Addict (drugaddict) wrote,

RE/Search's V. Vale on maker culture and punk rock

RE/Search's V. Vale on maker culture and punk rock
BB pal and inspiration V. Vale is the publisher of RE/Search, chronicles of underground and fringe culture since 1977. The RE/Search books, from Industrial Culture Handbook and Pranks! to Modern Primitives and Incredibly Strange Music, are essential encyclopedias of alternative thought, art, music, literature, and methods to circumvent "control" in all its manifestations. (Pranks!, Industrial Culture Handbook, and RE/SEARCH #4/5: Burroughs, Gysin, Throbbing Gristle are now available in limited edition hardcover!) Vale attended the recent Maker Faire Bay Area and was blown away by the connections he saw between the hacker/maker/crafter culture and what he suggests are the original, unspoken "principles" of punk rock: DIY, Mutual Aid, Anti-Authoritarianism, and Black Humor. Vale saw all those characteristics embodied at the Maker Faire and, inspired, wrote a wonderful piece about what the Faire meant to him. Here's an excerpt from Vale's RE/Search blog post, "Maker Faire and Punk Rock":
The first, quintessential principle of “Punk Rock” was (obviously) “DO-IT-YOURSELF”… meaning Create All Your Own Culture: music, recordings, record labels, distribution, “Punk Rock” stores, art, graphic art, collages, drawings, interior decor, your clothing, hairstyles, sculpture/installations, social gatherings, community centers, squats or shared housing, art studios, shows — everything that makes your life “meaningful” and “fun.” And this “principle” made EVERYONE at least a naive or “outsider” artist, if not more...

Well, for more than thirty years Punk’s “Do-It-Yourself” signified (to me, at least) Doing It Yourself — but pretty much restricted to the “Arts.” But for the first time we attended last weekend’s Maker Faire and realized that: Why shouldn’t D-I-Y also apply to Science and Technology? (Now, we had ALMOST thought that, years ago, when Survival Research Laboratories began, but — we’re dense.)...

In other words, for thirty years the underlying message of all my publications has remained: “Everyone Is An Artist.” But, now I want to add an additional message: “Everyone Is A Scientist” — or, “Everyone is an Artist/Scientist.” Because, who doesn’t want to figure out how things work? ”
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