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R. Vaneigen spins in his grave.
March 10, 2011 7:28 AM   Subscribe

The Situationist App. For the revolution of everyday life, or not?
posted by pianomover (47 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
UNDER THE STONES
THE RIVER
posted by The Whelk at 7:29 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


And though I know I don't need another damn app on my phone.....I cannot resist.
posted by Kitteh at 7:30 AM on March 10, 2011


Also I will be very disappointed if half the instructions aren't in hieroglyph
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 AM on March 10, 2011


The insignificant signified.
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:35 AM on March 10, 2011


I wish it were more about psychogeography, but you can't have everything.
posted by OmieWise at 7:37 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do not think that this is living without dead time, guys.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:42 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


iDebord
posted by theodolite at 7:42 AM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


On the morning of April 1st, upload a photo of your buddy (or arch nemesis) and submit "Slap me across the face" or "Give me a wedgie" or "Ask me if I am dressed this way on purpose".
posted by AceRock at 7:44 AM on March 10, 2011


It's too bad that'd only work of your buddy was carrying around your phone, Ace.
posted by flatluigi at 7:45 AM on March 10, 2011


*if
posted by flatluigi at 7:45 AM on March 10, 2011


aw crap
posted by AceRock at 7:46 AM on March 10, 2011


OR! you could follow him around to a) witness the hilarity and b)take care of the GPS thing.
posted by AceRock at 7:47 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


iDebord
The spectacle is the moment when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life. Not only is the relation to the commodity visible but it is all one sees: the world one sees is its world. Modern economic production extends its dictatorship extensively and intensively. In the least industrialized places, its reign is already attested by a few star commodities and by the imperialist domination imposed by regions which are ahead in the development of productivity. In the advanced regions, social space is invaded by a continuous superimposition of geological layers of commodities. At this point in the "second industrial revolution," alienated consumption becomes for the masses a duty supplementary to alienated production. It is all the sold labor of a society which globally becomes the total commodity for which the cycle must be continued. For this to be done, the total commodity has to return as a fragment to the fragmented individual, absolutely separated from the productive forces operating as a whole. Thus it is here that the specialized science of domination must in turn specialize: it fragments itself into sociology, psychotechnics, cybernetics, semiology, etc., watching over the self-regulation of every level of the process.
X Dig up Debord and convince him to kill himself again.
posted by ennui.bz at 7:47 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


This app comes across as the introvert's worst nightmare. For us, all we need is an app that puts "Leave Me Alone" on the screen with optional white noise generation to drown out all the extroverts within range.
posted by tommasz at 7:48 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


So is this the "moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life"?

And I can't help but think of Apple in light of this, "The fetishism of commodities reaches moments of fervent exaltation similar to the ecstasies of the convulsions and miracles of the old religious fetishism"
posted by knapah at 7:48 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


THIS is the moment? Not a few decades ago?
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I quoted it more to do with the irony of using an iPhone as a situationist tool... to assume you need an app to allow your "urban environment [to be] transfigured" and see everyone as "a potential encounter"... oh dear.

Oh, and moderating the possibilities is rather amusing as well.
posted by knapah at 7:56 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The revolution will not be televised...but they tell us it was tweeted...

Looks like fun. Situationist revolution, not so much. Nice idea, though. Like most computer wankery it will be mostly males, and not many, at that, who will go for this. That will take the fun out of it, don't you think?
posted by kozad at 7:57 AM on March 10, 2011


Vive la communication, à bas la télécommunication!
posted by knapah at 8:05 AM on March 10, 2011


It always reminds me of how I wished I could buy a nice silkscreen print of the Situationist poster that said "The boss needs you, you don't need the boss" to hang on my office wall to remind myself not to stress about stupid, stupid work problems (this is prior to my more recent career change), but realized it's sort of like the billion pictures of Che Guevara out there. Instead, I copied the image by hand onto the inner lid of a 20 piece McNugget box, pinned it up, and felt pretty pleased with myself. Fun is key in detournement, you see.

I think the proper version of this app would be to paint VIVEZ SANS TEMPS MORT on the face of your iPod in brilliant blue enamel and affix it to your front door with a single nail, centrally placed, but real revolutions are seldom as fun as glamorous revolutions.
posted by sonascope at 8:12 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: I wish it were more about psychogeography, but you can't have everything.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Revolution of Everyday Life: nothingness.org
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:19 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing I'm reminded of the most by this... thing... is that early, $999 app that didn't actually DO anything - you just got to say you had the most expensive app on your iPhone.

This is almost as useful as that was.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 8:24 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It looks to be invitation-based. You broadcast the situation you want to be in and others running the app get your notice.

T'would be more useful if you could just type in what you want to do, though I suppose that's what locational tweets are for.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:33 AM on March 10, 2011


Honestly, at this point I'll just be happy if I can VIVEZ SANS OISEAUX FÂCHÉS.
posted by theodolite at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Free play confined within the terrain of artistic dissolution is only the cooption of free play. In spring 1962 the press began reporting on the “happenings” produced by the some of the avant-garde artists of New York. The happening is a sort of spectacle pushed to the extreme state of dissolution, a vaguely dadaist-style improvisation of gestures performed by a gathering of people within a confined space. Drugs, alcohol and eroticism are often involved. The gestures of the “actors” strive toward a melange of poetry, painting, dance and jazz. This form of social encounter can be considered as an instance of the old artistic spectacle pushed to the extreme, a hash produced by throwing together all the old artistic leftovers; or as a too aesthetically encumbered attempt to renovate the ordinary surprise party or the classic orgy. In its naïve striving to “make something happen,” its absence of separate spectators and its desire to liven up (however feebly) the impoverished range of present human relations, the happening can even be considered as an attempt to construct a situation in isolation, on a foundation of poverty (material poverty, the poverty of encounters, the poverty inherited from the artistic spectacle, and the poverty of the “philosophy” that has to considerably “ideologize” the reality of these events). In contrast, the situations defined by the SI can be constructed only on a foundation of material and spiritual richness. This amounts to saying that the first ventures in constructing situations must be the work/play of the revolutionary avant-garde; people who are resigned in one way or another to political passivity, to metaphysical despair, or even to being subjected to an art of total noncreativity, are incapable of participating in them.
posted by nasreddin at 8:40 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


ASK HOME DEPOT SALES STAFF
AND ANNA ON IKEA'S WEBSITE
FOR GROUNDWORK RE: THE HACIENDA
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:05 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love Benrik's "Change Your Life" series...(which I guess are Diaries in the UK....)
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 9:17 AM on March 10, 2011


Down quantity street everything is much of a muchness.
posted by nfg at 9:18 AM on March 10, 2011


. to assume you need an app to allow your "urban environment [to be] transfigured" and see everyone as "a potential encounter".

I find, just getting a little high and taking transit accomplishes this rather well. And you don't even need to pursue those potential encounters, just note them, allow for their potential. This Spectacle thing may be pervasive but it's also thin.
posted by philip-random at 9:22 AM on March 10, 2011


This is genius for socially-inept people like me, hinting at possible social interactions of which I would never have thought in a million years.

"Normal People" might can use it during moments of uncomfortable silence.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 9:26 AM on March 10, 2011


Hmmm, I think it's a game.

Using tech to promote games and play is a better use for tech than constructing walls and prisons.

"Free play confined within the terrain of artistic dissolution is only the cooption of free play." The guy sure was cranky.
posted by artof.mulata at 9:28 AM on March 10, 2011


"Smash the state or give someone a hug"

This is a revolution led by Eyore.
posted by pianomover at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


This amounts to saying that the first ventures in constructing situations must be the work/play of the revolutionary avant-garde; people who are resigned in one way or another to political passivity, to metaphysical despair, or even to being subjected to an art of total noncreativity, are incapable of participating in them.

This is sort of key if there's genuine interest in pursuing a genuine Situationism. That is, there's a lot of damaged goods out there -- folks who are so committed to their small lives of bored, scared, conforming despair that they're effectively unconscious agents of the Spectacle. Yup, I'm talking the homophobic thugs that'll beat you up for being too weird, the machiavellian office drones that will quietly undermine you for daring to have fun during coffee break, the style-nazis that will exclude you from their little closed circle because your jeans are too loose (or tight).

Ultimately, this all sounds very 60s (as it should, I guess): "The Revolution Will Not Be Uptight" scream the broadsheets.
posted by philip-random at 9:37 AM on March 10, 2011


I think Guy Debord would have used an Android.
posted by leonard horner at 9:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


It sounds like 'Harold and Maude.'
Which may not be so bad.
posted by artof.mulata at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Situationist is moderated. The situations are initially picked from a shortlist. People can suggest their own situations, but these are vetted."

Sounds very tame and corporate. I don't want my ideas "vetted". Fuck this app.
posted by w0mbat at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


A seminal Marx-inflected critique of the commodification of all things has now itself been commodified. Only took a few decades.
posted by phrontist at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which is to say: fuck this.
posted by phrontist at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2011


Well, who's doing the vetting? Debord and co certainly didn't run the Situationist Internationale as an anything-goes operation. Fact is, they seemed to spend as much of their time mounting coups and purges and counter-purges and counter-coups (ie: controlling the message) as they did revolutionizing everyday life. I mean, that's a big part of what got them the influence they did get. The applications of their "projects" were very considered, very conscious (even if the goal was to release the unconscious), very "vetted" and thus, when successful, capable of cutting into the Spectacle like a very sharp knife.
posted by philip-random at 10:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The iPhone: Allowing me to waste time and money in ways I couldn't imagine were possible just a few years ago.
posted by dougrayrankin at 10:26 AM on March 10, 2011


Ok, I'm on board. If this thing gets me a high five from a random person, I will consider it a net positive. Whose life can't be improved by more high fives?
posted by juv3nal at 10:55 AM on March 10, 2011


This vetting issue is such a perfect metaphor for people's relationship with the iPhone as a whole. On the one hand, censorship is an awful thing. On the other hand, I don't want my grandmother to download the "Anazon" app that sends all her money into some 13 year old's basement. On the one hand, I don't want my situationism censored. On the other hand, being surprised by pictures of penises is both unwelcome and kinda dangerous.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:21 PM on March 10, 2011


I'm perfectly happy to be surprised by pictures of penises.

So long as they're nice penises, that is.
posted by sonascope at 2:50 PM on March 10, 2011



A seminal Marx-inflected critique of the commodification of all things has now itself been commodified. Only took a few decades.


The app is free. Although I recognise that money is just one facet of the Spectacle.
posted by public at 3:04 PM on March 10, 2011


A seminal Marx-inflected critique of the commodification of all things has now itself been commodified. Only took a few decades.

And didn't Malcolm McLaren beat them to it by thirty years?
posted by Abiezer at 6:47 PM on March 10, 2011


OMG--Has anyone else read "Lady of Mazes" by Karl Schroeder? :D Especially upon reading the website's FAQ and its brief description of "Situationism", I was reminded of "the Book", depicted in the novel. It's basically a manual carried around by adherents, who use the rules it outlines in order to determine their "role" and to govern interactions with with other users of "the Book", all depending on their respective roles: it's depicted as an attempt at "Emergent Government".
posted by theDTs at 1:17 PM on March 11, 2011


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