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The Next Step

Attila Kotányi

Der Deutsche Gedanke #1 (April 1963)

Translated by Reuben Keehan

AFTER THE INTENSIVE talks that took place between 10 and 18 October 1961 in Hamburg, we came to the conclusion that:

1. The specialists of thought, logic, language, art, dialectics and philosophy have completely abandoned and disinherited the principle themes, discoveries, historical ambitions, critical audacity, and methodical hopes, dreams and desires of those who went before them;

2. For this reason, we were forced to adopt the following hypothesis: in one form or another, every person, in every industrialized country, aspires toward an interesting everyday life and the critique — formulated by us — of its organization, even if this aspiration is for the most part repressed.

It can't really be said that before October 1961 we felt isolated, as this would seem to be the norm for most avant-garde groups. We passed those years in good company, with positions at something of a remove from the world of the specialists (see issues 1 to 7 of the journal Internationale Situationniste), having no greater or lesser perspective than those of, for instance, an isolated artist, that is to say the perspective of one day finding a greater resonance. In October 1961, the degree of hope for our perspectives grew rapidly, for we recognized our "isolation" as a moment contained in all forms life. (Moment: crisis, conjuncture or instant?)

The SI's next step involves drawing a definitive conclusion from this rapid transformation of probability.

Our conclusion: if, in spite of every appearance and all evidence to the contrary, the sweeping away of our existence is a possibility, then we will be the first to commit ourselves to this dissolution.