Every culture has a mode of existence within which the norms of reality can be temporarily called into question...
Often referred to as play – this mode must be understood as not something simply in opposition to labor but rather a temporal space of existence that allows every aspect of life to be re-imagined, and for new realities to be enacted.
These ideas carried such political power that they became the basis for entire political and architectural movements such as the work of The Situationists and the research of Cedric Price, Bernard Tschumi, and Rem Koolhaas.
Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle begins, “In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of specatcles…Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.” His argument is against a consumerist society which values the act of having over the act of living. The Spectacle is derived from Karl Marx’s concept of fetishizing the commodity; in the spectacle the commodity rules the people instead of the inverse. In Debord’s argument, the spectacle is not just the images portrayed through media and advertisements but the social consequence of the interpreted worldview of the image and its influence on social beliefs and actions, as well as its influence on human interactions. We work to achieve the images projected to us through mass media, propagating the consumerist mindset of Capitalism. Our public and private lives, our feelings, our interests, our opinions, are all filtered through, and limited by, the media profiles we generate and consume, “the spectacle — as manifested in mass entertainment, news, and advertising — alienates us from ourselves and our desires in order to facilitate the accumulation of capital.”