Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Busy day in class, what with a basic Introduction to concepts of 'detournment', which according to our friend wikipedia, "is a variation on a previous media work, in which the newly created one has a meaning that is antagonist to the original. The original media work that is détourned must be somewhat familiar to the target audience, so that it can appreciate the opposition of the new message."
Read this comic and this other comic for a funny unsparing introduction to their ideas!
This strategy of detournemnt was initially practiced by the Situationist International, and we read some excerpts from Situationist theorist and filmmaker Guy Debord, most famous for his text and film Society of the Spectacle, where he states " The spectacle is not a collection of images, rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images." He is often spoken of in the same breath as his contemporary Jean Baudrillard who used the term 'simulacra' rather than Debord's 'spectacle'.
We watched an excerpt of the classic 1973 SI film Can Dialectics Break Bricks? by Rene Vienet, which influenced many works such as the Bay Area's st01len collective's The Lord of the Rings of Free Trade (2001). See more of their activist remixes here.
Another work worth mentioning that we didn't quite have time for is an audio tape collage called Reagan Speaks for Himself (1981) made by sound artist Douglas Kahn. As you can see from the picture above it was distributed via a flexi-disc that btw was inserted inside Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly's comic-art magaizine RAW.
Up next: Duchamp's Readymades and Ken Jacobs Perfect Film (1985).