by Philip Ursprung, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Guy Debord, in The Society of Spectacle (1967) states that the "capitalist production system has unified space, breaking down the boundaries between one society and the next." In Debord's view, this unification is also a process of "trivialization". In his words:
"Just as the accumulation of commodities mass-produced for the abstract space of the market inevitably shattered all regional and legal barriers, as well as all those corporative restrictions that served in the Middle Ages to preserve the quality of craft production, so too it was bound to dissipate the independence and quality of places. The power to homogenize is the heavy artillery that has battered down all Chinese walls."1
Read this article in its entirety. (Page 74)
Rendering of the aluminum clad addition to the new Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photograph copyright Colin Oglesbay, University of Minnesota Graduate Student, 2005.
Philip Ursprung is the Science Foundation Professor for Art History in the department of
architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.