From antiglobalist activists and corporate adbusters to online hackers and guerilla street artists, the influence of the Situationist International (SI) is writ large across our contemporary cultural landscape. Formed in 1957 as a merger of four European avant-garde groups with backgrounds in Marxism and Lettrism, the SI would over the next decade introduce many key intellectual and artistic concepts to us, including the society of the spectacle, pyschogeography, unitary urbanism, and at least one major work of critical and utopian architecture in Constant's New Babylon: City for Another Life. In 50 Years of Recuperation McKenzie Wark, the critically acclaimed author of A Hacker Manifesto, explores how our contemporary understanding of art, politics, and even reality itself has been shaped by these original culture jammers.
McKenzie Wark was a well known Australian public intellectual who in 2000 married a New Yorker and moved to NYC. He now teaches at the New School for Social Research. In 2004 he published A Hacker Manifesto, the first critical theory of intellectual property. This controversial book has since been translated into eight languages. In 2007 he published Gamer Theory, a critique of the co-option of the spirit of play and creativity by what he calls "gamespace." This book was widely noted for the innovative collaborative internet version in which the author discussed the book with readers and amended it before its eventual book publication. Both books drew heavily on the work of the avant garde group the Situationist International (1957-1972), and in 2007 Wark gave the Buell center evening lecture on them, which then became 50 Years of Recuperation: The Situationist International 1957-2007.