The Mobile City on The Situationists
gps locative situationists
What struck me was that locative media practitioners often refer back to the situationists as some kind of ancestors, as if they’re working in the same vein. The situationist love for traipsing about town is shared by locative artists who similarly enjoy taking computing ‘outside’, into ‘everyday life’. Just like the situationists we must reclaim the street, and this time we’ll use computers to do it!
But that, to me, seems to be where the similarities end. As alive-and-kicking situationist muse Jacqueline de Jong pointed out during the evening, the situationists wanted one thing above all else: to destroy and disrupt our cushy society. They were sick of it, vowing never to work a day in their lives. They probably would have laughed if they had seen that their ideas had been cherry-picked for ripe concepts. The derive, the detournement. All simple concepts that they purposefully packaged in complex and artistc jargon. And we fell for it.
So, we have two options. Either we stop pretending the situationists are our forefathers, or we actually do see them as our forefathers, and start using computing to disrupt instead of streamline society.
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