from Guy Debord

To Constant
Thursday 30 April [1959]
Dear Constant:

Once more I respond in great haste to your last two letters.

We agree on preparing Potlatch[1] in one month's time. And we also agree to give it an urbanist orientation (with schemas, etc.). Thus, we will have the occasion to get together before then. I hope that we can arrange this meeting to be in Amsterdam, with [Maurice] Wyckaert in attendance, during the first few days of June [1959].

We also agree on [Har] Oudejans (I have only evoked a tactical incident in Munich). The example of the vacuum cleaner is very good. Everything is contained in the question of praxis, as opposed to the hollow, dualist philosophies of retarded artistic chattering. You are right to say so: we have too many things to do to infinitely repeat these explications. They will exactly be superceded by our action. And then, these naiveties will no longer be heaved against us, because this obstruction is only explained by the current transition in which some of us see the emptiness of the domains that we regretfully abandon and the emptiness of the virgin domains. These repetitions, which are exterior to our true problems, are a reassuring way of furnishing [meubler] this emptiness.

I have received your catalogue:[2] it is very good. Nevertheless, I think that the ideology in general, and especially that of unitary urbanism, have undergone a certain regression due to the modification of the initial catalogue. I doubt that [Willem] Sandbery did this innocently. Naturally, he has tended to make a catalogue that is more exactly adapted to the Amsterdam Museum than to the SI.

I would like to have at least 50 copies and, if possible, 70 or 80.

Personally, and without having the time to ask the opinion of anyone else, I prefer the term Bureau of Research into U.U.[3] because this seems a little more modest (for those on the exterior [of the SI]) and because it less likely (in the interior of the SI) to create confusion about the notions of "center," domination, etc. The Bureau is the place where a certain work is done, and those who participate in this work compose the Bureau. The word "center" introduces a hint of distinction and hierarchy. And you have seen in Munich how these trifling details can be enlarged upon by the survivors of personal artistic vanity.

See you soon. Very amicably to you, Oudejans, Armando, etc.


P.S. The photo of the unitary urbanists at their secret meeting is very successful.

[1] Translator: originally published by the Lettrist International (1954-1957), Potlatch was revived as a situationist publication in 1959. A first (and only) issue was published on 15 July 1959.

[2] Translator: Constant (May 1959) was the first publication by the Library of Alexandria, a project directed and financed by Asger Jorn. According to plan, Volume I of these monographs ("the autonomy of which does not engage the ideological responsibility of the SI") was to include Pinot-Gallizio, published July 1960; Maurice Wyckaert, announced July 1960, but never published; The Long Voyage by Jorn and Wemaere, published December 1960; Against the Cinema by Guy Debord, published 1964; and The Origins of the Situationist International, which was never published.

[3] Translator: unitary urbanism.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 1, 1957-1960. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! October 2005.)

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