1.13 Publications for Situationist Agitation


Translated by Ian Thompson, August 2015. Proofread and Edited by Mehdi el H.

    On January 1st 1958 the initial manifesto of the German section of the SI was published in Munich under the title “Nervenruh! Keine Experimente!” [1]. In violently condemning the impoverishment of cultural pseudo-innovations, this tract pointed to [2] the way out: “Damen und Herren, lassen Sie sicht nicht provozieren: das ist das letzte Gefecht!… Wann kommt der neue Einheitsstuhl? Ein Gespenst geistert durch die Welt: die situationistische International.” [3]

   Shortly thereafter the French section published the tract “The New Theatre of Operations in Culture” and the call “To the Producers of Modern Art” (“If you are tired of mimicking the wreckage [4]; if you think that the fragmented [5] repetitions expected from you are outdated before they [even] come to be, make contact with us to organise new abilities, at a higher level, aimed at the transformation of the surrounding environment.” [6])

   “Potlatch“, the information bulletin of the Lettrist International until its 28th issue, has come under the supervision of our united organisation, whose French section will continue its irregular publication. In June Asger Jorn’s book “Pour la Forme” was published by the SI in Paris – it is a collection of many texts published in different languages between 1953 and 1957, presenting the key [7] theoretical contributions of the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus – which has also integrated itself into the new International.

   In Belgium our comrades published an interview with Jorn on the meaning of the changes in experimental art before and since the “Cobra” movement (1949-1951). It is included in a book dealing with the history of the avant-garde gallery “Taptoe” (which was closed after [8] the psychogeographical exhibition of February 1957). [They have also published] a second edition of “Report on the Construction of Situations“. A translation of this report, done by our Italian section, was published in Turin in May (Editions Notizie).

  The Belgian section of the SI has also been concerned with extending [9] its propaganda into Holland, with Walter Korun’s Dutch-language study on the origins and current program of the Situationist International, written for number 11 of the journal “Gard-Sivik”.

As this new translation was being produced, I cross-referenced it to an existing translation made by Reuben Keehan available on-line here. I would like to acknowledge the work done by Reuben Keehan, and the real assistance his translation provided to me. However all final decisions (for better or worse – which is for the reader to decide) in this translation are mine alone. 

[1] “Keep Calm! Take no Risks!”

[2] “ne manque pas d’en désigner” – literally “did not lack to show/indicate in it”

[3] “Ladies and Gentlemen, don’t let yourselves be provoked: this is the last Battle! . . . When will the new Einheitsstuhl appear? A Spectre is haunting the World: the Situationist International.” (Note: the Einheitsstuhl was a chair proposed by the Bauhaus).

[4] “démolitions” – literally “demolition rubble”

[5] “fragmentaires” – literally “fractions” (“fragmented” is a loose translation)

[6] added quotation marks

[7] “l’essentiel des” – literally “the crux of the”

[8] “qui fut achevée avec” – literally “which was completed/terminated with”

[9] “préoccupée d’étendra” – literally “concerned about the spread”