Uncritical society self-spectaclization and conscious subjugation of free time to the interests of corporative creative industries and industries of leisure time are conditions and challenge to rethink thoughts and actions of the leader of the French International Situationismand Psychogeography Guy Debord. The project “The society of the spectacle” is dedicated to the program book with the same name, published in 1967. Today, we recognize the situacionist International by student riots in Paris in 1968, but also by Debord’s manifest.
Guy Debord was a public activist, radical artist and critical philosopher deeply involved into first conscious rebellion or even revolution against society of the spectacle. Guy Debord defines the current state under the thesis that “in societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles.”
The multiplicity of his own ideas, actions and concepts of his circle of activists actually rocked the repressive state apparatus, which has put not only the police, the army, mental hospitals and prisons, but also a new way of control through exploitation of leisure time and imaginary. Debord was one of the first who began to criticize the new forms of exploitation and enrichment of persons through the production, distribution and consumption of images.
The spectacle by Debord is not only a collection of images, but “a social relation among people mediated by images that can not be understood as a mere visual deception produced by mass media because it is a world view that is materialized.” In the global expansion of consumer culture and the world estradisation leisure, society today turned into a series of spectacular events. The moment is no longer lived trough the reality, but trough the world of images, that is documented, memorized and placed in the context of individual mythologies.
Society of the spectacle has become a continual process of self-spectaclization of groups, when the apparatus is no longer necessary to use the repressive character of advertising and erotic images. The groups alienate themselves, brainwash and exploit themselves and for the opportunity to be subordinated servants willing to pay.
Society prefers to be watched, be controlled and chooses to live in the Matrix of deception. Moreover, the society internalizes specialization, learns the forms of control, accept self-exploitation through imaginary, prefer to be one-dimensional.
The whole world has become the world manipulated images by biopolitics. According to Federic Jameson we live in the society devoid of “all historicity, whose alleged past is little more than a set od dusty spectacles”
New reading “The Society of the Spectacle” of G.Debord is relevant and induces criticism of society of self-spectalization. The new reading could help to break voluntarily choosing of the Matrix, to destruct the society’s dreams to subjugate the leisure time for capitalistic industries. Development of public critics, new situations and contextualization, supporting of many artistic alternatives, communicational potlatch and public psychic conditions are the way of G. Debord and his followers.
Zizic/Kozul are participating at “The Society of the Spectacle” as a part of an EU project REALISE, coordinated by Heinrich Böll Stiftung Brandenburg from Germany. Project objective is to redefine and recontextualize the heritage of “The Society of the Spectacle” as an instrument of new theoretical and artistic alternatives through new readings, but also as a criticism of today’s Society of Self-Spectaculization.
Gintautas Mažeikis and Josip Zanki
Sinisa Labrovic, Vlasta Delimar, Martina Miholic, Zlatko Kopljar, Zizic/Kozul, Khaled Hafez, Gintautas Mazeikis, Luise Kloos, Giovanni Morbin
© Studio Zizic/Kozul
Photographed by Damir Zizic