Reading Paul Hartnett's interview brougt a smile to my face this Friday afternoon. His thoughts on photographing subcultural movements brought to mind many vivid (and some more blurry) memories of the mayhem and messiness experienced from behind the DJ booth, exploring the underground, late-nite side of life.
What I love about fashion and music is when people are totally fired up, and a bit ‘bonkers’ with it. Really exploding internally and doing something individual externally, going beyond a commercial formula, a safe established pattern.
Here's what he has to say about the internet, and how it's brought an underground, DIY sensibility to everyone:
The Internet has come along and fucked so many people sideways. The music industry is in a tizz, everybody
seems to be online so much of the time. Punk’s DIY ethos is everywhere. People pimp their profiles to a narcissistic extent on myspazz and facebore. There are street-style photographers such as Facecunter (I think that’s his name) who snap at fashion events, but in a really bad way. So cheesy and hap-hap-happy. All very Grazia or Closer, Heatish.
I think it’s great that so many people are taking photographs, even if it with with dinky telephone toys. I love that crap quality, that low-res fuzz.
And to go off on a tangential note here (come on, it's Friday), I love this article comparing MySpace and Facebook (and MySpace to scrapbooking!). And lo and behold, here's Rob Walker at Murketing puzzled by the MySpace aesthetic (and ending up echoing Paul Hartnett):
When I first looked at MySpace, my reaction was: “What a mess. It’s just (visual) noise.” In fact I think I reacted to it much like parents reacted to some of the music I listened to when I was a kid: That it wasn’t music at all, just noise.
Now what’s interesting about that to me is that, from my point of view, it most certainly was music. It was not “noise” in the way they meant, at all. They just didn’t get it. We differed.
And since I first looked at MySpace, I’ve wondered if something analogous isn’t going on. It looks like visual noise to me, but maybe I just don’t get it. The people who made MySpace a hit originally were largely members of a generation that I’m not in. Maybe MySpace spoke to them in a graphic/visual language that not only made sense to them, but pleases them — the same way the Ramones or the Clash pleased me, but agitated my parents.
More thoughts on Ugly.