McKenzie Wark

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.


  • Debord 20 Years Later

    Twenty years ago, on 30 November 1994, Guy Debord put his affairs in order and shot himself through the heart, ending one of the most brilliant and original careers in modern European history. In his sixty-three years he had co-founded the Situationist International, the last of the historic avant-gardes. He had written some enduring revolutionary texts, including his best known, The Society of the Spectacle. And he had made several remarkable avant-garde films. For someone who managed to live up to his early slogan “Never Work!” he was remarkably busy.

    He is now something of a canonical figure in literature, cinema and the art world. It has become commonplace to refer to the media sphere as a spectacle, and the cut and mix practices of today’s aesthetics appeals to the apparently similar Situationist practice of détournement for legitimation. He has been, as he might say, recuperated back in to spectacular commodity production. Such is the fate of all avant-gardes.

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  • Verso Beach Reads

    Not sure which radical books to bring with you to the beach this summer? We've come up with an eclectic mix of surrealist fiction, anti-heroic memoir, dazzling investigative reporting, and, as always, revolutionary reads for your time in the sun. Like John Grisham, but not actually bad for your soul, they'll keep you engrossed, entertained, and enlightened til the fall.

    Plus, all books on this list will be 50% off on our website for this week (June 23-30), with free shipping, as usual, and free ebook where available (but no e-readers in the pool plz).

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  • 'The Spectacle Today'—McKenzie Wark on Expanding Mind

    McKenzie Wark, author of The Spectacle of Disintegration, made a recent radio appearance on Expanding Mind with Erik Davis. Wark and Davis waxed philosophical on the Situationist International, the radical possibilities of play and gaming, and the anxiety and boredom that accompany modernity. Wark reflected:  

    "In some ways, the great danger for this commodified universe is our boredom with it ... There is this sort of dialectic that you could tease out, that even in this overdeveloped late-capitalist world, that boredom was still this kind of critical energy that you could work on and try to theorize and then act on, to find other kinds of belonging, other kinds of desire, other kinds of life."

    Visit Progressive Radio Network to listen to the interview in full.