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The Muppets go Situationist

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I doubt I’ll be able to watch The Muppets again without quotes from Guy Debord popping up unannounced in my noodle. These magnificent images are the work of artist and writer Amy Collier, who posted them on Toast where she gives some explanation of her work in the comments:

Oh look! I found some history about Guy Debord’s “The Muppets”:

Though the name “Guy Debord” is now synonymous with two things: Situationist philosophy and The Muppets, this pairing of passions was not as easily reconciled as you might think. “I had to fight really hard not to be pigeon-holed as a Marxist theorist in the puppeteering community,” Debord once said. “They told me ‘Kids don’t want to hear about how the concrete life of everyone has been degraded to a speculative universe, Guy.’ I said ‘How about we let the children decide that?’”

Decide they did.

Years later, we remember him as both a Marxist visionary who criticized societies where modern conditions of production prevail in which all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles, and the beloved man who brought Kermit, Miss Piggy, as well as many other characters into our hearts.

You can read the rest of it here and now I can’t wait for On the Passage of The Muppets in Rather Brief Unity of Time.
 
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More of Guy Debord’s Muppets, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Society of The Spectacular Toys: Guy Debord, Situationist action figure!


 
Yeah, it’s great that doctors can print casts and prosthetic legs and stuff, but to my mind, this is what 3-D printing was invented for…

Behold cultural theorist Mackenzie Wark’s limited edition Guy Debord figurine. Two-hundred of these post-Marxist bad boys were printed up. The project was conceived and designed by Wark, Peer Hansen and Rachel L. Verso Books gave away one of them to promote Wark’s new book, The Spectacle of Disintegration: Situationist Passages out of the Twentieth Century.

If you happen to own a 3-D printer, or have access to one, you can download the plans for your own 3-D Guy (that rhymes, btw), here, as the plans were released under a Creative Commons license. Rather predictably, Wark’s clever publicity stunt brought on humorless protest from Situationist-types.

There’s also a remixed version of the Debord figurine with Stelarc’s 3rd Ear on his back and Eduardo Kac’s infamous “Alba” bunny ears. That one you’d probably want to print up in fluorescent lime green…

Imagine a Lenny Bruce action figure, or Robert Anton Wilson, Wittgenstein, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, Grace Slick, James Joyce, Vivian Stanshall, Orson Welles, Nico… I’m sure they’re all on their way soon.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Destroy Boredom: Punk Rock and the Situationist International


 
On the Passage of a few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972 is an interesting short film by Branka Bogdanov primarily documenting the work of ultra-leftist French philosopher Guy Debord, author of the influential post Marxist study of 20th capitalism Society of the Spectacle. The film explores Debord’s influence on the Paris riots of May 1968 and the nihilistic aesthetics of the punk rock era.

Interviewees include Greil Marcus, Malcolm McLaren and Sex Pistols graphic designer Jamie Reid.
 
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Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Anna Karina Soap Commerical

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Criterion just released the Blu-Ray version of 1962’s Vivre sa Vie, starring Jean-Luc Godard‘s one-time wife, but always expressive muse, Anna Karina.  Much like many a real-life Hollywood story, Vivre sa Vie charts an aspiring creative type’s descent into prostitution.  And while it may end in tragedy, the surfaces along the way are typically gorgeous to look at.

Karina would, of course, continue to appear in such essential Godard films as Band of Outsiders and Pierrot le Fou, but she was first introduced to the director in the French soap commercial below:

 
Interestingly enough, Karina’s soap commercial also makes an appearance in the Guy Debord film, On the Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Period of Time (previously on Dangerous Minds here).

As Karina lathers up, the Situationist engineer himself intones in a voice-over: “The advertisements during intermissions are the truest reflection of an intermission from life.”  While you’re left to ponder that one, check out what many feel to be one of Vivre sa Vie‘s more sublime moments, Nana’s Dance:

 
Bonus: Luc Sante on Vivre sa Vie

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Alice in Guy Debord-land

 
The initial peek at Tim Burton’s Alice tale looks plenty striking, but, in the meantime, you might want to check out this two-part adventure as envisioned by visual artist, Robert Cauble.  The imagery comes straight out of Disney.  The dialogue, though, that’s a far more curious matter.  As Cauble explains it:

Alice, unhappy with her prim, proper existence in Victorian England, travels through time into an age that allegorically resembles our own.  There, she encounters elitist tea-partiers and a philosopher cat, before she is consumed by an assaulting music video.  Her only hope for understanding this foreign world of spectacle is to somehow find Guy Debord.

That’s right, Alice desperately needs to locate Guy Debord, noted theorist, filmmaker, and founder of the Situationist International.  It’s wacky, yes, but there’s a method (of sorts) to Cauble’s madness.  He aims to embed these shorts as “special features” in the Disney disks themselves, so as to render,

the meaning of the whole product ambiguous.  Within the confusion as to the legitimacy of the d?ɬ

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment