Scott Myles (Artist)

Research output: Other contribution


Potlatch is a creative portfolio of exhibitions and activities by Scott Myles that negotiates a response to Situationist Guy Debord’s injunction in The Society of the Spectacle (1967) that art should be both realised and destroyed. Myles makes an examination of gift exchange and value.

Myles’s research begins with a text on Ralph Rumney, sole British founding member of the Situationist International, published in Tate Etc. (Summer 2014). Myles was commissioned by Lafayette Anticipations to research the Guy Debord Archive, Bibliotheque nationale de France, along with research visits to Champot, Debord’s last home.

Myles’s methodology developed a ‘trojan horse’ artwork, funded by a cultural institution and department store (one of the type described by Debord as ‘temple of frenetic consumption’) for an artwork challenging consumption. ‘Potlatch’ references the eponymous Letterist International bulletin (1954 - 1957), and the North American term describing the pre-commercial circulation of goods founded upon a reciprocity of gifts. Myles’s Potlatch created a situation in which his gift-wrap sheets, printed with his images of Debord’s home, were given freely to shoppers as they participated in typical systems of commerce at Lafayette Maison (29 June - 5 July 2014). Myles brings together antagonistic entities in an unlikely setting with his intervention: images of the home of a dissident intellectual figure used to wrap items at pay points throughout the Lafayette Maison department store.

Additional dissemination includes Venir Voir Venir at Rem Koolhaas’s/ OMA Foundation Complex; solo exhibition ‘Mummies’ at The Modern Institute, Glasgow, as part of Scotland’s 2014 ‘Generation’ programme; Independent in New York; and Potlatch artist’s book published by The Modern Institute (2016). The project has been reviewed in Performance Research (2019).
Original languageEnglish
TypeMulti component output
Media of outputMixed media installation
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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