Everything Is Just Dandy!

How I Modeled Guy Debord’s Brain in Software

Alexander R. Galloway
ARG
2022-07-29
http://cultureandcommunication.org/galloway/how-i-modeled-guy-debords-brain-in-software

I was never a member of the cult of Debord. I had read Society of the Spectacle in college, and even watched a few of Guy Debord’s films on my own. I mostly associated Debord with a certain kind of downer avant-garde, all bile and bilge, albeit frequently fun and exhilarating. Later in 2011, now working as a teacher, I assigned Society of the Spectacle in a graduate seminar, mostly for old time’s sake. It bombed. Or maybe the lessons of the book had become so commonplace by then that many younger students didn’t see the point. Why call for a revolution of everyday life, when contemporary life is in constant chaotic rotation? Why call for a form of aesthetic hijacking, when much contemporary art—from memes to games to fine art—is sampled, riffed, and repeated endlessly? Had the work of Debord, that notorious French author and filmmaker and founding member of the Situationist International, finally run its course? Had Debord been done in because he won out?

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