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Here’s the Situation(ist)

Ladies and gentlemen, the lovely Stephanie Murg.

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Situationism is dead! Long live Situationism! Discuss amongst yourselves on Wednesday evening, when Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture hosts “50 Years of Recuperation: What is Living and What is Dead in the Situationist International,” a lecture by McKenzie Wark, author of Gamer Theory and A Hacker’s Manifesto, among other discipline-transcending tomes.

You’ll recall that the revolutionary pranksters of the Situationist International (1957-1972) are to thank for seeding such concepts as psychogeography, unitary urbanism, and the society of the spectacle. But it wasn’t all jargon-stuffed manifestos, impassioned letter-writing, and avant-garde picnics. OK, it kind of was, but with the best of intentions: “the concrete construction of momentary ambiances of life and their transformation into a superior passional quality.” If only that looked better on a bumper sticker.

Sponsoring the lecture is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), so start thinking of a clever question that relates SOM’s Burj Dubai project to Situationist leader Constant’s New Babylon, which he described as “a camp for nomads on a planetary scale.”

Stephanie Murg

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