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Punk’s dead knot: Constructing the temporal and spatial in commercial punk imagery

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This article analyses two deliberately constructed visual artefacts broadly classed within the punk style; a photograph from 1976 and a 30-second commercial from 2016. The period of analysis chimes with the current celebrations of 40 years of punk as seen within the city of London. Whilst the article presents overview considerations of punk as a (once) possible confrontational cultural discourse, I also develop a detailed visual methodology looking at embedded visual codes and cultural forms from both the high and the low. By considering the photograph within a flux of differing temporalities, and the commercial as a potential sequence of heavily coded still montages, I examine how the space and time of punk has been twisted for various purposes.
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Keywords: Buzzcocks; Sex Pistols; commercialism; photography; punk; semiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sheffield

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • Punk & Post-Punk is a journal for academics, artists, journalists and the wider cultural industries. Placing punk and its progeny at the heart of inter-disciplinary investigation, it is the first forum of its kind to explore this rich and influential topic in both historical and critical theoretical terms.
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