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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
18 JANUARY 2012

Glitch art: created purposefully through databending and corruption

"Data glitches are unavoidable. As technology gets more complex, it's easier and easier for a small bug to creep in and ruin your perfect data. But a growing number of artists in different fields are coming to value these glitches, and have begun attempting to insert them purposefully into their work using a technique called 'databending'.

'Glitch art' is a term that there's some debate over: Many argue that it can only apply when a glitch is unintentional –– when it occurs naturally due to an error in hardware or software that leads to the corruption of whatever it is the artist was trying to create.

But there are ways of intentionally inducing some of these glitches, a process called 'databending'. Databending draws its name from the practice of circuit bending –– a practice where childrens' toys, cheap keyboards and effects pedals are deliberately short–circuited by bending the circuit board to generate spontaneous and unpredictable sounds."

(Duncan Geere, 17 August 2010, Wired UK)

Fig.1 Don Relyea, "glitched out video".

Fig.2 David Szauder, "supra glitch".

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TAGS

aestheticisationaestheticsanalogue errorsartartefactingartefacts • bug • bugs • circuit bending • corrupting digital code • corrupting digital datacorruptioncraft as conceptdatadata glitchesdatabendingdegradationdesign formalismdigitaldigital culturedigital detritusdigital errorsdigital materialismdistortionerrorexperimentationgenerativeglitchglitch aestheticsglitch artglitch practitionersglitched out videoglitches • glitschig • inducing glitches • malfunction • perfect data • purposeful glitching • randomnessreadymade • short-circuit • supra glitch • tech-arttechniquetechnologyunintentionallyunpredictability

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 JUNE 2005

LUST / Typography, Design & Propaganda Showcase

"Dutch graphic design studio based in The Hague, Netherlands. Design philosophy revolves around Process–based Design, Coincidence, the Degradation of Form & Content, Form–follows–Process, and Contextuality versus Textuality. Topics include typography graphic design typography abstract cartography mapping random mistake–ism fonts type design multimedia interactive webdesign internet www art abstract big bang chaos."

(LUST graphic design studio)

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TAGS

coincidence • contextuality • degradationdesign • Lust (graphic design studio) • map • mistake • Netherlandsrandom
09 NOVEMBER 2004

Digital Detritus

Oliver Wolf, Lea Filadoro, Josef Renner (Studienbereich Neue Medien Hgkzürich)
Ein User oder eine Gruppe kann sich die Müllabfuhr ins 'Haus' holen (abonnieren für einen best. Zeitraum ). Dabei wird sämtlicher von den einzelnen Personen 'angefertigter' Datenmüll in einem kollektiven Mülleimer eingesammelt (Sammeln) und grob gesiebt/gescannt(Trennung). Dieser kollektive Müll (Mülleimer als Repräsentant der Information) kann dann wiederrum durchforstet werden (Recycling) und für den Einzelnen/ die Gruppe sichtbar gemacht werden (Aufbereitung).

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31 DECEMBER 2003

Natural History: Mimesis

"But something very important transpires at the level of relationships. For natural history conceives of the relationships between animals in two ways: series and structure. In the case of a series, I say a resembles b, b resembles c, etc.; all of these terms conform in varying degrees to a single, eminent term, perfection, or quality as the principle behind the series. This is exactly what the theologians used to call an analogy of proportion. In the case of a structure, I say a is to b as c is to d; and each of these relationships realizes after its fashion the perfection under consideration: gills are to breathing under water as lungs are to breathing air; or the heart is to gills as the absence of a heart is to tracheas [in insects] ... This is an analogy of pro–portionality. In the first case, I have resemblances that differ from one another in a single series, and between series. In the second case, I have differences that resemble each other within a single structure, and between structures. The first form of analogy passes for the most sensible and popu–lar, and requires imagination; but the kind of imagination it requires is a studious one that has to take branchings in the series into account, fill in apparent ruptures, ward off false resemblances and graduate the true ones, and take both progressions and regressions or degraduations into account. The second form of analogy is considered royal because it requires instead all the resources of understanding (entendement), in order to define equiv–alent relations by discovering, on the one hand, the independent variables that can be combined to form a structure and, on the other hand, the corre–lates that entail one another within each structure. As different as they are, the two themes of series and structure have always coexisted in natural his–tory; in appearance contradictory, in practice they have reached a more or less stable compromise. l In the same way, the two figures of analogy coex–isted in the minds of the theologians in various equilibriums. This is because in both cases Nature is conceived as an enormous mimesis: either in the form of a chain of beings perpetually imitating one another, progressively and regressively, and tending toward the divine higher term they all imitate by graduated resemblance, as the model for and principle behind the series; or in the form of a mirror Imitation with nothing left to imitate because it itself is the model everything else imitates, this time by ordered difference. (This mimetic or mimological vision is what made the idea of an evolution–production possible at that moment.)"
(Deleuze and Guattari, p.234–35)

Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari 2002. 'A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia', London, UK: Continuum.

1). Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari: Chapter 10. 1730: Becoming–Intense, Becoming–Animal, Becoming–Imperceptible

TAGS

analogydegradation • entende • equilibriumimitationmimesis • mimological • mirrornatural historynature • ordered • progressionregressionrelationship • resemble • structuretheologianverisimilitude
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