The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International

The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International

by McKenzie Wark

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Overview

Over fifty years after the Situationist International appeared, its legacy continues to inspire activists, artists and theorists around the world. Such a legend has accrued to this movement that the story of the SI now demands to be told in a contemporary voice capable of putting it into the context of twenty-first-century struggles.

McKenzie Wark delves into the Situationists’ unacknowledged diversity, revealing a world as rich in practice as it is in theory. Tracing the group’s development from the bohemian Paris of the ’50s to the explosive days of May ’68, Wark’s take on the Situationists is biographically and historically rich, presenting the group as an ensemble creation, rather than the brainchild and dominion of its most famous member, Guy Debord. Roaming through Europe and the lives of those who made up the movement – including Constant, Asger Jorn, Michèle Bernstein, Alex Trocchi and Jacqueline De Jong – Wark uncovers an international movement riven with conflicting passions.

Accessible to those who have only just discovered the Situationists and filled with new insights, The Beach Beneath the Street rereads the group’s history in the light of our contemporary experience of communications, architecture, and everyday life. The Situationists tried to escape the world of twentieth-century spectacle and failed in the attempt. Wark argues that they may still help us to escape the twenty-first century, while we still can.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781688380
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 982,510
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

McKenzie Wark is the author of A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International and The Beach Beneath the Street, among other books. He teaches at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Leaving the Twenty-First Century 1

1 Street Ethnography 7

2 No More Temples of the Sun 19

3 The Torrent of History 33

4 Extreme Aesthetics 45

5 A Provisional Micro-Society 61

6 Permanent Play 75

7 Tin Can Philosophy 83

8 The Thing of Things 93

9 Divided We Stand 109

10 An Athlete of Duration 125

11 New Babylon 135

12 The Beach Beneath the Street 147

Note 161

Index 191

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