspacecyborgdata miningdata visualisationdesign research • dream machine • E.A.T. • early new media • Edward Ihnatowiczengineers • Eugen Roth • exhibitionsexpanded cinemaexperimental musicexperimentation • female artists and digital media • flaneur • flaneuring on the net • Fluxusfoundgenerative artgenetic artglitch • Gordon Pask • GPSgraffiti • Grey Walter • GUI • hackers and painters • hackinghacktivismHCIHerbert FrankehistorieshistoryhypermediahypertextIannis Xenakisimagineeringinformation theoryinsightinstructionsinteractive artinterdisciplinaryInternet • Ivan Picelj • Jack Burnham • Julije Knifer • Ken Rinaldo • kinetic sculpture • Lidija Merenik • live visualsmagic • Manchester Mark 1 • manifestomappingmediamedia archaeologymedia art • media art histories • minimalism • mother of all demos • mousemusical scorenetartnew medianew media art • new media exhibition • new media festival • Nina Wenhart • open sourceopen space • out of print • particle systems • Paul Graham • performance • phonesthesia • playlistpoetrypoliticspractice-led • prehysteries of new media • prehystories of new mediaProcessing (software)programmingprogramming languageprojectspsychogeographyradio artrare • re:place • real-timeresearch artefactresources • retyped • ridiculous • rotten + forgotten • SAIC • sandin image processor • School of the Art Institute of Chicagoscientific visualisation • screen-based • SIGGRAPHSituationistsslide projectorslit-scansoftwaresoftware studiesspeculative designspeculative research • Stewart Brand • surveillancetactical mediataggingtechniquetechnologytelecommunicationtelematic arttelematic experiencetext • textparts • Theo Jansentheoretical contexttheory buildingtimeline • Turing Test • ubiquitous computingunabomberundergraduate researchvideo artvideo synthesizervirtual realityvisual musicvisual research • Vladimir Bonacic • VRWalter Benjaminwearable computing • Williams Tube • world fair • world machine • Xerox PARCZKM • [Nove] tendencije

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 NOVEMBER 2008

Giant Corporation Insinuates Itself Through Guerrilla Tactics

"Microsoft unleashed a swarm of large adhesive butterflies in Manhattan.

They settled yesterday morning on sidewalks and doorways; traffic signals, stop signs and planters. They alighted on the bluestone paving around Grand Army Plaza and the granite corners around Grand Central Terminal.

Their blue, green, orange and yellow wings had spans of 12 to 20 inches, the larger ones accompanied by a caption –– 'It's better with the Butterfly' –– advertising Microsoft's new MSN 8 Internet service.

'This is nothing more than corporate graffiti,' said Vanessa Gruen, director of special projects for the Municipal Art Society, a civic organisation that has long battled commercialisation of public space. 'It's no better than all those kids out there tagging subway cars.'
...
A single summons was issued, with a [US] $50 penalty, though each butterfly could have been subject to a $50 fine, said Tom Cocola, the assistant commissioner for public affairs at the transportation agency. He said the city's chief goal was seeing to it that the decals [slickers] are removed.

Microsoft, for its part, insisted that it was authorised to place the decals."
(David W. Dunlap, New York Times, October 25, 2002)

[Pioneering example of guerrilla marketing tactics employed by Microsoft across Manhattan in 2002.]

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TAGS

adad campaign • adhesive butterflies • advertisementadvertisingadvertising in public spacesbillboardbrandingbutterflydecalenvironment • fly posting • graffiti • guerrilla marketing • guerrilla tacticsManhattanMicrosoft • MSN • New Yorkpublic spacestickertaggingtangible advertising mediaurban space

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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