McKenzie Wark's latest book The Spectacle of Disintegration is published today. Wark discusses the latter history of the Situationist International (SI) and the concept of disintegration in two interviews for Rhizome and the New Statesman.
Wark with Brendan Byrne at Rhizome:
One of the premises of The Spectacle of Disintegration is that there’s the myth of the overcoming of the spectacular form in the age of the Internet, but what it does is make it microscopic and distribute it throughout the entire media sphere, so we now have micro-spectacular relations rather than one big macro one. [...] there’s a sense that on one side there’s the outsourcing of the production of the thing, and on the other what I would call the insourcing of the production of the affect. It becomes everyone’s job, but no one is to expect to get paid for it anymore.
And with Juliet Jacques for the New Statesman:
[Debord] thinks a new form [of the spectacle] emerges, partly in response to the events of May 1968, particularly in France and Italy. The practices that are associated with Soviets, particularly the secret police apparatus, get incorporated into Western states. So I was interested in the trajectory of the spectacle after the collapse of the Soviet model, when the spectacle disintegrates and fragments, but doesn’t go away.
Visit Rhizomeand the New Statesman to read the interviews in full.
This Sunday, Wark will be joined by Jacqueline de Jong and founding member of the SI Michèle Bernstein at London's Southbank Centre - full information for this event can be found here.
Wark will also be talking Situationist Aesthetics at Goldsmiths on May 23, Digital Culture with Huw Lemmey at the ICA on May 24 and will be launching his book with Richard Barbrook at Furtherfield Gallery on May 25. Full event listings can be found here.
To launch Spectacle of Disintegration Wark has produced a series of limted edition 3D printed Guy Debord action figures. Check out the competition at Rhizome to win one. Wark again in Rhizome:
There is something that is really interesting about 3D printing, but it's a proprietary technology. On the one hand, it enables a certain kind of détournement, but on the other hand is already being recuperated before it's even on the market. I actually walked past MakerBot on my way here. Just down on Houston, there's a little showroom down there, and it kind of reminds me of the Apple 2 before the Mac. It's at that stage. So yeah I really recommend that one do what Debord did in that sense. He learned how to produce journals. He was really good at it. He was a good editor and production manager. The twelve issues of the Internationale Situationniste are really lovely handmade objects.