The Spectacle of Disintegration
Situationist Passages out of the Twentieth Century
Following his acclaimed history of the Situationist International, The Beach Beneath the Street, McKenzie Wark continues the SI’s story, charting its post-sixties legacy and putting the late work of the Situationists in a broader, deeper context. He uncovers a contemporary relevance and searching critique of modernity. Wark builds on their work to map the historical stages of the society of the spectacle, from the diffuse to the integrated to what he calls the “disintegrating spectacle.” The Spectacle of Disintegration takes the reader through the critique of political aesthetics of former Situationist T.J. Clark, the Fourierist utopia of Raoul Vaneigem, René Viénet’s earthy situationist cinema, Gianfranco Sanguinetti’s pranking of the Italian ruling class, Alice Becker-Ho’s account of the anonymous language of the Romany, Guy Debord’s late films and his surprising work as a game designer.
At once an extraordinary counter history of radical praxis and a call to action in the age of financial crisis and the resurgence of the streets, The Spectacle of Disintegration recalls the hidden journeys taken in the attempt to leave the twentieth century and plots an exit from the twenty-first.
The dustjacket unfolds to reveal a fold-out poster of the collaborative graphic essay combining text selected by McKenzie Wark with composition and drawings by Kevin C. Pyle.
- Verso Books, March 2013
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