9th September 2013 The Situationist International (SI)

Here is three fairly short videos that explain the Situationist International. This was the movement that forms one of the influences and starting points for culture jamming. Particularly with the idea of detournement. This was an artistic and political movement active in Europe between 1957-1972.These were artists, writers, film makers..

They perceived alienation in society was a result of the mass media and consumerism. Far from claiming to be a political party they focused their interest on the ‘moments of life’. These moments were focused on the urban environment. The ‘Society of the spectacle’, by Dubord is an important text for understanding the situationist motivations. They felt that consumption was masking the alienation from our labour and that workers were pacified through the spectacle that mass consumption offered on a day to day basis.

They initially used art, and then graffiti, comic strips and films to explain their message. Altering paintings, to call the activity of painting in to question. Detourning paintings. Even offering canvas art on a roll to be sold by the meter. The Idea was that these rolls of original art could fill cities, much in the way that modern day graffiti does.

These videos explain, in far more detail than I have, the links between modern culture jamming and graffiti to the Situationist International. It shows how their Ideas, under modern conditions and with modern technology have influenced modern movements such as Adbusters, Graffiti and Occupy. Hopefully this will give you a small insight in to the theoretical side of my dissertation and why I find graffiti and culture jamming so interesting.


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