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How did Guy Debord and the rest of the Situationist International live?

+4 votes
I see the various members of the SI within photographs, drinking various wines and other assorted beverages, dressed quite nicely, smoking cigarettes...I wonder to as how and where they lived, their living condition, their background, their source of living, how they practiced their theories opposing the "Spectacle" within a capitalist framework etc...
asked Oct 19, 2016 by anonymous
There's one book written by situationists that goes into lifestyle/activity experiments, the situationist international anthology:

https://www.amazon.com/Situationist-International-Anthology-Ken-Knabb/dp/0939682044

However, I haven't read this one because sometimes I find their form of conversation/writing a tad bit hard to stomach. Their lifestyles probably weren't too much tremendously different than ours, not all that revolutionary or anything, since the basis for what they did was their intellectual dialogue. Of course, like anarchists in general, many of them probably expressed an interest in insurrection/riots, and I'm sure there are plently of places you can read about what the students and the situationists did during the May '68 uprising.

1 Answer

+2 votes
From what I've read it sounds like they did not have a great deal, and what they did have came from friends/family. Certainly they never made much off their writing or films - I think it would be a mistake to think that they must be well off based on how they're dressed in photos. The current uniform for the young and underemployed did not exist yet.

There's a pretty interesting interview with Henri Lefebvre where it's suggested that Michele Bernstein (with whom Debord lived at one point) made a living by doing horoscopes for horses, which were published in a racing magazine.

http://www.notbored.org/lefebvre-interview.html

Second, I read a very good Agamben essay a while ago where he talks about Debord's obsession with representing their lifestyle. Agamben knew them and he has some very good things to say about their lives. I'll see if I can find it again.
answered Oct 30, 2016 by asker (7,720 points)
Please do! You have re-ignited my interest in the situationists.;.perhaps I will try to read one of the sections of the situationist international anthology again
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