Reviewing Spectacle: The Pasts, Presents and Futures of the Situationist International in Contemporary Performance

Lead Research Organisation: University of Kent
Department Name: Sch of Arts

Abstract

Few texts bear more contemporary relevance than Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle (1967), one of the key works of the Situationist International (SI, 1957-72). Debord highlighted the ideology of consumption, which organizes everyday life into a spectacle via packaging and marketing. Half a century later, what can be gained from returning to the SI's critique of spectacle? Our project investigates, theoretically and creatively, how contemporary performance mediates SI concepts in a digitalized, accelerated world.

Aims:
1: Provide the first theorization of the specifically French contribution to the history of performance, which has generally been theorized as an Anglophone phenomenon.
2. Analyse appropriations of practices developed by the SI to critique the society of the spectacle, by 5 contemporary performance makers.
3. Contextualize SI theory and practice historically in mid-20th-century Paris, where they constituted active political resistance, to ask if their value might have shifted across generations.
4. Ask if performance might enable a future for the SI different from the one it imagined, where art would be subsumed into everyday life, and suppressed. How can the embodied presence of the performer challenge the flatness of screen simulation? How can witnessing the creation of images in performance foster a critical understanding of the production of spectacle?

The project enables collaboration between scholars, Artistic Partners and the heritage sector in France and the UK. 2 symposia at our Partner Institutions (théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers Paris and Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow) address our Aims via papers, and discussions with artists. These will provide material for 2 special issues co-edited by French and UK investigators. Our Artistic Partner, Graeme Miller, will make a performance in response to the Guy Debord archives held at the BNF, creating a contemporary reactivation of the SI's history and a significant impact activity

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
AH/N504592/1 08/03/2016 01/09/2017 £73,946
AH/N504592/2 Transfer AH/N504592/1 02/09/2017 09/01/2018 £29,768
 
Title Cling Film: A short film by Stephen Sutcliffe 
Description The project has commissioned the acclaimed Glasgow-based artist and filmmaker Stephen Sutcliffe (https://lux.org.uk/artist/stephen-sutcliffe) to make a short film, Cling Film, which will be shown at the Institut Français in London, the Université de Paris Nanterre la Défense and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (TBC) during 2019. The film responds in different ways to the Situationist International's ideas, which have been explored over the duration of the project. In the 1990s Stephen Sutcliffe was taught by Alan Woods, who through Ralph Rumney, a British member of the Situationist International, was an associate of the movement. His work thus questions accepted narratives about the SI through the use of contradictory imagery and sound. Cling Film (8 minutes 18 seconds) is based on a story about the British Situationist Ralph Rumney's cellophane wrapping of a statue in Manosque, France. In this version, an unwrapping takes place to reveal Michèle Bernstein in conversation. Bernstein, a novelist and political writer and agitator, was one of the few core members of the Situationist International who was a woman. By foregrounding her voice in interview, this film foregrounds her central importance, as well as the fact that women's contributions to culture and politics have often been eclipsed or effaced. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The film will enable a wide general public audience to understand some of the Situationist International's critiques of neoliberalism and the ways in which pleasure and enchantment can be reintroduced into everyday life. 
URL https://vimeo.com/317279524
 
Title Counterpointer: A performance created by Graeme Miller 
Description An open door. Onto a screen on the stage in front of us, an image, filmed in real time, of an open door. Daylight streams through that open door. A performer walks onto the stage in front of the screen. He gives a hand bell to another performer wearing a long ochre scarf. He tells her to take the bell to a place of her choice in Bagnolet, the Paris banlieue where the theatre we're in is located, and to ring the bell for, against or with someone or something, for as long as she likes. On the screen we watch the woman in the ochre scarf leave through the open door. The performer on the stage takes his mobile phone out of his pocket and calls the woman in the ochre scarf. She picks up. We hear traffic; a stiff breeze; the zoning in and out of pedestrians' voices. And then, the ringing. Rhythmical, resolute, ringing. Next to us a young man takes out his mobile and turns it on. He shows me and his other neighbours a film of him ringing a hand bell somewhere in Bagnolet. Another person takes out her phone and shows her film to her neighbours. Then another, then another, until the theatre is filled with the ringing of twenty-three hand bells chiming around Bagnolet, recorded on smartphones. This was the beginning of Counterpointer, a performance by Graeme Miller, commissioned by our project, and shown at our two "Ateliers", in Paris and Glasgow, in 2017. Graeme Miller's Counterpointer, along with other performance pieces featured in our two festivals, quite literally "opened the door" between the potential for passion-filled "situations", as the situationists would call them, both in everyday life, and in theatre. About fifteen minutes into Counterpointer, a small child in the audience asked in a voice heard by everyone, "When's it going to start?" For the Situationist International, "situations" must be part of everyday life, not independent from it. In response to the question posed by the little girl, did Counterpointer begin when Graeme Miller entered the stage and handed a bell to the performer in the ochre scarf, or did it start a week before, when each participant was given the "freedom to play", to use Guy Debord's expression, "to go on a new adventure", to engage in play for play's sake, with a bell and a smartphone somewhere in Bagnolet? Did Counterpointer end when Graeme Miller and the woman in the ochre scarf took a bow, or did it continue afterwards in the minds of the 25 participants and the audience? According to the Situationist International, the kind of modern urbanism characteristic of the Paris banlieue where the performance took place, creates what they call "a dull and sterile ambiance". For those who were present at Counterpointer, the concrete of the city was poeticized somehow through the careful framing of the participants in their digital films, and the din of the streets was musicalized, as Graeme Miller accompanied the live audio feed of the woman in the ochre scarf traversing Bagnolet, with simple chords on a melodica, before the peel of her bell broke out. According to Debord, screen technologies, which now dominate our every waking hour more than he ever could have imagined, are "the most stultifying expression" of modern-day existence. Counterpointer's poetry constituted a détournement - it plagiarised, diverted, distorted, subverted this pre-existing technology - adapting it to emancipatory ends by illustrating how it can transform 25 performance-makers and a theatre audience into active co-creators of an urban poetry. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The open door with which Counterpointer began, shed light on the passable threshold between everyday life and art, the supposed end of one and start of the other. Counterpointer created both a rupture with, and a small physical and psychic revolution in, everyday life. All inhabiting the same shared space and time, non-professional filmmakers and first-time campanologists participated collectively in the creation of what German theatre scholar Erika Fischer-Lichte calls, with regard to contemporary performance, "moments of enchantment a sudden deeper insight into the shared process of being in the world". Just as the participants and audience members' bodies, emotions, convictions and sense of time and space accompanied them through the door and into the theatre, so art flowed freely into the streets of Bagnolet and Glasgow, into everyday life. Shared moments of enchantment such as Cointerpointer can enable everyday life to be heightened, reimagined, renewed, on both sides of that open door between art and everyday life. 
URL https://research.kent.ac.uk/reviewingspectacle/counterpointer/
 
Title Glasgow Glam Rock Dialogue: Drifting with Debord. A short film by Carl Lavery and David Archibald 
Description The project has commissioned the academic Carl Lavery and documentary filmmaker and academic David Archibald to make a short film, Glasgow Glam Rock Dialogue: 7 - Debord, which will be shown at the Institut Français in London, the Université de Paris Nanterre la Défense and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (TBC) during 2019. The film responds in different ways to the Situationist International's ideas, which have been explored over the duration of the project. A description of the film by the academics making it: The film (18 minutes), made by Carl Lavery and David Archibald in collaboration with the Glasgow Glam Rock Dialogue band, interrogates what it means to make cinema drift. The film seeks to answer that question by experimenting with an aberrant geometry of found footage, 16 mm film and the documentation of a Glam Rock concert, filmed in Glasgow in June 2018. The film drifts then between music, the city, and history. In doing so, it transposes the SI drift from the street to the screen. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The film will enable a wide general public audience to understand some of the Situationist International's critiques of neoliberalism and the ways in which pleasure and enchantment can be reintroduced into everyday life. 
 
Title Swallet: A short film by Lee Hassall 
Description This film has been commissioned by the artist and filmmaker Lee Hassall (https://leehassall.org/) A description of the film in the artist's own words: Swallet (25minutes, 29 seconds, Colour: HD Video, with sound). Swallet (noun British, an underground stream) is an experimental film that drifts in its own momentum; the soundscape is constructed from wild sound recorded during filming. Dr Steve Hanson, for Manchester Left Writers, has written that in 2018 it is no longer 'beneath the pavement the beach', to quote the Situationist International, but 'beneath the pavement the void' (Hanson, 2018). He makes reference to the sinkholes opening up in Manchester, under the Mancunian Way and elsewhere, as the urban landscape succumbs to drastic environmental change. These holes mirror others, diamond mines in Russia, vampiric human cavities observable from space, the holes in space-time and the void left by the complete closure of anything that passes for radicalism outside the comfortable museum of 1960s rebellion. In this sense it is necessary to make work that is not weighed down by the inflated baggage of the soixant-huitards (the May 1968 student demonstrators), but work that is symbolically open to the present we are in, which is always already one of terrifying contingency: this is how our world is 'radical' today. As we look back at 1968, it is important that the commitment to avant-garde symbolic openness and radical contingency is adhered to. My film, therefore, is in this spirit, which is in fact in the spirit of Debord's films, even if it does not look anything like them. For how could it? The film was shot during a drift through the city centre in Lincoln. The images in the film slip and slide. Sometimes objects, markings and the ground are recognisable; often they are abstracted and incomprehensible, flickering with an interminable variety of movement and immeasurable gradations of colour. The lens is ungoverned by normative perspectives; there is no compositional logic, and no horizon line. The soundscape is constructed from wild sound; noise from construction sites, walking, traffic, and street sounds including a busker. Reference: Hanson, S. (2018) Vitriol Works No.1: https://manchesterleftwriters.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/vitriol-works- 1.pdf [accessed 27/02/18] 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The film will enable a wide general public audience to understand some of the Situationist International's critiques of neoliberalism and the ways in which pleasure and enchantment can be reintroduced into everyday life. 
URL https://vimeo.com/321808151
 
Title Three short films 
Description The project has commissioned three short art films, which will be shown at the Institut Français in London and at the Université de Paris Nanterre la Défense in autumn 2018, before being screened in a number of other venues. The three films respond in different ways to the Situationist International's ideas, which have been explored over the duration of the project. The three films will be: Drifting Apart by acclaimed Glasgow-based artist, Stephen Sutcliff (https://lux.org.uk/artist/stephen-sutcliffe): A description of the film in the artist's own words: The film will involve a new collage video work comprised of found and self-shot footage. This work will explore the fractious relationships, which dogged the situationist movement, particularly the inclusions and exclusions which happened under the de facto leadership of Guy Debord. My work displays a fascination with awkwardness. In the 1990s I was taught by Alan Woods, who through Ralph Rumney, a British member of the Situationist International, was an associate of the movement. My work thus questions accepted narratives through the use of contradictory imagery and sound. These clashes will suit the subject matter he has chosen to explore. 8 Ball 1968, 2008, 2018 by Lee Hassall (https://leehassall.org/) A description of the film in the artist's own words: Dr Steve Hanson wrote that in 2018 it is no longer 'beneath the pavement the beach', but 'beneath the pavement the void' (Hanson, 2018). He references sinkholes opening up in Manchester as the urban landscape succumbs to drastic environmental change. These holes mirror others, diamond mines in Russia, vampiric human cavities observable from space, and the void left by the closure of anything radical outside the museum of 1960s rebellion. It is necessary to make work that is not too weighed down by the baggage of the soixant-huitards, work that is symbolically open to the present we are in: A commitment to avant-garde openness and radical contingency; my film is in this spirit. Glasgow Glam Rock Dialogue: 7 - Debord Carl Lavery and David Archibald, A description of the film by the academics making it: This is a film for Guy Debord. At a time when the 1968 celebrations threaten to fossilise his ideas, we plan to blast him out of his historical continuum. To make him live again. Channelling the spirits of David Bowie, Suzi Quatro and Walter Benjamin, this short film gives Debord a much-needed Glam Rock injection. Guided through the streets of Glasgow by The Angel of History and aided by songs and debate, we reflect on the Situationist International and its afterlives. Our aim is to resist neoliberal techniques of control, surveillance and discipline, and to re-affirm the SI's politics of ecstasy, excess and pleasure. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The films will enable a wide general public audience to understand some of the Situationist International's critiques of neoliberalism and the ways in which pleasure and enchantment can be reintroduced into everyday life. 
 
Description The Situationist International (SI) was a post-Marxist group of artistic agitators (1957-72) who maintained that every aspect of human experience has become packaged, marketed and sold in a frenetic race of fashion, accelerated by modern information technologies. Society is saturated with spectacles of what we supposedly need, to the point where we are alienated from what we actually want. For the SI, however, self-fulfilment beyond capitalist consumption is possible. This can be achieved by enlisting artistic practices in revolutionary activity, what they termed "constructed situations", in order to energise, expand and enhance everyday life. Our project's findings have resulted in the following conclusions:
• In spite of the SI's rejection of art, notably theatre - which they condemned for being elitist, individualist and commodified, and which was to be subsumed into everyday life - they in fact borrowed heavily from theatrical practices, in order to attain what they hoped would be enhanced moments of everyday life. In their descriptions of "constructed situations" in their publications, notably the 12 issues of their magazine Internationale Situationniste, they consistently used clearly theatrical terms such as décor, lighting, sound, ambiance, transience, play, collective creation and mise en scène.
• We argue that some contemporary performance that has been created since 1960s, when the SI theorised and constructed "situations", conceives of the everyday categories of time, space and the participants' bodies and breath, as integral to, and not separate from, artistic performance, in the ways that the SI themselves describe. This is the case with the performance piece Counterpointer, by Graeme Miller, that our project commissioned, and that was shown at the two two-day festivals we curated. Counterpointer, along with other performances featured in our two festivals, opened the door between the potential for passion-filled "situations" both in everyday life, and in theatre.
• The SI, heavily influenced by Hegel and Marx, believed in a binary opposition between the marketized society of the spectacle and the authentic, active self, between appearance and reality, between representation and lived experience, art and daily life. Existing before the poststructuralist wave of thinking that challenged these fixed categories, the SI's approach to revolution and overturning everyday life can now appear to be inflexible and dogmatic,. Looking both backwards and forwards from the decades in which the SI were active, the dangers of totalitarian ideologies, be they communism and fascism during the first half of the twentieth century, or right-wing populism or religious fundamentalism today, are all too clear. Therefore, it is perhaps more nuanced, less doctrinal "constructed situations" like the performances that took place in our two festivals and elsewhere, that can create moments of enchantment that might enable everyday life to be heightened, reimagined and renewed.
Exploitation Route Our project has resulted in four significant outcomes, which can have impact in academic and non-academic contexts. We held two two-day performance festivals, bringing together performance-makers from the UK, France and Belgium. This generated an important opportunity for artists from both sides of the Channel to come together, see each other's work, and discuss possibilities for future exchanges. Given that the UK theatre tends to be isolated from mainland Europe, the project has enabled new opportunities for international conversations between artists.
The project has also produced two co-edited special issue editions, of Performance Research in the UK, and Théâtre/Public in France. Each special issue will make a major contribution to scholarship in a wide range of fields including cultural studies, philosophy, politics, sociology, history, architecture, urban studies, history of art and theatre and performance studies, by providing the first sustained theorisation and discussion of the influence of theatre on the Situationist International's practices, and reciprocally, the legacy of the Situationist International's theories and practices in contemporary performance. Both issues will also contain interviews with performance-makers, meaning that they will constitute an invaluable resource for artists working in theatre and performance and beyond, in dance, visual arts and cinema.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://research.kent.ac.uk/reviewingspectacle/
 
Description The two 'Ateliers' that we ran in Paris and Glasgow brought together performance-makers from the UK, France and Belgium. This generated an important opportunity for artists from both sides of the Channel to come together, to see each other's work, and to discuss possibilities for future exchanges and collaborations. Therefore, given that the UK theatre tends to be rather isolated from mainland Europe, the project has contributed to non-academic impact by enabling new opportunities for conversations between artists across national borders.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description The two 'Ateliers' that we ran in Paris and Glasgow brought together performance-makers from the UK, France and Belgium. This generated an important opportunity for artists from both sides of the Channel to come together, to see each other's work, and to discuss possibilities for future exchanges and collaborations. Therefore, given that the UK theatre tends to be rather isolated from mainland Europe, the project has changed current practice by enabling new opportunities for conversations between artists across national borders.
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow 
Organisation Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We provided the CCA with a two-day programme of performances and talks, on 9 and 10 June 2017. The event was sold out, and it brought some of the UK's most important artists to the CCA, including Lone Twin. In addition, it enabled the CCA to reunite with its own situationist past. The event was attended by members of the general public, artists, and academics and practitioners from the University of Glasgow, and the Glasgow School of Art.
Collaborator Contribution Since the Situationist International had a strong presence in Glasgow, notably via the author Alexander Trochie, we felt that this city would be an appropriate venue for our second 'Atelier'. The CCA provided us with a performance space in which shows and talks took place. We then paid them for the technical support and front-of-house staff that they provided. They also publicised the event, which was sold out.
Impact Please see the above URL for a full list of the two-day programme we organised.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Département des Arts du Spectacle, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense 
Organisation Paris West University Nanterre La Défense
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Because the May 1968 student and worker protests in Paris and across France, which had been in part sparked by the Situationist International, had in fact begun at the afore-named Université de Paris-Nanterre, it was apt for this university to be our partner. The associations between the themes of our project and the origins of mai '68 were brought clearly into focus when our team gave a presentation at the Nuit des idées that took place at Paris-Nanterre on 26 January 2018, and that centred around mai '68. Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense therefore brought a historical contextualisation to our project. Throughout the project, we worked together with our project partner, Prof. Christian Biet, in the Département des Arts du Spectacle. Our team also included other members of the department, namely Prof. Christophe Triau; two postdoctoral fellows, Cristina de Simone and Marielle Pelissero; and a PhD student, Nathalie Cau. Triau is a specialist in contemporary French theatre and performance, and Simone and Pelissero recently conducted their PhD research on the Situationist International. They therefore brought invaluable expertise in these fields to the project. Cau provided her administrative expertise to running the project from a practical perspective, and also contributed her knowledge of contemporary performance art to the curation of the Paris 'Atelier'.
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Carl Lavery from the University of Glasgow contributed his extensive knowledge of the Situationist International and of the writings of Guy Debord to the project. Clare Finburgh, the project PI, has recently published a book on notions of spectacle and the commodification of images, Watching War: Spectacles of Conflict on the Twenty-First-Century Stage, and brought this intellectual expertise to the project. In addition, Clare Finburgh, along with the French PI Christian Biet, acted as the overall leaders of the team, bringing together the collaborators on both sides of the Channel for at least four face-to-face meetings per year in order to plan the two "Ateliers" we co-organised, in Paris and in Glasgow, and to plot the two special issue journal editions. Each member of both the UK and French teams contributed both intellectually, and logistically to the planning of these events and outputs.
Impact 'Situation / Détournement', 24-25 March 2017, Paris; 'How to Drift', 10 June 2017; special issue of Théatre/Public journal; special issue of Performance Research journal. The collaboration is multi-disciplinary in that it involves performance-making, film-making, performance studies, theatre studies, philosophy, sociology, architecture and urban planning, postcolonial studies and politics.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Performance Research journal 
Organisation Performance Research Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This special issue will treat the situationist idea of 'drifting, or derive, and its legacies in architecture, sociology, performance art, notions of migration, and a number of other areas. The project has paid for the translation of articles from English into French, and the purchase of images from the Situationist International archives.
Collaborator Contribution Performance Research is one of the UK's foremost performance journals with over 500 international subscriptions and a readership of 10 000. Focusing on performance in the expanded sense, it is the ideal host for the publication of the project's English-language journal special issue.
Impact A co-edited special issue of the journal.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Théâtre L'Échangeur 
Organisation Theater of the Exchanger
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our project team curated a full day of performances and talks, an 'Atelier', at the theatre. Counterpointer, the show commissioned from Graeme Miller by our project, involved 25 members of the local Bagnolet community in its making and performance. Our project also co-produced the show, Conférence en action pour une chercheuse, deux acteurs, un musicien, which was performed at the end of the 'Atelier', in the evening. Our event completely filled the theatre, with a very enthusiastic and receptive audience.
Collaborator Contribution The théâtre L'Échangeur hosted the second day of our two-day 'Atelier' on Saturday 25 March 2017. This theatre is located in the Paris suburb of Bagnolet, and the project's associate artist, Graeme Miller, was keen to create a community-based performance that was outside of Paris's well-known and well-worn monuments. The theatre provided us not only with the kind of working-class demographic with which Miller wished to work, but also with its large theatre, its studio space, and a gallery space in kind, along with full technical support. In addition they publicised the event, which was sold out.
Impact Please see the above URL for a full programme of events that we organised and held at this partner theatre.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers 
Organisation Nanterre-Amandiers Theater
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We staged a full day of performances and talks, that we curated. Moreover, owing to the fact that the mai '68 protests began in Nanterre, we were keen to begin our 'Atelier' in this part of Paris, known for fomenting radicalism. The theatre was delighted that we took the opportunity to raise the question of this part of Paris's radical past, 50 years after the protests. We paid for the technical support required on the day of the 'Atelier'.
Collaborator Contribution The théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers hosted the first day of our two-day Paris 'Atelier' on Friday 24 March 2017. The artistic director, Philippe Quesne, and the rest of his team, provided a theatre space in kind, and technical help, for which we paid. They also advertised our 'Atelier', ensuring that we had a full audience.
Impact The full programme for our event held at Nanterre-Amandiers is available at the above URL.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Théâtre/Public journal 
Organisation Théâtre Le Public
Country Belgium 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our project will edit a special issue of this journal, on the Situationist International's impact on contemporary theatre and performance, focusing in particular on situationist notions of the 'constructed situation', and detournement. Théâtre/Public will be publishing the special issue free of charge.
Collaborator Contribution Théâtre/Public is one of France's major theatre journals, with a circulation of 4000. The review has a history of political engagement, especially since its editor-in-chief is Olivier Neveux, author of a number of books on militant theatre. Théâtre/Public is therefore the ideal host for our special issue. The project has paid for the translation of articles from English into French, and the purchase of images from the Situationist International archives.
Impact The publication of the special issue.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Drifting Cinemas Film Festival (Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project commissioned three films inspired by the Situationist International. The aim of the Drifting Cinemas film festival was to screen these films to the general public, and also to hold a symposium around the influence of the Situationist International on contemporary society, and on the arts in particular.
The programme of the event:
Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, 21 March 2020

12.00 - 12.10 - Drifting Cinemas: Clare Finburgh Delijani and Carl Lavery introduction

12.10- 12. 30 - Screening of Cling Film (Stephen Sutcliffe)

12.30 -12.40 - Stephen Greer - Gender Drift

12.40 - 12. 50 - Carl Lavery - Making the Drift Drift

12.50 - 1.20 - Lee Hassall - Screening of Swallet

1.20-1.30 - Minty Donald - Erratic Drift

1.30 - 1.40 - Deborah Dixon - Pertubations of Drift

1.40 - 1.50- Total Refusal

1.50- 2.00 - Holger Mohaupt - Drifting with Debord

2.00- 2.30- David Archibald introducing Drifting with Debord (screening)

2.30 - 3.00 - Roundtable - Hosted by Clare Finburgh Delijani
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/glasgow-short-film-festival-drifting-cinemas
 
Description How to Drift 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact How to Drift was a two-day 'Atelier' (9-10 June 2018) held at our UK partner institution, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, in Glasgow. Below, you will find the full programme for the event. The PI, Clare Finburgh, the CoI Carl Lavery, and the project administrator Melanie Lavery, worked together to curate this major two-day event, the purpose of which was to examine the key concept and practice of the Situationist International known as derive ((urban wanderings resulting in chance encounters).
As with the Paris 'Atelier', the purpose of the Glasgow event was to demonstrate the Situationist International's legacy both in academic theory, and in artistic performance practice. Graeme Miller's Counterpointer, which had been shown in Paris with contributing participants from the local community, was staged in Glasgow with 25 Glaswegian participants. Other leading artists also performed during the 'Atelier', including the duo Lone Twin, who performed a piece entitled Walk With Me, Walk With Me, Will Somebody Please Walk With Me, in which they reenacted twenty-five years of performances they had created around the themes of walking and drifting. The show was attended by a full audience, and extremely well received. Other performances included a movement piece, Polarity Boxing, by the dancer Kai-Wen Chiang, choreographed by Corin Sworn, and a flyposting activity of posters depicting the house in which Guy Debord committed suicide, that demonstrated how art can 'drift' across a city. To complement these different performance practices, scholars from a range of disciplines demonstrated the importance of applying situationist theories and practices to different aspects of everyday life. Prof. David Pinder from Roskilde University in Denmark spoke about utopianism and urbanism; Dr Lynne Friedly, independent activist and researcher, spoke about the right not to work purely to contribute towards a neoliberal economy; Lisa Robertson, poet and theorist, performed a talk on drifting and dreaming.
As for the Paris 'Atelier', there were multiple outcomes from How to Drift, the first being the forging of an excellent international collaborative team ethic and the desire to work together in the future. Second, the event drew over 100 audience members over the two days, which included the general public, undergraduate and postgraduate university students from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art, and theatre- and performance-makers from across Scotland.
One of the great advantages of the Glasgow 'Atelier' was that we scheduled plenty of time for audience questions and discussions. It was clear from discussions and debates that many of the situationist ideas on refusing the marketisation, monetarisation and commodification of every aspect of daily life, are even more relevant to people's work and personal lives today, than they were fifty years ago when they were first articulated by Guy Debord, Raoul Vaneigem, Michèle Bernstein, and other members of the Situationist International. The 'Atelier' therefore enabled the people present to appreciate the legacy of the Situationist International's ideas and practices not only in contemporary performance, but far more broadly, in all aspects of modern life.


________________________________________
Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow
www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/how-to-drift
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Programme
Friday 9 June
16.00-16.30 Introductions: Francis McKee (director, CCA), Christian Biet (Université de Paris-Nanterre), Clare Finburgh (University of Kent), Carl Lavery (University of Glasgow)
16.30-17.30 Corin Sworn with Jer Reid and Kai-Wen Chiang, Polarity Boxing (dance)
17.30-18.30 David Pinder, Unchaining cities: la dérive: sixty years on" (presentation)
18.30-19.30 Emilio López-Menchero, "Claquettes européennes/European tap dance" (performance and presentation)
20.00 End
Saturday 10 June
11.00-12.00 Lisa Robertson (performed talk)
12.00-12.45 Scott Myles and Dominic Paterson, Ice Repose Guy Debord (visual art)
12.45-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.00 Graeme Miller, COUNTERPOINTER (performance)
15.00-16.00 Lynne Friedli, " 'I'd prefer not to' Drifting, resisting, sabotage: the tactics of work refusal in contemporary political struggles" (talk)
16.00-16.30 Tea
16.30-17.30 Cathy Turner, "Adrift in India" (talk)
17.30-18.30 Round Table Discussion (artists and speakers)
18.30-19.00 Break
19.00-20.00 Lone Twin, Walk With Me, Walk With Me, Will Somebody Please Walk With Me (performance)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://research.kent.ac.uk/reviewingspectacle/how-to-drift/
 
Description Situation/Détournement 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Situation/Détournement was a two-day 'Atelier' (24-25 March 2017) held on two consecutive days at our two French partner theatres, the théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers in Paris, and the théâtre L'Échangeur in the Paris banlieue of Bagnolet. Below, you will find the full programme for each day.
Each member of the project team worked together on this major two-day event, the purpose of which was to examine two of the key concepts and practices of the Situationist International, namely the 'constructed situation' (art that enables spectators to become active participants in a passion-filled life rather than passive consumers), and the détournement (collage-like reorganization, reviewing, of pre-existing elements, to critique capitalist society). Given that the Situationist International were genuine practice-led researchers, who thought, created and lived according to the theories that they generated, it was important for us to stage an 'Atelier' that combined performance practice, with academic reflection. For this reason, we commissioned our associate artist, Graeme Miller, to create an hour long performance, which was staged both in Paris, and at our second 'Atelier', in Glasgow. The preparation for this performance involved Miller collaborating with the academic members of the research team in order for ideas to be exchanged between artist and scholars.
The outcome of our creative collaboration, which was shown during the Paris 'Atelier', was the performance, Counterpointer. Counterpointer involved 24 members of the local Bagnolet community, who went out into the streets of Bagnolet and rang bells for, with or against whatever or whoever they wanted, for however long they wanted. They were each filmed and a live installation of their bell ringing was orchestrated by Miller in the theatre. The performance activated the situationist ideas of enhancing our perception of our surroundings, however urban and drab, through poetic creativity. It also subverted the virtualised nature of screen technologies, co-opting them to create an urban lyricism.
Counterpointer took place during two days of other performances and talks, which were attended by around 300 audience members in total. The audience were able to see a whole host of performance makers who have been influenced by the Situationist International. This included artists from the UK, France, Belgium, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Canada. Some highlights from the programme (included below in full) included sapeurs from the Congo who demonstrated, via a flamboyant fashion show, how they subvert the former European coloniser's clothes in order to create their own sartorial style; a Belgian performance artist, Benjamin Verdonck, who presented his work Kalendar (2009), in which he performed 150 activist actions in a year, including storming the NATO headquarters, planting an allotment in the centre of Antwerp, and walking down a busy shopping street overladen with bags, exclaiming 'Help me'; and Bérénice Serra and Selma Lepart presented their situationist-inspired films installations.
In addition, the director of the Situationist International archives at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Laurence Le Bras, presented an introduction of the archives and the situationists' interest in performance, which inaugurated a series of talks by specialists and academics. These included François Codeau, Vanessa Theodoropoulou, Patrick Marcolini and Emmanuel Guy, all of whom have already written major publications on the Situationist International and their legacy in art.
There were a number of important outcomes to the Paris 'Atelier'. First, members of our project team from the UK and from France worked closely and harmoniously together at all stages of the planning and organisation, forging excellent intellectual and social relationships that will guarantee that we shall continue to work as colleagues for many years to come. We are already all co-editing our two special issue journals as outcomes of this project, and are planning our next AHRC Research Grant bid together, which will involve examining the legacy of the Paris Commune's ideas and practices on contemporary French theatre and society.
Second, the outcome of the 'Atelier' was a highly successful two-day event for around 300 audience members that included the general theatre-going public, undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in contemporary theatre and performance, activism and politics, and Paris-based performance-makers and other members of the theatre industry.
The impact of the 'Atelier' was to introduce audiences from a theoretical perspective, via talks by experts, to the key theories and practices of the Situationist International, notably 'constructed situation' and detournement. Importantly, in addition, the 'Atelier' illustrated how these concepts are actively employed in contemporary performance.
Programme:
Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers Planétarium/ Paris (Friday 24 March) 14.00 - 22.00
(billets gratuits au contrôle)
7 avenue Pablo Picasso. 92 Nanterre.
RER Nanterre Préfecture
www.nanterre-amandiers.com/2016-2017/situation-detournement
Programme
En continu, 14h-16h et 17h-20h : GK Collective performance "Urgence"
Spectacle pour un seul spectateur - A partir de 18 ans. durée : 30 minutes - Jauge réduite !
Réservation indispensable par mail : theatrecache@gkcollective.org
14h-15h30 - Séquence Les archives, aujourd'hui :
• Laurence Le Bras (BnF fonds Debord), situation/détournement et spectacle : les documents relatifs à ces termes dans les fonds Debord
• Fabrice Flahutez (Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre), intervention sur le détournement des images publicitaires, à partir des recherches menées avec Fabien Danesi
• Fabien Danesi (Université Jules Verne, Amiens), Intervention vidéo
• Emmanuel Guy : Mise en pratique : Le jeu de la guerre.
15h30-16h15 - Séquence Théâtre et spectacle : détournement du dispositif théâtral -1
• Mirabelle Rousseau, Muriel Malguy, Yannick Bouquard et le T.O.C. : Présentation d'essais de création d'un spectacle-installation sans acteur à partir du texte << Perspectives de modifications conscientes dans la vie quotidienne >> de Guy Debord
16h15 - 17h : PAUSE
17h-18h15 - Séquence Architecture performative et territoire urbain
• Emilio Lopez-Menchero (Performeur, Bruxelles) : Conférence documentée
• Ewen Chardronnet (Auteur, curateur et performeur, Paris) : présentation de l'architecture performance et du Bureau D'urbanisme Unitaire. Discussion et retours avec les étudiants en architecture de l'Université Libre de Bruxelles
18h15-19h30 - Séquence Média, réseaux, organismes et productions alternatifs
• Bérénice Serra (Zurich) et Selma Lepart (ENSAD, Paris) : conférence performative autour du projet intermédia Galerie 2
• Jan Ritsema (fondateur du Performing Arts Forum, Saint-Erme): Quelques filiations possibles entre l'I.S. et des pratiques concrètes d'organisation artistique, culturelle et politique
• Collectif Tremblements, projection d'un film collectif éponyme
• Modératrice : Marielle Pelissero (Université Paris -Nanterre)
19h30-20h15 - Séquence Bruxelloise avec Jan Bucquoy
• Jan Bucquoy (cinéaste, Bruxelles) : projection projection d'un documentaire de 20 minutes sur son travail et son parcours, témoignage sur la subculture situationniste à Bruxelles, discussion avec Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
* 20h15 - 21h : PAUSE REPAS *
21h-21h30 - Séquence Théâtre et spectacle : détournement du dispositif théâtral - 2
• Compagnie GK Collective (Pantin) : présentation du théâtre caché, conversation avec Nathalie Cau et retour d'expérience des spectateurs
21h30-22h30 - Séquence spectacle, corps et identité
• Performance de Jules Beckman, Solo performance
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Théâtre de l'Échangeur / Bagnolet, Paris (Saturday 25 March) 14.00 - 23.00
(réservations 01 43 62 71 20 ou reservation@lechangeur.org)
59 avenue du Général de Gaulle. 93 Bagnolet.
Métro Gallieni [ligne 3] à 150 m en sortant à droite.
http://www.lechangeur.org/event/situation-detournement/
14h - Accueil du public
14h15-15h30 - Séquence autour de l'ouvrage Situations, dérives, détournements.
• Avec : François Coadou et Vanessa Theodoropoulou.
• Patrick Marcolini : << La fin de l'art et ses suites. Sur un paradoxe situationniste >>.
• Modérateur : Olivier Neveux
15h30-16h15 - Graeme Miller : installation-performance : Conterpointer
16h15 : PAUSE
16h15-17h : Benjamin Verdonck : "Gille leert Lezen" ("Gille apprend à lire")
en parallèle à la pause, spectacle pour 23 spectateurs, avec deux séances de 12 minutes :
• séance 1. à 16h15
• séance 2. à 16h45
Inscriptions nécessaires.
16h45-17h45 - Séquence Pratiques d'émancipation
• Arnaud Elfort : Bronze et ciment dans la construction des pistes : polysémie du vandalisme
• Nicolas Ferrier : << On nous presse insolemment d'intervenir dans un spectacle, dans un art qui nous concerne si peu >> (IS n°8, janvier 1962) : acteur participatif versus acteur situationniste.
17h45-18h45 - Benjamin Verdonck : présentation du projet Kalendar.
• Modérateur : Karel Vanhaesebrouck
18h45-20h30 : Défilé SAPE et Table-ronde
• avec Pedro Monaville (NYUAD), Manuel Charpy (CNRS Lille3 ), Le Bachelor (styliste et fondateur de la boutique Connivence, Paris) Orchy Nzaba (Chorégraphe) Modérateur : Alice Carré
* 20h30- 21h15 : PAUSE REPAS *
21h15 : Envoûtements, Spectacle, Proférations
• Conférence en action pour une chercheuse, deux acteurs, un musician. Cie Public Chéri.
21h15 : Graeme Miller : Poème sonore
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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://research.kent.ac.uk/reviewingspectacle/sample-page/events/detournementsituation/