Tag Archives: Art

Subcultures, Style, and the Power of Social Movement Symbols

While I am loathe to begin a Daily Disruption by linking to notorious clickbait website Buzzfeed, this recent list of reasons why “punk is dead” popped up a number of times in my social media circles and it got me thinking about the intersections between subcultures and social movements, as well as what social movement theory could draw from contemporary work on audience studies.

The obvious message throughout the piece, and the reason the list was making the rounds on my social network feeds, is that punk is “dead” when it becomes institutionalized, mainstreamed, commodified, or popularized. In fact, while at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York this past summer, I did actually stop by the Met’s “Punk” exhibit, a loud, gaudy pastiche of lights, colors, and music, featuring punk fashions created by famous designers. Continue reading

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Digitizing the Arts of Protest

By T.V. Reed

My topic will be the impact of new digital media on visual protest art, but before I take up that subject, let me briefly offer a few comments on digital protest methods in general. It seems to me that there are very few things that have been traditionally done by grassroots organizing that cannot be done also by netroots (online) organizing. And there are some clear advantages for digital activism in terms of speed, geographic reach, and costs of communication. There is also one huge limitation—roughly 70 percent of the world’s populace has no access to the Internet at all, and many millions more have minimal access. That represents some 5 billion people who cannot be reached by digital means of communication alone. That is one reason that no digital activist worth her of his salt would rely exclusively on the Net. Even in this case, however, a variety of digital means are being used to help reach the offline world, including low-cost printing of posters, flyers, banners and alternative newspapers, as well as digital radio broadcasts, and cheap CDs and DVDs containing organizing materials. Continue reading

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Culture, Resistance, and the Contradictions of Capitalism

By Ryan Moore

The past half-century has witnessed the proliferation of rebellious cultural practices and subversive symbolic expressions, particularly in subcultures surrounding music and the arts. But if these acts of cultural resistance are now ubiquitous, they also appear increasingly harmless to the political order and profitable for the economic order. Gentrification exemplifies this process in places where difference and authenticity—expressed through music, fashion, and art—serve as catalysts for the reconstruction of deindustrialized urban neighborhoods into revalued spaces of capital. Many Left intellectuals lament this turn of events, but we must recall that capitalism has always been a system riddled with its own internal, irresolvable contradictions. As commodification has extended into the collective imagination and virtually all the spaces and times of social life, so too have the contradictions of capitalism multiplied: we can identify new seeds of resistance in capital’s failure to deliver the (symbolic) goods. Continue reading

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Art: (Re)constructing Spaces of Resistance

Art has an inherent history of being revolutionary and revolutions have a history of being artistic. Despite the variations in their end goals, both strategically and creatively express a message that engages and provokes audiences, challenging them to think critically about the world we live in. Recently, on April 5th, 2013 the city of Santurce, Puerto Rico celebrated a weekend of contemporary independent art that included murals, digital art, cinema, theater, installations and performances. “Santurce es Ley 4” (SEL4) is the fourth cultural festival organized by artists, independent galleries, restaurants, and the local community. Although this city is known to be a main exhibitor of emerging art, the purpose of this project was to motivate a tour of innovative programming in the city. Continue reading

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