- ---- by Richard G. SmithBaudrillard was a founding editor - with Michel De Certeau, Gilbert Lascault, Marc Le Bot, Louis Marin and Paul Virilio - of the periodical Traverses, published by the Georges Pompidou Centre (a.k.a. the Beaubourg) in Paris. Between 1976 and 1989, Baudrillard contributed some eighteen articles to the journal, thirteen of which were subsequently reprinted as book chapters (SED, S, SS, FS, A, TE, IE).The journal emerged on the French intellectual scene in the mid-1970s, just as Baudrillard could no longer see a meaningful role for the journal Utopie to which he contributed and served as an editor. Consequently, Baudrillard shifted his energies from Utopie which was forged in the spirit of Lefebvre's urbanism and an anticipation of the events of May 1968 to Traverses because it was 'based on a kind of transversality, not any more a transgression, in order to find a negativity of another type, more interstitial, more ﬂoating, semi-institutional' (BL, 64). In other words, Baudrillard saw in Traverses the possibility of a critical distance to liberalism and socialism that was of a different type to that afforded by Utopie. While Traverses was published by the Pompidou Centre it was nevertheless antiBeaubourg in the sense that its view of culture was intellectual rather than public. However, for Baudrillard the journal was effectively finished as a critical force in the early years of the 1980s because 'there was a political ultimatum to the journal, via the Beaubourg, to widen its social base, to become a "social" review, to take account of the requests of the people and not to be intellectual' (BL, 65). That is to say that, there was an attempt to turn the periodical into a socialist journal that ultimately compromised the autonomy and foundations of the journal so that, for Baudrillard speaking in 1983, 'Traverses is virtually finished in my opinion, although it will continue for the time being' (BL, 65). Indeed, looking back on the journal in an interview in 1997 Baudrillard noted that, 'for a time, a journal like Traverses was the locus of a collective activity, a structure of reception, but never my unique center of gravity. It was a thematic journal that invested in the world, but even this kind of journal was already no longer possible on the fringes of the 1980s . . .' (UD, 20).Passwords§ may 1968§ Utopie
The Baudrillard dictionary. Richard G. Smith. 2015.