As I mentioned in class, you’ll understand the Guy Debord reading a lot better by reading ‘around’ it a little. Here are two texts produced by the Situationists that might help. We’ll come back to them later in the subject, but have a look now if you’re interested. Think about the context in which this kind of critique emerged, and how it might apply to society some 50 years on.

Formulary for a New Urbanism

October 1953 printed in Internationale Situationniste #1


Situationist Manifesto

17 May 1960 reprinted in Internationale Situationniste #4 (June 1960)

I can also point you towards some detailed commentary on ‘The Society of the Spectacle‘ by Bureau of Public Secrets (Ken Knabb – who has translated Debord), explaining the significance and sources of specific phrases and terminology used. Note the use of ‘détournement‘ here, (reusing, repurposing, turning upside down), as a strategy for writing, and as a means of confronting ‘the spectacle’.
*(Please COMMENT below to share any related resources you’ve found yourself)

And here is also a very comprehensive archive of Situationist material.



NOTE: Make sure you bring into class a copy (printed or digital) of ALL of the readings for this week (the 2 set texts for week 2 and the Lucy Kimball from Week 1) in order to participate in the class activities.