Diet Soap: The Spectacle of Disintegration

by Douglas Lain and McKenzie Wark on August 25, 2013

The guest this week is an author and a professor of Communications at the New School, McKenzie Wark. Wark’s latest book The Spectacle of Disintegration is the subject for today’s podcast and I was glad for the chance to discuss some of my favorite avant garde radicals, namely the Situationist International.

At one point in the discussion Wark points out that he finds the idea of an Orthodox interpretation of Marx to be an antiquated and highly suspect idea, and I largely agree with him. However, I would point out that if there is such a thing as an Orthodox interpretation of Marx today it is a Marx without Marx, and that the most dogmatic forms of anti-capitalism today are precisely those without a theory of what Capitalism is. What that means is that calls for Orthodoxy or a return to Marx are, paradoxically, a way of breaking with today’s dogmas and orthodoxies.

It’s Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 and I’m Douglas Lain the host of the podcast.

Thanks again to everyone who donated to the Think the Impossible book and podcast tour through Kickstarter. My novel Billy Moon will be coming out from Tor Books is six days, on August 27th, and I’ll be traveling to San Francisco, Chicago, and NYC in order to promote the novel and this podcast. If you’re hearing this now and you live in NYC, Chicago, or San Francisco I do hope you’ll turn up to these events. I’ll be at Bluestockings in NYC on September 15th at 7pm, and you’ll get a chance to meet McKenzie Wark at that event and to participate in a follow up conversation to the one you’re about to hear.

There are several sound clips in this episode. You’ll hear many clips from the American situationist film Call it Sleep, as well as clips of TJ Clark, Andrew Kliman, and Woody Allen. Pierre Schaeffer’s avant garde Symphony Apostrophe comes near the end of the episode.

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