Lueder, Christoph (2018) Situationists. In: Arrigo, Bruce A., (ed.) The Sage Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security and Privacy. London, U.K. : Sage. pp. 914-917. 3 ISBN 9781483359946


The Situationist International (1957-72) and the groups that preceded it, such as the Lettrist International (1952-57), understood control and surveillance as a principle of organization in the modern world. Their social and spatial theory is most fully developed in The Society of the Spectacle (1967), by Guy Debord, their self-proclaimed leader, and in his subsequent Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988). Debord argued that everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation, encapsulated by the spectacle, which mediates social relationships through images. The Situationists conceived of two practices, dérive and détournement, which serve to recognize the spectacle, and resist the control it exerts. More recently, the pervasive electronic gathering of personal data by companies and intelligence services has brought renewed attention to the linkage between commodification and surveillance that was theorized by the Situationists.

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