from Guy Debord

To Asger Jorn
Saturday 16 July [1960]
Dear Asger:

We are agreed on the definition of exclusion. The lack of interest and agreement must must actually be expressed, "officially," as an end, a suppression of mutual obligations, and not as an aggression. As I've said to Constant, we want to spare everyone from the boredom of a "dramatic phase." It is only in cases where the excluded themselves do not recognize in it their own advantage, and want to be aggressive, that we follow them on this terrain. As one has already (sometimes) been obliged to make it so in the past, and always to our honor. Because we have always done it with detachment. Enclosed are two documents: 1) the anticipated consequence of Constant's false position, and a response that without doubt contributes to its clarification . . . [and] 2) an article in which even Charles Estienne[1] is brought to take a sympathetic and more intelligent position against the two lamentable cretins who are Genia's pets.

I will occupy myself with topology as soon as possible. And I issued the general alert to the S[ituationist] I[nternational] on the theme: "What do you know about topology?" If the Americans try to banalize the problem, one can always point out that I evoked this notion (though briefly, it is true) in I[nternationale] S[ituationniste] #3, page 37.

Have you received the [copy of] Critique of P[olitical] E[conomy] sent to Albisola by Maurice [Wyckaert]? Here [in Paris], I have distributed nearly all of what I've received. I fear that a package has been blocked by Customs.

[Andre] Frankin wrote to me that he found the Critique to be excellent, and that he estimates that you have "established a principal link for the disappearance of money" in the next society. Bravo!

Frankin has also written a theatre piece, of which I've only read the preface, but which seems completely disruptive and experimental. It is, in any case, an excellent thing that our presence extends little by little to all of the existing artistic sectors. It is by this progression that one can impose a collective field of action. The theoretical error of Constant (to say nothing about his practical manoeuvres) can thus be expressed: he dodges the real and multiple problems of architecture, in supposing them resolved, whereas we have hardly begun to envision this terrain, and he skips directly even beyond urbanism in a production of models (which is, in these conditions, really a sculpture that is more imperialist than any of the other arts have ever been with respect to its neighbors).

If one can reach people in the theatre, and incite them to present a piece like the one Frankin has produced, one can also open an important new domain for situationist scandal. It will be necessary to think of this.

[Guiseppe] Pinot's monograph has encountered other small delays in its production. I think I'll only be able to send it out on 20 July [1960].

Concerning the lumaline, I would be very hesitant to use it [in the printing of I.S.], even if the SI would be enriched. It will be necessary to weigh this question. The effect is obviously superb. But the price is terribly high: 100,000 for the cover (for only 1,600 copies of the journal), but especially 60,000 for supplementary expenses to the printer, representing a lot of work in folding and sewing, entirely by hand -- the machines break the lumaline, which soon tears. And then we will have nearly lost the stock at that stage of fabrication (in this process, one loses at least 10% due to badly sewn copies).

See you soon. Cordially yours,

P.S. I find that the post script[2] to your letter is economically just. It could be a useful bit of "propaganda" for certain people. Because Pinot, who has already quite artfully depreciated his role in the SI by discussing the question of financing, will certainly make more of this issue now that he is outside [the SI] (these things obsess him a little). But, practically speaking, there is no problem at all. I believe that, together, we have to make an immense effort that has scarcely begun. So few people can take part in it in the near future (I hope to be one), and I hope that you yourself don't think to get absorbed in particular efforts, that is, before the day on which you have been made the General Director of U.N.E.S.C.O.

[1] Charles Estienne, an art critic.

[2] Post script (in its original spelling) of the letter from Jorn, dated 12 July 1960:

Pinot has returned to the question of the economic role that I play in the situationist movement. I would quite like it if it does not have unfortunate dispositions for the movement in the future for economic reasons, which I hope is only a worry without foundation and, so as to avoid all misunderstandings on this question[,] specify that my interest in the situationist movement is purely personal and passionate, in a direct fashion, and, if the inevitable developments of social circumstances necessitate my exclusion from the movement[,] this changes absolutely nothing in my purely economic attitude towards this movement. The economic surplus that my social situation, insofar as I am a painter, gives me is best placed with the situationist movement, even if this movement is obliged to attack me for being in a situation from which I can't escape, but which embarasses the movement. I know well that such a situation is possible even if I do all to avoid it. But no one is capable of preventing everything. This gives me in any case an assurance on the subject of the justification for my presence in the movement, if we are in agreement that this problem changes nothing in what concerns my economic contribution to the movement. I think that progressively the situationist movement will develop plenty of people absorbed in a particular effort, which prevents them from directly participating in the situationist project[,] but who will be happy to place the surplus of their involved energy in the movement in this fashion.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 2, 1960-1964. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2005.)

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