Byproduct of the circulation of commodities, human circulation considered as a form of consumption, tourism comes down fundamentally to the freedom to go and see what has become banal. The economic planning of the frequenting of different places is already in itself the guarantee of their equivalence. The same modernization that has withdrawn the element of time from journeying, has also withdrawn the reality of space.
So many problems we will get to the bottom of later, but whose spatial aspect we must grasp right away. If the space of the industrial economy dominates the social space in which the Parisian worker or intellectual develops, to what extent could residential space, cultural space, or political space be planned without it being necessary to first intervene in economic structures?...In short...: to what extent can we freely build the framework for a social life in which we might be guided by our aspirations and not by our instincts?
Moreover the present abundance3 of private cars is nothing other than the result of the non-stop propaganda through which capitalist production persuades the mob--and in this case is one of its most confounding successes--that the possession of a car is specifically one of the privileges our society reserves for its privileged members.
8. Conditions of DialogueThe functional is what is practical. The only practical thing is the resolution of our fundamental problem: the realization of ourselves (our uncoupling from the system of isolation). This is useful and utilitarian. Nothing else. All the rest represents only trivial derivations of the practical, and its mystification.
The new towns of the 1950s and '60s were nothing less than the spatial translation of alienation and control and in these cities power increasingly could relinquish the old forms of advertising in favor of 'the simple organization of the spectacle of objects of consumption, which will only have consumable value illusory to the extent to which they will first of all have been objects of spectacle' -- to the extent, that is, they have first appeared on the television screen, which henceforth had to be seen as an urbanistic tool in its own right.
We are leading as thorough a study of 'alienation's positive pole' as of its negative pole. As a consequence of our diagnosis of the poverty of wealth, we are able to establish the world map of the extreme wealth of poverty. These speaking maps of a new topography will be in fact the first realization of 'human geography.' On them we will replace oil-deposits with the contours of layers of untapped pedestrian consciousness.
Because of this false idea, they devised an aesthetic belief in making the exterior of an object a reflection of the practical functions of the interior and of the constructive idea. Yet these analyses of utility and necessity that, according to their beliefs, should be the basis for the construction of any object created by humanity become immediately absurd once we analyze all the object being manufactured today. A fork or a bed cannot come to be considered necessary for humanity's life and health, and yet retain a relative value.They are 'learned necessities.' Modern human beings are suffocating under necessities like televisions, refrigerators, etc. And in the process making it impossible to live their real lives. Obviously we are not against modern technology, but we are against any notion of the absolute necessity of objects, to the point even of doubting their real utility.'Asger Jorn
...the assessment of psychological drift, that is the way in which an undirected pedestrian tends to move about in a particular quarter of the town, tending to establish natural connections between places, the zones of influence of particular institutions and public services, and so forth. It may well be objected that these techniques are un-scientific, disorderly and too subjective, but the fact remains that the Situationists are studying the actual texture of towns and their relationship to human beings more intensively than most architects and in a more down-to-pavement manner than most town planners.
4. Radicalism of forms. If a new model once created meets with much success on account of its greater efficiency than its predecessor, it lends certain neighbouring forms a formal radicalism, which attempts to borrow from the appearance of the new form: for example, bronze tools that had reached the furthest development of their utility had a disastrous influence on stone tools, warping them toward an elegance that could only be attained in bronze. Today aviation has imposed its aerodynamic forms even on baby strollers and irons. This radicalism of forms is a result of the fact that people become bored when they do not find some unexpected element in the familiar. This radicalism might seem illogical, as the advocates of standardization believe, but we must not forget that discovery is only made possible by this need of humanity.
...Robert Louis Stevenson presents a character who, in London at night, is astonished 'to walk for such a long time in such a complex decor without encountering even the slightest shadow of an adventure.' The urbanists of the twentieth century will have to construct adventures.The simplest Situationist act would consist in abolishing all the memories of the employment of time of our epoch. It is an epoch that, up until now, has lived far below its means.