Assembly Required

Research output: Non-Textual OutputDigital or Visual Media


Wallace, R. (2017) Assembly required. Exhibition presented to: Fourth Punk Scholars Network Conference and Post Graduate Symposium, University of Bolton, 12-13 December 2017.

In 2005, I captured video of recording sessions, live performances and other scenarios involving original British punk band Buzzcocks – a band seminal in their approach and contribution to the punk ethos and pioneers of the DIY approach to the production of art, not only as the creators of music but as the hub of a collective artistic approach that spanned music and visual arts. The materials that I documented being created went on to become the 2006 album Flat-Pack Philosophy, the band’s eighth studio album, released on Cooking Vinyl in March 2006.

After decades of documenting and producing projects around ‘punk’ using an individual DIY approach, I now want to explore the potential for a shared collaborative initiative between artist and audience which draws upon the ‘punk’ philosophy of bricolage and anti-formalist film convention which celebrates and offers more complex interpretations of documentary through ‘The Art of Punk’ by questioning ‘definitions of power’ relationships.

To achieve this ambition, I intend to select potential documentary elements of self-produced materials exploring the relationships between postmodern and realist approaches to the documentary intention. This work seeks to expand and interrogate the relationships between the documenter and the documented using a series of ‘disconnected’ elements as a ‘self-assembly’ strategy for creating and re-creating documentary practice as Art and ongoing collaborative online activity.

Using these video materials, the aim of this project is to construct a series of ‘realist interventions’ as a loose narrative structure drawing upon a fictional relationship between a character (played by Monica Wong) and her interaction with the band as they go about their work. The internal story is therefore a device to examine relationships between:

• Filmmaker and subject.
•Realism and fictional construction in documentary practice.
•Do It Yourself approaches to documenting ‘punk’ as motivated by the bands lyrics.
•Photography and documenting reality.
•Documentary ‘intention’, ethics and negotiating boundaries inside and outside of the project.
•Documentary practice as a post/post post-modernist art form.

Using the materials gathered during the album’s assembly the themes and ambitions of this work connect with core issues explored explicitly by the artists themselves as part of the creation of this album and more widely as part of the DIY ‘punk’ philosophy. After forty years of punk history mostly created and documented by mainstream broadcasters to ‘enounce’ an accepted and unquestioned construct of ‘punk’, this project seeks to re-position and re-claim documentary activity about ‘punk’ in the exhibition space, presenting audiences with a critical perspective on the forty-year journey through the artistic endeavours of key participants who inspired the filmmaker.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBolton, UK
PublisherUniversity of Bolton
Media of outputOnline
Size43m 31s
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2017
Event$th Punk Scholars Network Conference and Post Graduate Symposium - University of Bolton, Bolton, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Dec 201714 Dec 2017


  • Post Modern
  • Documentary
  • DIY video
  • Buzzcocks
  • Punk


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