Talk /
McKenzie Wark on “Leaving the 21st Century”

Date: Saturday, 7 February 2009, 7–9 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary

McKenzie Wark’s lavishly illustrated talk will examine the prospects for getting out of this century, which seems at first glance no better than the last one. Leaving the 20th century was one of the enduring slogans of the Situationist International (1957–1972). They failed in the attempt, but along the way bequeathed many key concepts to us, including psychogeography, the dérive, unitary urbanism, and the society of the spectacle. They also spawned at least one major work of critical and utopian architecture in Constant’s New Babylon. But instead of treating these as seductive historical curiosities, or as precursors to more “acceptable” notions, McKenzie Wark asks what might survive the recuperation of the Situationists and act as pointers to new practices. Rather than attempting to make an unbearable totality “sustainable,” how can we pick up the thread of those who dared to negate this world as a whole and imagine it anew?

McKenzie’s new book 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International (Princeton Architectural Press), and Guy Debord’s Correspondence: The Founding of the Situationist International (Semiotexte), for which Wark wrote the introduction, will be available at special prices.

About the Participant
McKenzie Wark teaches at the New School, and is the author of A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard UP), Gamer Theory (Harvard UP), and various other things.