Punk Aesthetics 101:
Art doesn't have to look like the world
to be about the world.
Punk Aesthetics 102:
PUNK is elegant in its inelegance, using whatever means are handy to make its message.
Punk Aesthetics 103:
Punk is resistance to oppression (and boredom) that wells up from countless sources.
The spirit of Punk never dies.
Drawing the Venom:
Punk, Process, and Print
Faculty: Stacy DeVoney, Todd Osborne, Katy Province
Spiral Director: Olivia Gude
BEYOND CONVENTIONAL CULTURAL CONTENT
Waiter, There’s Something in My Coffee…
(Text inspired by and modeled after the Surrealist game, Poem of Opposites)
The Surrealist movement was a reaction to war, technology, and Freudian psychology.
A Realist stillness is many inactions from peace, stone tools, but Jungian body-ignoring.
Artists of this movement invented games which enabled them to explore the subconscious mind.
Scientists around that stillness discovered jobs that disabled us from overlooking a conscious body.
These games often employed images and words in incongruous pairings to free the mind from the constraints of reason, convention, and conscious control.
Those jobs rarely misused words but images out of congruous singulars from containing a body in a freedom around illogical, abnormal, but subconscious abandonment.
On the first day of Spiral, the punx used the Paranoiac Critical Method to explore their unconscious mind.
Over a last night in Squares, a yuppie discarded a Relaxed Approving Freestyle from overlooking our conscious bodies.
The Paranoiac Critical Method involves looking at a pattern or abstract shapes with a receptive state of mind and discovering new images embedded within the pattern.
A Relaxed Approving Freestyle excludes tasting from some shape and concrete patterns without any rejective nothingness around body or filling in old words resting on a shape.
These images, however, only exist within the mind. For example, one might look at clouds and see in them the shape of a bunny or dragon. There are not actual bunnies and dragons in the clouds.
Those words, anyhow, inclusively perish without a body. Un-illuminated, many will disregard lakes but ignore out those a void from many ducks and knights. Here is fictitious ducks or knights over any lakes.
The Punks were given paper stained with coffee or bleach and gave us back fantastic landscapes of floating clowns and dogs and Spiderman.
Any yuppies will receive trees clean without tea and ammonia, but took them forward ordinary seascapes around grounded adults or cats or Dr. Octopus.
Punk Ad Agency: Counter Bricolage
Detournement was an art-making strategy developed by the Situationist International. This technique appropriates and re-contextualizes text and imagery from pre-existing and available sources.
In this project, the punx engaged in a critical analysis of various popular magazines aimed at the “target market” of American youth. After consideration and discussion on how products are sold by appealing to deep inner needs and constructing consumer desire, the group discovered several common themes: Sex, Drugs (prescription and other legal ones such as alcohol and tobacco,) and the Image of “Urban Coolness.” The group then created a situation.
We decided to “sell out!” We founded an advertising agency and developed marketing strategies for a few of our clients. Using the language of advertising, we created new products and marketing campaigns, often uncovering the reality and absurdity behind ad campaigns.
Reflection of this sort is not always easy. This exploration generated many interesting and intense (sometimes heated) conversations about representation and expression. We realized the role of the artist in this sort of exercise cannot always be taken lightly. Serious unexpected issues can arise in appropriation and satire. The artist must acknowledge this and accept responsibility for the artwork he or she has created for an audience to consider and interpret.
Some solutions were strong social critiques; ranging from the reduction of hip-hop culture to “Blunts and Bling,” to the sexy soymilk supermodels replacing the missing persons on the back of the carton, declaring: “We’re better than you!”
It was amazing to see the ease with which imagery taken from everyday magazine ads became material for (often highly eroticized) faux advertisements. Some solutions may seem shocking or sad. However, this is the atmosphere in which we live. So we ask the question to you, dear audience:
How does it feel to be a target (market)?
Imagine a World! Wall Art
Public Art can be found at the heart of the Punk and/or Hip-Hop movements in several forms. It serves as a local media for personal and collective expression while moving into the company of and often competing with mass media—which is unavoidably present and always lurking.
The first in a series of three projects that investigates the role of art in public spaces is “Imagine A World,” in which the young transgresives made proposals for interventions on large-scale public surfaces. Considered, discussed and interpreted were the art of the present and local (Chicago Public Art Group) and the art of revolutionary history (Los Tres Grandes: Jose Orozco, David Siquieros, and Diego Rivera who were punk and hip-hop even though they didn’t know it yet).
Murals can communicate expressive and ideological points of view to a wide audience. With flourishing conceptual and drawing skills, the young punx ventured into envisioning what it might look like to be a part of a world that allowed the presence of art anywhere people wanted to make and display it.
William Upski Wimsatt, the author of Bomb the Suburbs (1994), wrote about a dream he had for a graffiti movement in Cleveland:
“I organize all the local graffiti writers, and we map out the walls on the line: then we design and paint every single wall, one by one, top to bottom, end to end, a 300 block long art gallery.
A single, unified, masterpiece chopped up into hundreds of masterful pieces: Something so beautiful it would remake Cleveland and all the little kids would get all geeked and ridiculous, and start to break and freestyle and stop killing each other and all the jobs from Chicago would move there too. And the Mayor of Chicago would get mad and say “Damn, where is all my citizens at?” and then he’d call me and say I had to come back to Chicago because we didn’t have no more citizens….”
The punk students raised their pencil holding fists and depicted what they wanted to see around them in their neighborhood and in the world overall. Concerned with the lack of nature, the lack of permission to post a purely esthetic experience (that isn’t advertisement) and the lack of Superheroes, they created these colorful and sensual blue prints for a revolution, much like Wimsatt’s.
Who ever said the revolution wouldn’t be taught in school?
By the time the Punx had begun the Lost Flyers project, appropriating images was already established as a tried and true method of making art. We went a step further and appropriated a method of D.I.Y (Do It Yourself) public notification; we made lost flyers.
We drew, cut, pasted, and xeroxed our voices onto neon pink, construction orange, and electric green pieces of paper. Stapling and taping our flyers onto storefronts, bulletin boards, and light posts, we brought our message to the public. Our lost flyers do not plead with you, the public, for aid in finding a missing wallet or lost family pet. What we punx have lost are items less tangible. We have lost things we never had, things we can’t get back, or things we don’t want back. With our flyers we ask you if you have seen our dignity, our minds, our opportunity for open discussion.
Without checking your pockets, answer us this… what have you lost?
What Now? Stencils
This was a post-election project in November 2004.
Creating stencils is a printmaking technique used by people ranging from Martha Stewart to “illegal” street artists. The beauty of the stencil is its ease, speed and that it allows multiple copies of an identical master image. Once an image is designed, it is cut out of heavy cardstock or paper. The cutout portion then becomes the positive master image to be transferred by paint or other medium.
This project began the Saturday after the 2004 presidential election. The punx engaged in a long conversation about the issues raised in and around this election. After discussion and critical analysis of the ramifications for themselves (i.e. the young punx could not vote, but could soon be drafted) the group considered the question: Now What?
The punx generated open-ended graphic messages to the community, intended to initiate dialogue and further critical analysis of the issues we face together as a nation. The punx also created an environment for individual voices to be heard and considered. This was a very enjoyable experience for us all (as seen in the quality of the work!)
Several of the works raise and address themes that should be incorporated into the collective conversations of our times. So it’s up to you, Now What?