Category:Situationist Times

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Introduction

Jacqueline de Jong in her studio with pinball machine. Archive Jacqueline de Jong. Photo: Nico Koster/Maria Austria Instituut.

Originally intended to be an English-language counterpart to the Internationale Situationiste, The Situationist Times was a publication initiated in 1962 by artist Jacqueline de Jong as a response to her expulsion from the Situationist International. The 14th Special Issue will take, as its point of departure, the never published 7th issue of the Situationist Times. Had it been published, the issue would have provided an exhaustive topological exploration of Pinball.

This trimester, we will be asking: what would the seventh issue of the Situationist Times look like nowadays?

Our topic of exploration? Videogames. Our means of exploration? Videogames. Considered by Stephen Kline, Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter to be the ‘ideal commodity’ of post-Fordist capitalism, videogames embody its acting social forces, conflicts and crises. As a cultural artifact, video games, and triple-A video games especially, reflect and reproduce dominant hegemonic structures, often serving as a means to educate subjects into specific roles under neoliberal capitalism. Much like with the pinball machines described in the unpublished Situationist Times, the multibillion-dollar videogame industry has historically catered to a cishetero, white male audience.

However, the same mechanisms that allow videogames to function as a reproductive technology may also be explored for their emancipatory potential, making video games an especially persuasive medium for artistic expression. Together, we will be looking into a growing array of tactical videogames used for social and political activism. We will immerse ourselves in the artistic programme of the Situationists in order to explore the radical potential of play. Play, both as a category and tactic, was a major topic of interest for the Situationists. Their aim was to expand play into the whole of life, liberating it from its commodified forms under capitalism and fully utilizing its capacity for critique and subversion. In the tradition of Situationism1, we will get hands-on with the creation of videogaming experiments in order to hijack, détourne and abuse traditional videogaming canon.


1 With caution and critical distance: the Situationists were a famously homogeneous group (e.g.: only two of their most active members were women)

Glossary: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/SituationistTimes_Glossary

Week 1

Tuesday, January 5th:

Kick-off Special Issue #14:

  • Intro to Situationist Times nº7
  • Overview of the topics we will be tackling during the trimester

With: Lídia, Manetta, Michael, Aymeric and Steve

Meeting place: https://hotline.xpub.nl/st7

Pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/05012021

For next week:

  • Explore the Vandalist interface for the Situationist Times: http://vandal.ist/thesituationisttimes/ and select a fragment (either from the magazine, the video, or both) that grabs your attention/tickles your fancy in order to present it to the group next week (don't forget to justify why you chose it).

Week 2

Tuesday, January 12th

Diving into The Situationist Times nº7: Pinball original material:

  • Annotation exercises with Steve
  • Discussion of key concepts, methods and insights

File:SituationistTimes7.pdf

With: Lídia, Steve

Meeting place: https://hotline.xpub.nl/st7

Pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/12012021

Glossary Pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/SituationistTimes_Glossary

Assignment:

  • In preparation for our next session, read the Situationist Manifesto: http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/9 You don't need to annotate it extensively, but if you could bring some questions, thoughts and comments that we could discuss at the beginning of our next session that would help getting the (pin)ball rolling.

Further Reading:

Prototyping

https://pad.xpub.nl/p/2020-01-11-prototyping

Group Work/Research

Martin & Jacopo Research Wiki

Week 3

Tuesday, January 19th

Diving into Situationism:

  • Brief history
  • Key concepts and methods: spectacle, détournement, dérive (psychogeography), unitary urbanism
  • Critique
  • The Situationist definition of play
  • Annotation exercises with Steve
  • Discussion of key concepts, methods and critique

With: Lídia, Steve

Meeting place: https://hotline.xpub.nl/st7

Pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/19012021

Literature:

Further Reading:

Wednesday 20th January - A session with Steve

Prototyping

Week 4

Tuesday, January 26th

Play:

  • From pinball to videogames
  • Intro to the topic of videogames
  • The reproductive role of videogames

With: Lídia

Meeting place: https://hotline.xpub.nl/st7

Pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/26012021

1 Sentence Game Ideas: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/gameideas

Literature:

Further reading:

Prototyping

Week 5

Monday, February 1st

Prototyping session with Michael

Tuesday, February 2nd

Lecture: Jamie Woodcock (https://www.jamiewoodcock.net/)

  • The 'gamer' identity
  • Gamergate and Alt-Right

With: Lídia

Literature:

Games:

  • T.B.C.
  • T.B.C.

Wednesday, February 3rd

Session with Steve

Thursday, February 4rd
Session with Manetta

  • Html 2 Print using Images downloaded (with API) > Print a small publication

Prototyping

Week 6

Tuesday, February 9th

Public Lecture: Ellef Prestsæter (https://monoskop.org/Ellef_Prests%C3%A6ter)

Tactical Game Studies:

  • Brief intro to tactical media
  • "Games against Empire"/ Situationist gaming:
    • Counterplay
    • Dissonant Development
    • Tactical Games
  • 1st publication brainstorm session

With: Lídia, Aymeric

Literature:

Games:

Week 7

Tuesday, February 16th

Public Lecture: Anne-Marie Schleiner (http://www.opensorcery.net/)

Week 8

Tuesday, March 2nd

Lecture: Kishonna Gray (http://www.kishonnagray.com/)

Feminist Game Studies:

  • Beyond Representation
  • Gaming cultures and subcultures
  • The videogames industry and the workplace

With: Lídia

Literature:

Games:

Week 9

Tuesday, March 9th

  • Speculative Feminist Fabulation
  • Games as zines
  • Editorial guidance and support

With: Lídia, Marloes (T.B.C.)

Literature:

Games:


Week 10

Tuesday, March 16th

Editorial guidance and support

With: Lídia, Manetta

Week 11

Tuesday, March 23rd

Editorial guidance and support

With: Lídia, Manetta

Week 12

Tuesday, March 30th

Safe Launch Party \o/

Pages in category "Situationist Times"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.