No Future Now
Paperback – 1 Mar 2012 | 226 pages | ISBN here | ISBN here
Less interested in tracing a chronological history of punk and no-wave, than in interrogating its place in artistic and intellectual history, Denah Johnston's NO FUTURE NOW throws us into a rich cultural stew. There are wonderful extended discussions here of Vivienne Dick, Derek Jarman, and Marie Menken, as well as of Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, the Kuchars. Johnston's genius here is in seeing punk and no wave both as part of a larger artistic picture and as a movement in its own right. Which doesn't mean that this is a purely academic treatise. In a way the book embodies the punk aesthetic it describes. Sampling and "cutting-up" ideas taken from Nietzsche, Burroughs, Dostoevsky, Avital Ronell, Nick Zedd, and Lester Bangs, the book reproduces the intelligence of punk, at the same time that it analyzes its cultural significance.