The shituationist tendency of the global general sublation (aka the Shituationist Institute) runs a website on electronic dance music, contemporary art and critical theory for about 10 years. Our basic position is: we don’t think that a life only full of techno parties is a joyful life but we trust in the power of art to open the view for the needs of people. And we say one need is to celebrate and feel unlimited in autonomous and collective spaces. Like in those times that we feel connected to complete strangers and develop the understanding of happiness as something that is to be constructed. The goal with our blog is to tell you about what happens today, and what we dream of for tomorrow.
These are some essential texts on Shituationism:
Shituationist rave art history:
We understand raves as collective artworks, which sets a different focus than the common understanding of raves as a kind of dancing concert with pre-recorded machine music that is mixed by the master of ceremony in an ingenious way. He shall guide us, he shall react to the crowd, etc. We focus on what happens beyond that, what is enabled by the situation of people gathering in a rather dark room with loud repetitive music. What is a rave, how can we do a philosophy of raves, or rather: how can raves be philosophy, how can we do a non-philosophy of raves.
The maze of freedom in the abyss of free time. There is of course no such thing as free time, the fact that we are all online all the time is just an electronic metaphor for the fact of the leash that ties us into this wealth and misery of capitalogenic cities.
In Greece crisis bears shituationism:
December 08 uprising seems to be an influence to the Athenian youth concerning that particular sphere. Self organization structures, occupied open spaces like the autonomous parks etc… have facilitated the contemporary electronic music scene and beyond. December among other things was a rising process of a new counter culture who partly replaced the traditional forms of the “insurrectionist” one.
That was the “education” for thousands of young people in Athens. The focus on drugs, getting wasted, hippy music commodity. Unfortunately many of our friends have experienced the electronic music like that. A good opportunity to get wasted, earning money out of it, being ignorant for social issues, selfish and so on. Others saw it as a good opportunity for a career and rather a lifestyle, definitely not as counterculture or whatever else.
The situationist idea to let old city structures like the labyrinths of Amsterdam grow into superstructures across the whole planet with psychogeographic zones according to the needs of the inhabitants (titled “New Babylon”) was defeated by european cities being a collage of old and new.
Political hedonism could be roughly described as the idea that the temporary zones of exclusivist happiness, like at parties, form situations, that point at the utopia of happiness for all. It is of course mostly popular in Berlin. We criticize this idea as temporary hedonist comfort zones, as a dilemma instead of a perspective. It is the weekend as a time zone of freedom, enforcing the normativity of five days work, two days clubbing. Not only is that approach temporary and exclusivist, the situations only live through the cliché of the adventurous. We propose instead: Aim at being boring! Raves can have much more potential than temporary hedonist comfort. This opens a new and better problem: how to extrapolate the potentials of rave itself instead of just subordinating it to a cult of freedom and happiness with the weekend as a model for utopia.
Global collective boredom:
In the society of adventure, the only adventure that remains is boringness. Boringness is a constructed state completely different to boredom. “Boredom is the reflex to the objective grey” (T. W. Adorno), boringness is what we propose: an aesthetic that does not aim at recognition and visibility, but at impact. So unspectacular that it breaks out of the order of the spectacle. Deviance, to act outside the norm, can mean the search for comfort, even if the act itself seemed to aim at finding adventure. People who are bored seek entertainment, and will find lots of it without deviant behaviour in mass culture. But people who feel uncomfortable with this mass culture will find their comfort in deviant communities. We define this as social comfort: these precarious moments of feeling alone in presence, or connected in moving ambivalence, free association instead of unification. Since it is not possible under present social conditions to feel good with the global human society, we see a limit of the concept. “Shituationism means to realize that the spectacle of situationist comfort is shit. That we only do shit on a pile of shit to get out of the shit.” In the style of our evaluation we also accredit the limitations of these modes of freedom. And through that we make the deficit of any positive reference to the idea of freedom tangible.
Shituationist interface theory:
What can we learn from the current generation, the rave and internet generation? Social media, the pretty surfaces that allow me to be connected to you and everybody else, which have this connectivity and communication as a function, constitute their own section of reality, instead of just being a means of transmission. We all know that, maybe this is why we added the word social in the term. Even if there are no images or media that are not social. The modifiable surfaces, the interactive pictorial spaces, the interfaces of the web, join the profane representations of the world and the sacred untouchable images of art. Large parts of life are now lived there, in that architecture of intimacy, through a dislocation of nearness into a pictorial space. It even serves as a factory space for the superfluous, who work there in a occupational therapy of valuing and spreading cultural goods. The endless wealth of the net is offered in the mode of art, inexhaustible, and generates potentials. In the crisis of social media lies the potential of contact. This possibility seems to be more rooted in the conditions of the social than those of the media.
Out of the hedonist comfort zone:
The luxury of relative safety and free time that parts of the world population have, means being able to choose to work on the education wich enables the transformation and to build up autonomy als strengthening of freedom, not as exclusive collective, not for oneself, but as an open and therefore deviant form.
– Shituationism Will Win –