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Guy Debord also known as "Debord Guy" was born in Paris in Debord's father, Martial, was a pharmacist who died when Debord was young. Debord's mother, Paulette Rossi, sent Guy to live with his grandmother in her family villa in Italy. As a result, Debord attended high school in Cannes, where he began his interest in film and vandalism.

After ending his stint at the University of Paris, he began his career as a writer. Debord joined the Letterist International when he was The Letterists were led dictatorially by Isidore Isou until a widely agreed upon schism ended Isou's authority.

This schism gave rise to several factions of Letterists, one of which was decidedly led by Debord upon Gil Wolman 's unequivocal recommendation. Some consider his book The Society of the Spectacle to be a catalyst for the uprising, [6] although perhaps a more immediately significant text was Mustapha Khayati 's " On the Poverty of Student Life ", published in November In , the Letterist International, the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus , and the London Psychogeographical Association gathered in Cosio d'Arroscia Cuneo , Italy, to found the Situationist International, with Debord having been the leading representative of the Letterist delegation.

Initially made up of a number of well-known artists such as Asger Jorn and Pinot Gallizio , the early days of the SI were heavily focused on the formulation of a critique of art, which would serve as a foundation for the group's future entrance into further political critiques. The SI was known for a number of its interventions in the art world, which included one raid against an international art conference in Belgium during [7] that included a large pamphlet drop and significant media coverage, all of which culminated in the arrest of various situationists and sympathizers associated with the scandal.

In addition to this action, the SI endeavored to formulate industrial painting, or, painting prepared en masse with the intent of defaming the original value largely associated with the art of the period. In the course of these actions, Debord was heavily involved in the planning and logistical work associated with preparing these interventions, as well as the work for Internationale Situationniste associated with theoretical defense of the Situationist International's actions.

In the early s Debord began to direct the SI toward an end of its artistic phase, eventually expelling members such as Jorn, Gallizio, Troche, and Constant—the bulk of the "artistic" wing of the SI—by Having established the situationist critique of art as a social and political critique, one not to be carried out in traditional artistic activities, the SI began, due in part to Debord's contributions, to pursue a more concise theoretical critique of capitalist society along Marxist lines.

With Debord's work, The Society of the Spectacle , and excerpts from the group's journal, Internationale Situationniste , the Situationists began to formulate their theory of the spectacle, which explained the nature of late capitalism's historical decay.

In Debord's terms, situationists defined the spectacle as an assemblage of social relations transmitted via the imagery of class power, and as a period of capitalist development wherein "all that was once lived has moved into representation".

In , Debord disbanded the Situationist International after its original members, including Asger Jorn and Raoul Vaneigem , quit or were expelled. Vaneigem wrote a biting criticism of Debord and the International. Debord was suspected of Lebovici's murder.

Distraught by the accusations and his friend's death, Debord took his films and writings out of production until after his death. He had agreed to have his films released posthumously at the request of the American researcher, Thomas Y. After dissolving the Situationist International, Debord spent his time reading, and occasionally writing, in relative isolation in a cottage at Champot with Alice Becker-Ho, his second wife.

He continued to correspond on political and other issues, notably with Lebovici and the Italian situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti. Bernstein wrote a vaguely fictional but detailed account of the open relationships Mochot and she had with Debord in her novel All The King's Horses.

Just before Debord's death, he filmed although did not publish a documentary, Son art et son temps His Art and His Times , an autobiography of sorts that focused primarily on social issues in Paris in the s. It has been suggested that his dark depiction of this period was a suicide note of sorts. Both Debord's depression and alcohol consumption had become problematic, resulting in a form of polyneuritis. Perhaps in order to end the suffering caused by these conditions, Debord committed suicide by shooting himself in the head or possibly heart on 30 November This was not the first time he attempted to end his life.

Debord's suicide is as controversial as it is unclear. Debord was said to be "victim of the Spectacle he fought". He was murdered by the thoughtlessness and selfishness of so-called scholars primarily trendy lit-criters who colonized his brilliant ideas and transformed his radical politics into an academic status symbol not worth the pulp it's printed on…" [19].

On 29 January , fifteen years after his death, Christine Albanel , Minister of Culture , classified the archive of his works as a " national treasure " in response to a sale request by Yale University. Guy Debord's best known works are his theoretical books, The Society of the Spectacle [11] and Comments on the Society of the Spectacle.

The Society of the spectacle was written in an "interesting prose", unlike most writings in that time or of that nature. For Debord, the Spectacle is viewed as false representations in our real lives. The Spectacle is a materialized worldview.

The spectacle 'subjects human beings to itself'. Debord was deeply distressed by the hegemony of governments and media over everyday life through mass production and consumption.

He criticized both the capitalism of the West and the dictatorial communism of the Eastern bloc for the lack of autonomy allowed to individuals by both types of governmental structure. Debord postulated that Alienation had gained a new relevance through the invasive forces of the ' spectacle ' - "a social relation between people that is mediated by images" consisting of mass media , advertisement , and popular culture.

Semiotics was also a major influence, particularly the work of his contemporary, Roland Barthes, who was the first to envisage bourgeois society as a spectacle, and to study in detail the political function of fashion within that spectacle. As founder of the SI, it has been suggested that Debord felt driven to generalize and define the values, ideas, and characteristics of the entire group, which may have contributed to his hand-picking and expulsion of members.

The hierarchical and dictatorial nature of the SI existed, however, in the groups that birthed it, including the Letterists and the Surrealists. Often, it is suggested that Debord was opposed to the creation of art, however, Debord writes in the Situationist International magazine "Contre le Cinema" that he believes that "ordinary" quotidian people should make "everyday" quotidian art; art and creation should liberate from the spectacle , from capitalism, and from the banality of everyday life in contemporary society.

In "The Society of the Spectacle," Debord argues that it is the price put on art that destroys the integrity of the art object, not the material or the creation itself.

It is important to note that Debord does not equate art to "the spectacle. Debord began an interest in film early in his life when he lived in Cannes in the late s. Debord recounted that, during his youth, he was allowed to do very little other than attend films. He said that he frequently would leave in the middle of a film screening to go home because films often bored him.

Debord joined the Lettrists just as Isidore Isou was producing films and the Lettrists attempted to sabotage Charlie Chaplin 's trip to Paris through negative criticism. Overall, Debord challenged the conventions of filmmaking; prompting his audience to interact with the medium instead of being passive receivers of information. As a matter of fact, his film Hurlements exclusively consists of a series of black and white screens and silence with a bit of commentary dispersed throughout.

The film has no images represented; instead, it shows bright white when there is speaking and black when there is not. Long silences separate speaking parts. The film ends with 24 minutes of black silence. People were reported to have become angry and left screenings of this film. The script is composed of quotes appropriated from various sources and made into a montage with a sort of non-linear narrative. This integration of Debord's world with mass media culture became a running motif climaxing with "The Society of the Spectacle".

Debord wrote the book The Society of the Spectacle before writing the movie. When asked why he made the book into a movie, Debord said, "I don't understand why this surprised people.

The book was already written like a script". Debord's last film, "Son Art et Son Temps", was not produced during his lifetime. It worked as a final statement where Debord recounted his works and a cultural documentary of "his time".

Complete Cinematic Works AK Press, , translated and edited by Ken Knabb includes the scripts for all six of Debord's films, along with related documents and extensive annotations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

French Marxist theorist. For the town in Kentucky, see Debord, Kentucky. Paris , France. Bellevue-la-Montagne , Haute-Loire , France. Can Dialectics Break Bricks? Council for Maintaining the Occupations. Related articles. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

Theories and ideas. Notable works. Organizations and groups. Adbusters Crass CrimethInc. Deep Green Resistance Democracy Now! Related social movements. See also. Political concepts. Philosophies and tendencies. Significant events.

Related topics. Bordigism Communization Council communism Situationist International. Andrew Hussey on the death of a turbulent thinker".

Retrieved 14 July Retrieved 27 December Guy Debord, Concept of the Spectacle. Correspondence: The Founding of the Situationist International. Semiotext e. Situationist International Anthology. Bureau of Public Secrets, The Society of the Spectacle.


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