Situationist International

Of particular interest to the design of narrative environments, in the context of the relations among art practices, aesthetic practices and everyday action, is the Situationist International and its forerunner, the Lettriste International.

Bonnet (1992: 76) considers that the most determined challenge to the categories of art and everyday space, and their potential interrelationships, has come from the Situationist International, founded in 1957, and its principal forerunner, the Lettriste International, founded 1952.

The Lettriste International was formed as a splinter group of the Lettristes, a surrealist movement formed in Paris in the late 1940s. Its interest lay in developing forms of poetry, painting, and music based on the alphabetical letter.

The members of the Lettriste International were dissatisfied with the conservatism and aesthetism of the Lettristes. Guy Debord was the intellectual leader of both the Lettriste International and the Situationist International. The other main theorist in the Situationist International was Raoul Vaneigem. The two key texts by these radical thinkers, both originally published in French in 1967 are:

Debord, G. (1983). Society of the spectacle. New York, NY: Zone Books.

Vaneigem, R. (2001). The revolution of everyday life. London, UK: Rebel Press.


The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord, 1973,

Sources

Bonnett, A. (1989). Situationism, geography, and poststructuralism. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 7 (2), 131–146.

Bonnett, A. (1992). Art, ideology, and everyday space: subversive tendencies from Dada to postmodernism. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 10 (1), pp.69–86.

Links

Situationist International Online

Alternative version of The Society of the Spectacle, with an unauthorised voiceover by Paul Chan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2YeJpkrTOQ

edited 24 February, 2019 by Allan Parsons