A psychic collaboration of ravaged memories beginning with Guy Debord’s ‘On Chance’ (1952) – geometric forms are strewn across the plane, disrupted by inarticulate gestures. This, bringing to mind John Cage’s lecture ‘Indeterminacy’ (1958) – and a recollected admiration [that cover!] of Sounds Like Silence: John Cage - 4’33” – Silence Today (Spector Books, 2018, ISBN: 978-3-94006-441-7) mutated via Il Grande Silenzio (1968), Sergio Corbucci’s revisionist Spaghetti Western inspired by the deaths of Che Guevara and Malcolm X – starring Klaus Kinski, with a score by Ennio Morricone (a serendipitous dusty video store find, moons ago). Tonight, an arctic night walk during lockdown in the aural company of Jean-Marie Apostolidès, discussing his book, Ivan Chtcheglov: Profil Perdu (Allia, 2006, ISBN 978-2-84485-215-1). Chtcheglov wrote Formulaire Pour un Urbanisme Nouveau/Formulary for a New Urbanism (1953) at age nineteen, under the name Gilles Ivain, providing a key inspiration to Debord, the Lettrist International and the Situationist International. Chtcheglov’s text also inspired the naming of Manchester’s infamous nightclub, the Haçienda (1982–97):
“And you, forgotten, your memories ravaged by all the consternations of two hemispheres, stranded in the Red Cellars of Pali-Kao, without music and without geography, no longer setting out for the hacienda where the roots think of the child and where the wine is finished off with fables from an old almanac. That’s all over. You’ll never see the hacienda. It doesn’t exist.
The hacienda must be built.”
Lastly, at a time when so many of are out of work (2020), we recall Debord’s painted slogan on a wall on the Rue de Seine, ‘Ne travaillez jamais,’ ‘Never Work.’ The three words contain an entire program: inciting the dismantling of whatever is left of the mythology surrounding the worker embedded in ourselves. Shall we race back to ‘normal’ when all is said and done, or shall we find neue ways of life—détournement?