A vizKult panel discussion held In conjunction with The 5th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair
Saturday April 9th, 2011
Judson Memorial Church (balcony)
55 Washington Square South
New York City, NY
Panelist include Ethan Spigland, Adeola Enigbokan, Dillon de Give, Blake Morris, The Walk Study Group, Wilfried Hou Je Bek. Moderated by Antonio Serna .
"The crisis of urbanism is worsening. The construction of neighborhoods, old and new, is obviously at variance with established modes of behavior, and all the more so with the new ways of life we seek. As a result, we are surrounded by a dull and sterile environment."
"In old neighborhoods, the streets have degenerated into highways, and the leisure is commercialized and adulterated by tourism. Social relations there become impossible. Newly built neighborhoods have only two themes, which govern everything: traffic circulation and household comfort. They are the meager expressions of bourgeois happiness and lack any concern for play" - Constant Nieuwenhuis, International situationiste 3 (December 1959) pp. 37-40
In the late 50s up until about the end of the 60s a group of rebels and artists known as the Lettrist/Situationist International (LI/SI) made a desperate attempt to re-imagine the city so that its inhabitants could break free from the bleak urban routine of work and consumption. During this period numerous strategies were developed under the name of "Unitary Urbanism." This panel reflects on the historical importance of these strategies in order to critically examine how they relate to their own work, and the possible uses and subversive potential of these practices today.
Ethan Spigland received an M.F.A. from the Graduate Film Program at New York University, and a maitrise from the University of Paris VIII under the supervision of Jean-Francois Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. He has made numerous films and media works including: Luminosity Porosity, based on the work of architect Steven Holl, Elevator Moods, featured in the Sundance Film Festival, and The Strange Case of Balthazar Hyppolite, which won the Gold Medal in the Student Academy Awards. He has collaborated with Malcolm McLaren on numerous projects including the video series, Shallow. He is an Associate Professor of Humanities & Media Studies at Pratt Institute, where he teaches a class on the Situationists.
Adeola Enigbokan. Artist, researcher, writer and teacher based in New York City. Her work is about the experience of living in cities today. Her work has been presented in several diverse venues: at the ConfluxCity Festival, Anthology Film Archive in New York, The Royal Institute for British Architects, London and the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. She teaches courses in Urban Studies, Media Studies, Sociology and Anthropology at several universities in New York City. Currently she is completing a doctorate in Environmental Psychology at the City University of New York.
Dillon de Give is an artist whose work responds to specific human institutions and incidents of the natural world. His work has been shown at Catch!, Fritz Haeg’s Dome Colony X at X-Initiative, chashama, the Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, and Transmodern Festival Baltimore. He started laH, an annual walking project based on Hal, the Central Park coyote, which traces green space through New York City and its suburbs. Currently an MFA candidate in Portland State University's Low Res Art and Social Practice program. Website: www.implausibot.com
Blake Morris uses walking as a core way to engage ideas and space, and also to create community. His last project was a yearlong exploration of the public works of Robert Moses, called The [Robert Moses] Walk Project, which resulted in over 50 walks throughout the NYC area. He also created the [untitled] Walk Project, and is working on Walking up an Appetite, an exploration of walking, food and technology. Currently his work can be seen at the Superfront gallery in LA, as part of Detroit: A Brooklyn Case Study.
The Walk Study Group is New York City walking group formed by Blake Morris and Dillon De Give. Each week case studies of strategic walking practice and theory in art, politics, ecology, and philosophy, are combined with specific short walks. The course will result in an understanding both theoretical and practical and culminates with a group walk constructed by the class for the public. Website: www.implausibot.com/walkstudy
William Hou Je Bek Wilfried is a 'culture hacker' who develops generative psychogeography. Inspired by concepts of drift (dérive) from Romanticism and, later, the Situationists around Guy Debord, Wilfried uses algorithmic routes to explore a city in non-intuitive ways. Hou Je Bek organizes dérives, where people walk through a city by taking computer code as a guideline, using the body as a means to perform software. Website: cryptoforest.blogspot.com
Antonio Serna is an artist living and working in New York. With art as a tool, he is constantly comparing and contrasting the human construct of progress with the animal instinct of survival. The results of which have been exhibited in New York, Spain, Mexico, Amsterdam, and Texas. Antonio has also taught and lectured at Parsons School of Design, St. Johns University, and at Brooklyn College as a teaching fellow. Outside of his studio, Antonio Serna enjoys rummaging through the social anthropology of art and visual culture. Website: http://www.antonioserna.com
October issue 79: Guy Debord and the Internationale situationniste (pdf 7.8 mb)
A Special Issue. Guest editor, Thomas F McDonough. Winter 1997
table of contents:
Rereading Debord, Rereading the Situationists - Thomas F. McDonough
Why Art Can't Kill the Situationist International - T.J. Clark and Donald Nicholson-Smith
AsgerJorn's Avant-Garde Archives - Claire Gilman
Angels of Purity - Vincent Kaufmann
Lefebvre on the Situationists: An Interview - Kristin Ross (1983)
Situationist Texts on Visual Culture and Urbanism: A Selection:
Guy Debord - One More Try If You Want to Be Situationists (The S.I. in and against Decomposition)
Guy Debord - Theses on the Cultural Revolution
Michèl Bernstein - In Praise of Pinot-Gallizio
Constant Nieuwenhuis - Extracts from Letters to the Situationist International
Editorial Notes: Absence and Its Costumers
Editorial Notes: The Sense of Decay in Art
Constant Nieuwenhuis - A Different City for a Different Life
Editorial Notes: Critique of Urbanism
Editorial Notes: Once Again, on Decomposition
Raoul Vaneigem - Comments Against Urbanism
Editorial Notes: The Avant-Garde of Presence
Théo Frey - Perspectives for a Generation
In Conversation Raoul Vaneigem - Hans Ulrich Obrist (pdf 1.1mb)
e-flux article 62, 2009
Unitary Urbanism at the End of the 50s (pdf)
Internationale Situationniste #3 (December 1959)
from websites: SI online & Not Bored
About vizKlut: This panel is part of vizKult, a loose band of artist and writers exploring the 'cult of vision'. This group explores the ways in which the visual operates in our society and the mechanism which manufacture, shape, and control the world around us. In this sense VizKult's emphasis is on the process rather than the products of our contemporary visual condition. http://www.vizkult.org
Additionally, in conjunction with the 5th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair, vizKult is presenting DISCRETE POWER, a group exhibition on display during the book fair weekend. Opening reception April 9th, from 6-8pm on the Judson Church balcony. For more info visit: vizkult.org and/or anarchistbookfair.net