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Misc.

Punk Praxis

08.27.07 | 1 Comment

Praxis, 1979

Punk has been remarkably enduring as a musical style and visual vocabulary, but it’s important to remember that what has become the punk look is, in many ways made of a mannerist vocabulary. The pre-distressed typefaces found on any shareware site and computer-generated smut that’s easily pumped out of Photoshop has much the same sort of effect as punk graphics of the mid- and late 70s but they are critically different because real punk was made with presstype, Xerox machines and stat cameras. It had much more of a, well, crafted messy look. The Mac usually provides a sort of instant, punk-in-a-box version.

Praxis, 1979

Praxis was an irregular publication out of Chicago in the 70s, it never had the same shape or size, but was always b&w on the inside with a spot or two on the cover. Somewhere, I might still have the first issue, but this is the third and I think last. “Praxis” was a word that came up a bit in early punk literature, more for its alliterative value than for it’s meaning (anything that ended in an “X” was good)—Praxis struck a pose in an often amusing way, but there was little of kibbutz spirit that the word seems to suggest. Still I like looking at these pages, which show the now-established punk visual vocabulary in a less than fully-formed state—at least it’s hard to imagine punks using nerdy old Serif Gothic today.

Praxis, 1979

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