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is detournment actually subversive?

+1 vote
has "detournment" (which when thinking about it, probably has the literal translation of act-of-detouring, sending someone on a detour) ever led anyone to realize that they are a gear in a grand empire that's killing them?

this was the only thing that ever really irritated me about the situationists is it seemed like their definition of detournment was "showing a contradiction", which sounds like a really angry intellectual
asked Jun 4, 2015 by anonymous
edited Jun 4, 2015 by
it sure is fun, regardless of how subversive it actually is!
let's focus on the fun of actuality rather than the actuality of fun!
by and large, subversive intent does not imply subversive results. hence the frequent success of the system at recuperating actions and trends that may well have had subversive intent.

for sure detournment can have subversive intent. but results...?

as annoying as i find kalle lasn and his project, adbusters has done some of the best advertising detournments i have ever seen, at least back 10-15 years ago they did (haven't seen it in ages). after seeing their trajectory over the years, though, i am not even sure the intent was truly subversive.

i was just talking to someone about this a couple weeks ago -- i don't know that much about adbusters (ie if it's anything other than a magazine), but detourning commercialism in a niche magazine doesn't work. (edit: niche magazines of various sorts, from radical to artsy) are  too easy to fit into the current paradigm.

waaaaay back in the day when saturday night live started, they used to do bits that seemed like commercials until about half way through, so viewers couldn't tell if they were watching a commercial or not. that was some of the most subversive thinking i'd ever seen (maybe the most) on television. i do love me some satire. :)

i remember some of those, and i definitely agree! some great stuff back in the early days of snl.

i remember a great (and fun) thing a friend of mine did years ago. there was some gathering of self-righteous liberal enviro-hypocrits during the same timeframe as a gathering some miles away (near the same road) of gun nut survivalists. the published directions to the enviro gathering used the mile markers on the road to indicate where to turn off into the forest. my friend switched mile marker posts, so that the enviros would turn off toward the gun gathering. wish i could have been there to see the results!
@ funky: that's awesome!

@ dot: SNL was good until that jack-black intro. I know what your talking about, those were hilarious.

the one thing i read in an adbuster magzaine that convinced me they're not subversive is they said "our obligations to other people are what makes life worth living", while i understood what they met i also was disgusted they used those word choices

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