Friday, October 11, 2013

WEEK SIX: The Archive: Politics: DETOURNED!!

“The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images.” 
Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle (English transl. 1967)

The strategy of detournment was initially practiced by The Situationist International , a group of writers and avant-gardists who cohered in the late 50's and developed various tactics for the reclamation of the creative potential of everyday life --these tactics formed their a critique of capitalist society where value is based on commodification and consumption.

Detournement, according to our friend Wikpedia, "can be defined as a variation on a previous media work, in which the newly created one has a meaning that is antagonistic or antithetical 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. The term "détournement" is borrowed from the French, in English "turnabout" or "derailment". Turn the tables!

For a funny and unsparing introduction to their ideas remember the comics we read in class, this one and this one too.

We watched a few clips to warm us up for a longer consideration of collage-essay film master Craig Baldwin--(Rocket Kit Kongo Kit (1988) and Tribulations 99:Alien Anomalies under America (1992)

Whats up Tiger Lily, (1966) by Woody Allen
Coleman Millers hilarious existential intelligent and stupid Uso Justo (2004)
Can Dialectics Break Bricks (1973), by situationist Rene Vienet
which directly influenced so many culture-jammers, like the work of the Bay area st01en collective's
Lord of the Rings of Free Trade (2001)
and their sequel The Twin Towers

"Plaigarism is necessary--Progress implies it!!– Comte de Lautréamont (Isidore Ducasse), Poésies II (1870)

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