Post-Punk Then and Now

Edited by Gavin Butt with Kodwo Eshun and Mark Fisher

Published September 2016
Repeater Books Buy from

What were the conditions of possibility for art and music-making before the era of neoliberal capitalism? What role did punk play in turning artists to experiment with popular music in the late 1970s and early 1980s? And why does the art and music of these times seem so newly pertinent to our political present, despite the seeming remoteness of its historical moment?

Focusing upon the production of post-punk art, film, music, and publishing, Post-Punk Then and Now offers new perspectives on an overlooked period of cultural activity, and probes the lessons that might be learnt from history for artists and musicians working under 21st century conditions of austerity. Contemporary reflections by those who shaped avant-garde and contestatory culture in the UK, US, Brazil and Poland in the 1970s and 1980s. Alongside these are contributions by contemporary artists, curators and scholars that provide critical perspectives on post-punk then, and its generative relation to the aesthetics and politics of cultural production today.

Contributors: Sue Clayton, Green Gartside, Dominic Johnson, Lydia Lunch, Eliete Mejorado, Laura Oldfield Ford, Agata Pyzik, Tom Vague, Gee Vaucher and Bruno Verner.

“Being in a band during the first pulse of post-punk was a potent ‘world-making’ endeavour, a ‘strategic move to escape the entropic pull of 70s culture and society.’ The book rightly identifies the allure of the band paradigm for people who were not prepared to ‘choose life’ in the standard 9 to 5 format.” – Guy Mankowski, 3:AM magazine

“In using the term ‘Being in a Band’, Gavin Butt is alluding to several overlapping concerns, especially to the benefits gained through the collaborative process itself, irrespective of the medium involved. The phrase also connects with notions of the commons, of shared – as opposed to privately owned – resources, a far cry from what Terry Atkinson has called the ‘monad-like’, self-determined avant-garde artist.” – Peter Suchin, Art Monthly