McKenzie Wark presents his latest book The Spectacle of Disintegration

McKenzie Wark presents his latest book The Spectacle of Disintegration

Reason #732 to Learn How to Speak French: The Guy Debord Cineaste streams

BOOK A PLACE for May 25th
This event has limited availability, to book a place please contact: [email protected]

McKenzie Wark, author of The Beach Beneath the Street, will give a talk at Furtherfield Gallery (London) about his latest book The Spectacle of Disintegration - Situationist Passages Out of the 20th Century.

Writer and academic Dr Richard Barbrook will give a short introduction to Wark's work and to Situationism and its relevance to contemporary culture.

Following his acclaimed history of the SI, The Beach Beneath the Street, McKenzie Wark continues the story after the failures of May 1968. Charting its post-sixties legacy and putting the late work of the Situationists in a broader, deeper context, Wark locates their contemporary relevance, as digital culture opens up new possibilities of experience and new terrains of struggle.

The Spectacle of Disintegration takes the reader through Guy Debord’s late films and his surprising work as a game designer, the political aesthetics of former Situationist T.J. Clark, the Fourierist utopia of Raoul Vaneigem, René Viénet’s earthy situationist cinema, Gianfranco Sanguinetti’s pranking of the Italian ruling class, and Alice Becker-Ho’s account of the anonymous language of the Romany.



Stunted Publicity

“If a rock falls on your head it does positive harm, but
shame, disgrace, reproaches and insults are damaging only in so far as
you’re conscious of them. If you’re not, you feel no hurt at all. What’s
the harm in the whole audience hissing [at] you if you clap [for]
yourself? And Folly alone makes this possible.” Erasmus, Praise of

“To mark the launch of McKenzie Wark’s new book The Spectacle of
Disintegration, Verso Books have offered Rhizome readers in the UK a
chance to win a 3D printed Guy Debord action figure.” (, 17
May 2013)

It seems to us that a response is necessary to this impudent and
silly provocation. Silence on the part of people like us – who have
spent many years and a great deal of effort trying to understand, enrich
and act in accordance with what remains vital and relevant in the
situationist critique of spectacular society – would only allow those
unfamiliar with, newly informed of or hostile to the legacy of Guy
Debord and the other members of the Situationist International to think
that impudent and silly provocateurs such as McKenzie Wark are the only
ones who are interested in this legacy today.

But what kind of response is called for in this instance? Let’s look
at two of them: one might respond seriously, and denounce it sincerely
and violently; or one might respond facetiously, and pretend not to be
outraged by it (one might even pretend to find it amusing). There are
advantages to both approaches: the first would have the merit of showing
that not everyone in this world is a silly twat who thinks that life is
but a joke; while the second would have the merit of being easier on the
writer (there are so many outrages these days and it can be hard to be
outraged by all of them all the time). And of course there are
disadvantages to each of these approaches: the first one carries the
risks of being dismissed as evidence that one doesn’t “have a sense of
humor” or that one sees oneself as the exclusive holder of the “the
truth” about Debord and the situs, and thus a kind of authoritarian;
while the second one might very well encourage the perpetration of
other, even more impudent and silly provocations.

So we have chosen a response that allows us to both laugh and tell
the truth about this stunted publicity for Wark’s newest book. The
class-consciousness of our era has made sufficient progress to demand,
using its own means, an accounting from the pseudo-specialists of its
history who continue to eke out a living by exploiting its

19 May 2013

Brendan Boehning (Danish Society for Comparative Vandalism, Denmark) Bill
Brown (NOT
BORED! USA) Anthony Hayes (Notes From the Sinister Quarter, Australia) Alastair
Hemmens (Marblepunk
, England) Grant McDonagh (Ultrazine, New


In the interests of an open public discussion, I am submitting this link, which is a statement signed by five and soon to be six different writers and bloggers who think that M. Wark's "Debord action figure" is a silly provocation.

I can't imagine how you would justify suppressing such an attempt an honest, open discussion.

, Rob Myers

We proffer this for the perusal of the ostentatiously perplexed soi disant collectivities labouring (sic) under the collusion that keeping Debord unopened-in-box serves anywhere but adland -

We are greatly enjoying talking about ourselves in this way and are considering becoming king of Poland.