[PDF / Epub] ★ La Société du Spectacle Author Guy Debord – Horse-zine.co.uk

La Société du Spectacle chapter 1 La Société du Spectacle, meaning La Société du Spectacle, genre La Société du Spectacle, book cover La Société du Spectacle, flies La Société du Spectacle, La Société du Spectacle 228209679c0ce Few Works Of Political And Cultural Theory Have Been As Enduringly Provocative As Guy Debord S The Society Of The Spectacle From Its Publication Amid The Social Upheavals Of The S Up To The Present, The Volatile Theses Of This Book Have Decisively Transformed Debates On The Shape Of Modernity, Capitalism And Everyday Life In The Late Twentieth Century Now Finally Available In A Superb English Translation Approved By The Author, Debord S Text Remains As Crucial As Ever For Understanding The Contemporary Effects Of Power, Which Are Increasingly Inseparable From The New Virtual Worlds Of Our Rapidly Changing Image Information Culture

15 thoughts on “La Société du Spectacle

  1. says:

    I never went to university nor did the majority of my friends and so never received any manner of guidance or instruction, or even bar table theoretical bullshitting, at the academic level to go along with my burgeoning interest in philosophy, politics, and culture For better and for worse and mostly the latter I have carved my own path through the tangled thickets of critical genius and doctrinal snares, a haphazard sampling of great minds from across the ages, non systematic and initially stemming from the tutelary prose of Bertrand Russell For this reason, I found myself coming to the Marxist exponents without a solid grounding in the master s thought and, thus, ofttimes ended up confused and or led down erroneous trails than I presumably would have been with a sounder grasp of the theoretical details Or not mayhaps a certain amount of ignorance, or na vet , actually allowed me to penetrate the occlusions or obfuscations that ensnared deeply immersed adepts Who, apart from The Shadow, knows In any case, Society of the Spectacle was amongst my first forays into the labyrinthine philosophical cultural terrain of the postwar twentieth century I found it a tantalizing and mysterious conundrum, with moments of a profound and shocking clarity but, overall, quite difficult, a serious challenge to follow, unpack, and comprehend As Jimmy Cline nicely puts it Even for a theoretical text written by an extreme leftist, in the late sixties, in Paris, this is a convoluted read The saying goes that life s a circus, but Debord seems to be addressing what exactly must constitute a post modern society such that the triumphal late capitalist incarnation of the circus with its gaudily omnipresent cultural, political, and economic performers, venues, and effects need be generated and configured in order to mold and maintain it as such.I read this back in the late nineties, and truth to tell I can hardly remember any clear cut details Unless the book really gripped me, my shelf life for reliable reading memory is about, oh, five years, max I would love to have another go at it soon perhaps after I have finally gotten around to ingesting my electronic copy of Sadie Plant s Situationist exposition as I would hopefully have a better understanding of what exactly Debord was trying to say and why he was trying to say it determining its relevance in the new century in relation to such a springboard effort as, say, Heath and Potter s collaboration should prove an interesting task, especially now that the spectacle can be both and less circumscribed with the advent of a vast array of media mediums that operate 24 7 As for the prose itself these piquant poetic puzzles and artful allusions, these polished arrangements of a bespectacled, chain smoking, Gallic sphinx I trust they have lost none of their Gordian charm to the abrasions of time.

  2. says:

    The Society of the SpectacleReview in English below Debord, , , 67 68 , , 98 08 .I m not sure to what extend this particular greek translation is responsible of the difficulty of Debord s text, but it s certainly a demanding read that takes all the focus and devotion one can give it Yet, behind the writing style s excessive formality, lies a gospel which was published in 67 and inspired the French May of 68 A work that, today, seems to be apt than ever The question is why it never inspired a May of 98 or one of 08 and how many Mays shall pass before this society of the spectacle collapses on its own dead corpse.Multiple readings are necessary.

  3. says:

    Re read this bad boy for research purposes The spectacle is a concept that s very swanky to talk about in dinner parties like George Orwell s 1984, but it is often simplified and, ironically enough, objectified by its debaters Everybody acknowledge we live in the society of spectacle, but either don t believe its rules apply to them or adopt a defeatist attitude towards it.What is the spectacle, then Debord has a great way of summarizing it the colonization of human life by commodities It s people arguing over iPhones vs Androids People crafting their identity around fictional characters ahem Tyler Durden ahem and shunning their relationship to their real environment It s people thinking hard work alone will lead them anywhere they want because they ve been told by people who haven t necessarily worked harder than them in order to become successful and who are very self conscious about protecting the social order they prosper in You get the gist We live in a neoliberalism economy where the most important think we can do is buy, so the best way we can turn the system around it by starting to think critically about your own consumerism It s 2017 Let s make Guy Debord cool again.

  4. says:

    I gave this Guy a chance.In any expository writing, particularly when persuasion is the goal, the writing should be as clear as possible to reach the widest audience.This essay is laid out in numbered statements Some are only a sentence long, others may run a page or two, but all are written in a style that tells me the author is concerned with his style than the content Perhaps this is the thing to do in intellectual circles, where stylish profundity that requires effort to decode is valued.See if you can figure out what the following means This is statement number 56 The spectacle, like modern society itself, is at once united and divided The unity of each is based on violent divisions But when the contradiction emerges in the spectacle, it is itself contradicted by a reversal of its meaning the division it presents is unitary, while the unity itself is divided Say what These are not the words of someone who is writing to the masses, the very masses that he is out support and enlighten Debord is writing for the intellectual 1% of which he is a member.It s not that he has nothing meaningful to say If I can get anything out of what I have read, he believes in much of the socialist communist bedrock that people are alienated from the work they do and that we live in a word of products paraded before our eyes which induce us to spend our labor maintaining the system that produces them Therefor, humanity supports a system, we do not have a system that supports our humanity The goal is to keep us wanting and buying, while not paying attention to the fact that we are deluded.I made it a third of the way through before looking on the shelf for another book to read I enjoy intellectual challenge, but I appreciate clarity above all There are many ideas that require mental effort to understand, that even the most lucid prose is hard pressed to convey, but what Debord is taking on is not one of those ideas To expect change, which I believe he does, is idle if you can t get people to understand the points you are trying to make to alert them to their plight So this book is an unintentional tragedy having nothing to do with the subject.You will find that here and there one of Debord s numbered statements will ring perfectly true and make its point, but this is so rare that it isn t worth the effort to plow through all the rest.One star for a book that commits suicide.PS there is a possibility that the translator mangled the translation from French to English, but that s a stretch.

  5. says:

    I read Society of the Spectacle way back in college when one is young and naive, and you re supposed to care about heady, outdated French philosophy that is utterly disconnected from the real But now that I m older and I have a world of experience to draw from, I m fairly certain it wouldn t resonate as it once did To wit, the so called radical situationist ethic is now a totally mainstream, mass media commodity in and of itself Beijing hosts pillow fight flash mobs in Tian anmen square, orchestrated with consumer electronics on high speed internet connections the next day, everyone goes about their business as usual.My beef with Debord and his ilk Hakim Bey, for instance is twofold their message is hyperbolic, poorly articulated, loaded with cyclical logic, and often imbued with the sexy but none the less empty rhetoric of retro romaticism notice, as Steev has, the thin nature of their masterpieces this is no accident or coincidence and, of course, they espouse a remote worldview that is tremendously arrogant and at least as fantastic and absurd as that with which they claim to despise about the human condition.Case in point, Debord s regressive contention that The spectacle was born from the world s loss of the unity, and the immense expansion of the modern spectacle reveals the enormity of this loss The abstractifying of all individual labor and the general abstractness of what is produced are perfectly reflected in the spectacle, whose manner of being concrete is precisely abstraction Putting aside for a moment the meta mind fuck jibber jabber of the author s writing not to mention the rich irony of a book itself a kind of spectacle that s only about 600 year old littered with such sentences that so expertly illustrate how the spectacle s manner of being concrete is precisely abstraction it s pretty clear that Debord laments the development of our species and longs for a return to some supposedly glorious golden era when everything and everybody was awash in unity Not sure how far back he wants to go, but given his frustrations with the spectacle s representation of the real, the charming paintings of the 18,000 year old Caves of Lascaux in the lands of his own native France clearly isn t far enough Maybe the dawn of agriculture The big bang When, prey tell, were we whole, Mr Debord I recommend this book to folks if only to become aware of this particular subset of intellectual sophistry But please don t take it to heart If you really want to revel in photos of your kid, by all means, enjoy your spectacular abstractifying I won t tell the smug intelligentsia if you won t

  6. says:

    This book is very difficult to read for several reasons It is a very direct translation from the original French text The Situations had developed their own vocabulary to describe what were then new and unidentified sociological phenomena we now have a different lexicon to describe this widely acknowledged phenomena today Debord, in this book, practices what he preached with the Situationists in his use of detournment the reuse of elements of well known media to create a new work with a different message But in this case, the well known works are the writings of Hegel and Marx The book may be completely meaningless without this backdrop.That said, the ideas within are also very rewarding.I have studied the Situationists from an art historical perspective My interest therefore lies primarily in Debord s writing about how images mass media literally mediate our personal relationships and our fundamental understanding of reality to pernicious effect Or, accurately, he explores the contingencies of this phenomenon He actually spends no time explaining the process of how this alienation occurs ground already tread by Marx , but explores the consequences with astonishing discipline extrapolating and extending Marx and Hegel s contributions in an attempt to understand the entirety of the mental environment produced by the confluence of advanced capitalism, mass media, and govmnt complacency If you have an extraordinary amount of patience, an interest in Marx s concepts of alienation, and or an interest in culture jamming, Adbusters or any other modern interpretation of Situationist ideas , this book is for you

  7. says:

    It only took 154 pages to change our world Guy Debord s manifesto book length essay that is truly a masterpiece of political writing that borders on the poetic It is also a crystal clear view how culture is formed in the 20th and of course the 21st century The theater is built in front us and we are lead to believe that we actually participate in its adventure As Johnny Rotten said at the last Sex Pistols concert in the late 70 s Have you ever felt the feeling that you have been had Well, something of that effect Nevertheless the show goes on and on It s wise to realize that it s a show and nothing else.

  8. says:

    Zitti tutti, va in scena il Potere Non c dialogo Non c scelta Gli individui sono testimoni passivi, ammirano le immagini, scelte dal potere, che sostituiscono la realt Il pubblico guarda, non agisce e non reagisce Reale e virtuale si confondono, perdono identit Si assiste cos alla rimozione di ogni verit vissuta sotto la presenza reale della falsit assicurata dall organizzazione dell apparenza vero ci che il potere mostra Il resto impostura Il reale perde consistenza, annullato lo stesso accade all individuo, alle sue necessit e ai suoi desideri annientati per trasformare l io in mero consumatore.In questo modo il potere manipola Continuo rinnovamento tecnologico fusione economico statale segreto generalizzato falso indiscutibile eterno presente.La societ dello spettacolo schiaccia, imprigiona e domina l individuo, oramai isolato, in una societ che s fatta, essa stessa, spettacolo La coscienza spettatrice, prigioniera di un universo appiattito, limitato dallo schermo dello spettacolo, dietro il quale la sua vita stata deportata, non conosce pi se non gli interlocutori fittizi che la intrattengono unilateralmente con la loro merce e con la politica della loro merce Lo spettacolo, in tutta la sua estensione, il suo segno dello specchio Qui si mette in scena la falsa via d uscita di un autismo generalizzato.Viviamo in una societ dove tutto merce, spettatore compreso Dall essere all apparire Questa l evoluzione dell individuo nella societ dello spettacolo Non guardiamo pi le cose, ma la rappresentazione delle stesse Non siamo altro che consumatori d illusioni.Guy Debord scrisse La societ dello Spettacolo nel 1967 Profetico, o acuto osservatore Una critica aspra rivolta alla societ capitalistica e alla sua cultura Non si pu evitare, leggendolo, di fare un parallelo con la societ attuale E sorge una domanda ancora possibile un cambiamento

  9. says:

    Spectacle is the image society creates in order to contemplate itself and legitimate its existence When the abstraction is made real by the dissolution of reality, what we have is a Society of the Spectacle, where images are no longer the product but the producer of their own market In this beautifully written essay, poetic and conceptually rigorous at a time, French theorist Guy Debord demonstrates how and why economy has autonomously generated a dimension parallel to reality the Spectacle in order to establish a new order of things which is totally, absolutely and mercilessly self referential The foundation of every society is the result of an arbitrary act one of its parts takes control over the rest and re makes the world in its own image Any sort of tribal, theocratic, feudal, political dimension in the history of our civilisation has indeed shaped reality according to its peculiar needs and aims, by means of a system of thought that could justify its permanence in time.Scarcity and vulnerability made individualism hardly conceivable anyway, and forming some kind of community was not an option economy was based on necessity and wasn t supposed to satisfy any need but pure survival What basically kept humanity together was the shortage of nearly everything, as well as the difficulty to get hold of the little available It took two industrial revolutions and their intellectual premises of laissez faire and Positivism for the masses to know what superfluous means and what the superfluous is like In the 19th century economy escaped the rules of society by flooding it with an unprecedented flow of goods and an even unprecedented sense of their availability One century later, it was no longer a matter of creating a market to satisfy needs the real task was creating new needs in order to satisfy the market.Thus the society of the spectacle was born of unnecessary abundance The creation of artificial needs requires a distorted perception of inherent threshold values otherwise, Debord says, we wouldn t be the well oiled cogs we re expected to be in the machinery of the system.The list of our natural needs is indeed quite short only a few biological functions and a couple of psychophysical drives to be satisfied when necessary, such as sex and sociality As a matter of fact, it doesn t take much for a human being to survive.Modern society can t afford to accept the concept of strictly necessary though, not after its very existence became anachronistic and even threatening to a world ruled by the market a world that needs buyers and consumers in order to survive Buying only what we really need or genuinely like has something disquieting about it It reeks of stinginess and misery it makes us uncomfortable That s why we buy food than we can reasonably consume, clothes we never wear, cars we can t afford and technology we hardly ever use because we re trained to do so and to feel like shit if we don t What Debord clearly points out is indeed the fake sense of freedom in our choices, the great lie presiding over our lives as consumers a surrogate freedom that was bestowed upon us as yet another commodity Even our dirtiest excesses are fed their daily fix of filth by the market as long as our kinks imply some sort of purchase, we ll always find an industry willing to satisfy them In fact we believe this to be an era of total liberation, whereas it s merely a time of limitless transactions orchestrated by les machines de la consommation permise , the machines of permitted consumption.One must certainly take into account the author s Marxist tendencies when it comes to his analysis of our social structures and their inner dynamics nevertheless, his most objective vision is precisely the critic of Marxism and its ideological failures Forget all leftist rhetoric, apology and agiography this book deals with reality, not utopia Debord wrote this essay in 1967, when the world was divided into the spheres of influence of Uncle Sam s Capitalism and post Stalinist Communism Although the imminent ruin of the latter was already obvious to any observer, the author focuses on an aspect that was and still is generally overlooked by most thinkers the defeat of the workers on both sides of the barricade, due to the same deliberately induced alienation What the workers still lack after two centuries of struggles and revolts is neither the will nor the chance to accomplish their revolution, but a reason to Why bother After all, in the Society of the Spectacle one is supposed to be a spectator.Till the day one can t afford the ticket any see also Emmanuel Goldstein, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism , in G Orwell s 1984.

  10. says:

    9 in a world that really has been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood.20 the absolute denial of life, in the shape of a fallacious paradise, is no longer projected onto the heavens, but finds its place instead within material life itself the spectacle is hence a technological version of the exiling of human powers in a world beyond and the perfection of separation within human beings.67 a use of the commodity arises that is sufficient unto itself what this means for the consumer is an outpouring of religious zeal in honor of the commodity s sovereign freedom waves of enthusiasm for particular products, fueled and boosted by the communications media, are propagated with lightning speed a film sparks a fashion craze, or a magazine launches a chain of clubs that in turn spins off a line of products the sheer fad item perfectly expresses the fact that, as the mass of commodities becomes and absurd, absurdity becomes a commodity in its own right188 when a newly independent art paints its world in brilliant colors, then a moment of life has grown old by art s brilliant colors it cannot be rejuvenated but only recalled to mind the greatness of art makes its appearance only as dusk begins to fall over life.

  11. says:

    THE book about how the technological spectacle consumes us and gives us A.D.D Excellent to accompany Manufacturing Consent and its analysis of information control The thing is Chomsky wouldn t recommend it Many of us are well aware of Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman and the Propaganda Model presented in Manufacturing Consent, of how the media is pure propaganda But the idea of spectacle being something part of our daily lives, not just in the media, of our consumer society as one of consuming spectacles virtually everywhere, is under studied, under talked about and relevant than ever Guy Debord relates it all to technology, without bowing to a weak primitivist stance He helps us realize that technology controls virtually everything now He was prescient Think mobile phones, internet, Blackberries, Facebook, Twitter, clictivism, Google, if you still that it s far fetched.The intellectual technologies and practices Google has pioneered promote the speedy, superficial skimming of information and discourage any deep, prolonged engagement with a single argument, idea, or narrative Our Goal, says Irene Au, it to get users in and out really quickly All our design decisions are based on that strategy Google s profits are tied directly to the velocity of people s information intake The faster we surf across the surface of the Web the links we click and pages we view the opportunities Google gains to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements It s advertising system, over, is explicitly designed to figure out which messages are most likely to grab our attention and then to place those messages in our field of view Every click we make on the Web marks a break in our concentration, a bottom up disruption of our attention and it s in Google s economic interest to make sure we click as often as possible In layman s terms, A.D.D is rampant The main criticism of this book is it is most definitely not in layman s terms We need to be concerned, we need to reclaim the cyber commons and we need to read, slowly, and surely This book is important in its understanding of how technology spectacle when controlled by capital alienates, marginalizes, dissipates commonality, community Google or capitalism does not intend to empower the individual with technology, they intened to make money A consumer oriented, historically amnesiac, attention deficit, and mobility addicted society of a never ending cycle of spectacle is what they need This kind of book is what some people think we need The things is most people can t read this So it also kinda defeats the purpose.Recommended related readings Revolution of Everyday Life.

  12. says:

    Just as Fight Club can be described as Twilight for boys, Society of the Spectacle can be described as Fight Club for young adults who have renounced their membership of Anonymous in order to focus on their careers as Social Justice Warriors Interesting for the historical context, but nothing really A redundant midway point between Marx and Baudrillard, in which the former s ideas are obfuscated for the purposes of pretension Though I imagine translation is partly to blame for that Its proponents would probably argue I m not only made deluded by false consciousness but also missing the point I understand the ultimately facile point , but it makes little impact.Its historical observations are supposedly its most valuable, but they remain largely unsubstantiated, lacking academic practice Maybe that s also the point If it was published today one could imagine it being condemned to a fate of neglect on the archives of a Marxist Wordpress blog Though of course it is unfair to judge the work with the prejudices of time, and it remains an interesting source for a Marxist critique of Leninism from just before the Prague Spring and the subsequent Warsaw Pact invasion Debord s awkward poetry might appeal to insecure amateur intellectuals of the Marxist persuasion, who prefer the sentiments to the science of Marx s work But like most in its genre, due to the jargon it relies on as a crutch of legitimacy, it s pointless to read from a theoretical perspective if you don t have academic experience with Marxism or metaphysics, and mostly pointless to read if you do.

  13. says:

    42The spectacle is the moment when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life Not only is the relation to the commodity visible but it is all one sees the world one sees is its world Modern economic production extends its dictatorship extensively and intensively In the least industrialized places, its reign is already attested by a few star commodities and by the imperialist domination imposed by regions which are ahead in the development of productivity In the advanced regions, social space is invaded by a continuous superimposition of geological layers of commodities At this point in the second industrial revolution, alienated consumption becomes for the masses a duty supplementary to alienated production It is all the sold labor of a society which globally becomes the total commodity for which the cycle must be continued For this to be done, the total commodity has to return as a fragment to the fragmented individual, absolutely separated from the productive forces operating as a whole Thus it is here that the specialized science of domination must in turn specialize it fragments itself into sociology, psychotechnics, cybernetics, semiology, etc., watching over the self regulation of every level of the process 43Whereas in the primitive phase of capitalist accumulation, political economy sees in the proletarian only the worker who must receive the minimum indispensable for the conservation of his labor power, without ever seeing him in his leisure and humanity, these ideas of the ruling class are reversed as soon as the production of commodities reaches a level of abundance which requires a surplus of collaboration from the worker This worker, suddenly redeemed from the total contempt which is clearly shown him by all the varieties of organization and supervision of production, finds himself every day, outside of production and in the guise of a consumer, seemingly treated as an adult, with zealous politeness At this point the humanism of the commodity takes charge of the worker s leisure and humanity, simply because now political economy can and must dominate these spheres as political economy Thus the perfected denial of man has taken charge of the totality of human existence 60The celebrity, the spectacular representation of a living human being, embodies this banality by embodying the image of a possible role Being a star means specializing in the seemingly lived the star is the object of identification with the shallow seeming life that has to compensate for the fragmented productive specializations which are actually lived Celebrities exist to act out various styles of living and viewing society unfettered, free to express themselves globally They embody the inaccessible result of social labor by dramatizing its by products magically projected above it as its goal power and vacations, decision and consumption, which are the beginning and end of an undiscussed process In one case state power personalizes itself as a pseudo star in another a star of consumption gets elected as a pseudo power over the lived But just as the activities of the star are not really global, they are not really varied 69In the image of the society happily unified by consumption, real division is only suspended until the next non accomplishment in consumption Every single product represents the hope for a dazzling shortcut to the promised land of total consumption and is ceremoniously presented as the decisive entity But as with the diffusion of seemingly aristocratic first names carried by almost all individuals of the same age, the objects which promise unique powers can be recommended to the devotion of the masses only if they re produced in quantities large enough for mass consumption A product acquires prestige when it is placed at the center of social life as the revealed mystery of the ultimate goal of production But the object which was prestigious in the spectacle becomes vulgar as soon as it is taken home by its consumer and by all its other consumers It reveals its essential poverty which naturally comes to it from the misery of its production too late But by then another object already carries the justification of the system and demands to be acknowledged 109Between the two world wars, the revolutionary workers movement was annihilated by the joint action of the Stalinist bureaucracy and of fascist totalitarianism which had borrowed its form of organization from the totalitarian party tried out in Russia Fascism was an extremist defense of the bourgeois economy threatened by crisis and by proletarian subversion Fascism is a state of siege in capitalist society, by means of which this society saves itself and gives itself stop gap rationalization by making the State intervene massively in its management But this rationalization is itself burdened by the immense irrationality of its means Although fascism rallies to the defense of the main points of bourgeois ideology which has become conservative the family, property, the moral order, the nation , reuniting the petty bourgeoisie and the unemployed routed by crisis or deceived by the impotence of socialist revolution, it is not itself fundamentally ideological It presents itself as it is a violent resurrection of myth which demands participation in a community defined by archaic pseudo values race, blood, the leader Fascism is technically equipped archaism Its decomposed ersatz of myth is revived in the spectacular context of the most modern means of conditioning and illusion Thus it is one of the factors in the formation of the modern spectacle, and its role in the destruction of the old workers movement makes it one of the fundamental forces of present day society However, since fascism is also the most costly form of preserving the capitalist order, it usually had to leave the front of the stage to the great roles played by the capitalist States it is eliminated by stronger and rational forms of the same order 189The historical time which invades art expressed itself first of all in the sphere of art itself, starting with the baroque Baroque is the art of a world which has lost its center the last mythical order, in the cosmos and in terrestrial government, accepted by the Middle Ages the unity of Christianity and the phantom of an Empire has fallen The art of the change must carry within itself the ephemeral principle it discovers in the world It chose, said Eugenio d Ors, life against eternity Theater and the festival, the theatrical festival, are the outstanding achievements of the baroque where every specific artistic expression becomes meaningful only with reference to the setting of a constructed place, a construction which is its own center of unification this center is the passage, which is inscribed as a threatened equilibrium in the dynamic disorder of everything The somewhat excessive importance given to the concept of the baroque in the contemporary discussion of esthetics is an expression of the awareness that artistic classicism is impossible for three centuries the attempts to realize a normative classicism or neoclassicism were no than brief artificial constructions speaking the external language of the State, the absolute monarchy, or the revolutionary bourgeoisie in Roman clothes What followed the general path of the baroque, from romanticism to cubism, was ultimately an ever individualized art of negation perpetually renewing itself to the point of the fragmentation and complete negation of the artistic sphere The disappearance of historical art, which was linked to the internal communication of an elite and had its semi independent social basis in the partly playful conditions still lived by the last aristocracies, also expresses the fact that capitalism possesses the first class power which admits itself stripped of any ontological quality, a power which, rooted in the simple management of the economy, is equally the loss of all human mastery The baroque, artistic creation s long lost unity, is in some way rediscovered in the current consumption of the totality of past art When all past art is recognized and sought historically and retrospectively constituted into a world art, it is relativized into a global disorder which in turn constitutes a baroque edifice on a higher level, an edifice in which the very production of baroque art merges with all its revivals The arts of all civilizations and all epochs can be known and accepted together for the first time Once this collection of souvenirs of art history becomes possible, it is also the end of the world of art In this age of museums, when artistic communication can no longer exist, all the former moments of art can be admitted equally, because they no longer suffer from the loss of their specific conditions of communication in the current general loss of the conditions of communication.

  14. says:

    A strange work of social criticism The cover is deceptive this is not a book about mass media or audience behaviors It is like a history of socialist ideas the author spends most of his time in this little volume analyzing subtle strands of Marxist thought The format is also odd the author writes in a diary style, like a Wittgenstein or a Lichtenburg It is not a continuous narrative, but rather a collection of tiny notes organized around the theme of consumerism and consciousness This can be frustrating choppy reading but I must also say that the eloquence of the writing is at a very high level Exquisite verbosity on display, all the while explaining some very thorny economic principles deBord is interested in the array of forces which shape and respond to society s needs this book is just a starting point for all questions of modernism vs history, buyers vs sellers, masters vs slaves, speculators vs marginalized, commodities vs compradors.

  15. says:

    In theory I love this book, in it s actual form with words and a seeming intentional difficulty ya know to avoid being co opted by the spectacle of the totality of consumerist society I m only lukewarm about it Give me Adorno any day over this.

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