Ladies and gentlemen, the lovely Stephanie Murg.
Situationism is dead! Long live Situationism! Discuss amongst yourselves on Wednesday evening, when Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture hosts “50 Years of Recuperation: What is Living and What is Dead in the Situationist International,” a lecture by McKenzie Wark, author of Gamer Theory and A Hacker’s Manifesto, among other discipline-transcending tomes.
You’ll recall that the revolutionary pranksters of the Situationist International (1957-1972) are to thank for seeding such concepts as psychogeography, unitary urbanism, and the society of the spectacle. But it wasn’t all jargon-stuffed manifestos, impassioned letter-writing, and avant-garde picnics. OK, it kind of was, but with the best of intentions: “the concrete construction of momentary ambiances of life and their transformation into a superior passional quality.” If only that looked better on a bumper sticker.
Sponsoring the lecture is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), so start thinking of a clever question that relates SOM’s Burj Dubai project to Situationist leader Constant’s New Babylon, which he described as “a camp for nomads on a planetary scale.”