Destruktion af RSG-6: en kollektiv manifestation af Situationistisk Internationale (1963) [DK/FR/EN]

1 March 2016, dusan

Catalogue for an Internationale Situationniste exhibition held at the Galerie EXI in Odense, Denmark, 22 June-7 July 1963.

“The name of the exhibition is an homage to Spies for Peace’s Official Secret – RSG6 action, in which the anti-war activist group revealed that, in the event of a nuclear attack, the British government had conceived a plan to house key central government personnel in a secret bunker known as Regional Seat of Government number 6 (RSG-6). The intent was to insure continuity of law and order in the event of a nuclear holocaust. The information was published in the Danger! Official Secret RSG-6 pamphlet, of which 4,000 copies were produced, then mailed to key officials and distributed on the streets.

The catalogue includes photographic portraits of Guy Debord, Michele Bernstein, J.V Martin and Jan Strijbosch, as well as reproduction of original artwork by these members of the S.I. It also serves as the first edition of Guy Debord’s important text ‘Les Situationnistes ou les nouvelles formes d’action dans la politique ou l’art’, published in the original French as well as in Danish and English translations.

Featured pieces – all the result of some form of detournement – include Debord’s “Directives”, Bernstein’s “Victories”, and J.V. Martin’s “Thermonuclear maps” (paintings representing various regions of the globe during World War III), among others. All the artwork is shown in a gallery setting that invokes a post-nuclear world – one area, for instance, was a reconstruction of an oppressive nuclear bomb shelter.

This catalog is particularly scarce because most copies (and, in a rather ironic twist of the fate, the bulk of the artwork shown at EXI) were destroyed by a fire bomb on 18 March 1965.” (Source)

Publisher Galerie Exi, Odense, [1963]
26 pages
via Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Exhibition review: Else Steen Hansen (Swedish, 1963).
Commentary: Frances Stracey (2006), Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen (2011).

PDF (15 MB)

J. R. McNeill, Corinna R. Unger (eds.): Environmental Histories of the Cold War (2010)

17 February 2015, dusan

“This book explores the links between the Cold War and the global environment, ranging from the environmental impacts of nuclear weapons to the political repercussions of environmentalism. Environmental change accelerated sharply during the Cold War years, and so did environmentalism as both a popular movement and a scientific preoccupation. Most Cold War history however entirely overlooks these developments, which were not only simultaneous but also linked together in ways both straightforward and surprising. The contributors to this book present these connected issues as a global phenomenon, with chapters concerning China, the USSR, Europe, North America, Oceania, and elsewhere. The role of experts as agents and advocates of using the environment as a weapon in the Cold War or, contrastingly, of preventing environmental damage resulting from Cold War politics is also given broad attention.”

Publisher Cambridge University Press, 2010
ISBN 0521762448, 9780521762441
362 pages

Reviews: Chaney (H-Net, 2011), Tucker (Michigan War Studies Review, 2012), Kinkela (Cold War History, 2013).
Conference report by Thomas Robertson (GFI Bulletin, 2007)


PDF (5 MB, updated on 2019-10-11)

Donald MacKenzie: Knowing Machines: Essays on Technical Change (1996)

2 January 2013, dusan

Ranging from broad inquiries into the roles of economics and sociology in the explanation of technological change to an argument for the possibility of “uninventing” nuclear weapons, this selection of Donald MacKenzie’s essays provides a solid introduction to the style and substance of the sociology of technology.

Two conceptual essays are followed by seven empirical essays focusing on the laser gyroscopes that are central to modern aircraft navigation technology, supercomputers (with a particular emphasis on their use in the design of nuclear weapons), the application of mathematical proof in the design of computer systems, computer-related accidental deaths, and the nature of the knowledge that is needed to design a nuclear bomb. Two of the articles won major prizes on their original journal publication. A substantial new introduction outlines the common themes underlying this body of work and places them in the context of recent debates in technology studies.

Publisher MIT Press, 1996
Inside Technology series
ISBN 0262133156, 9780262133159
338 pages

review (Brian Martin, Metascience)

google books