constructed situation: A moment of life concretely and deliberately constructed by the collective organization of a unitary ambience and a game of events.
situationist: Relating to the theory or practical activity of constructing situations. One who engages in the construction of situations. A member of the Situationist International.
situationism: A meaningless term improperly derived from the above. There is no such thing as situationism, which would mean a doctrine for interpreting existing conditions. The notion of situationism is obviously devised by antisituationists.
psychogeography: The study of the specific effects of the geographical environment (whether consciously organized or not) on the emotions and behavior of individuals.
psychogeographical: Relating to psychogeography. That which manifests the geographical environments direct emotional effects.
psychogeographer: One who explores and reports on psychogeographical phenomena.
dérive: A mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiences. The term also designates a specific uninterrupted period of dériving.
unitary urbanism: The theory of the combined use of arts and techniques as means contributing to the construction of a unified milieu in dynamic relation with experiments in behavior.
détournement: Short for détournement of preexisting aesthetic elements. The integration of present or past artistic productions into a superior construction of a milieu. In this sense there can be no situationist painting or music, but only a situationist use of those means. In a more elementary sense, détournement within the old cultural spheres is a method of propaganda, a method which reveals the wearing out and loss of importance of those spheres.
culture: The reflection and prefiguration of the possibilities of organization of everyday life in a given historical moment; a complex of aesthetics, feelings and mores through which a collectivity reacts on the life that is objectively determined by its economy. (We are defining this term only in the perspective of creating values, not in that of teaching them.)
decomposition: The process in which traditional cultural forms have destroyed themselves as a result of the emergence of superior means of controlling nature which make possible and necessary superior cultural constructions. We can distinguish between the active phase of the decomposition and effective demolition of the old superstructures which came to an end around 1930 and a phase of repetition that has prevailed since that time. The delay in the transition from decomposition to new constructions is linked to the delay in the revolutionary liquidation of capitalism.
These definitions originally appeared in Internationale Situationniste #1 (Paris, June 1958). This translation by Ken Knabb is from the Situationist International Anthology (Revised and Expanded Edition, 2006). No copyright.