The Art of Punk, MOCA’s Series of Punk Documentaries, Begins with Black Flag: Watch It Online

First you set out to smash all insti­tu­tions, but then you find the insti­tu­tions have enshrined you. Isn’t that always the way? It cer­tain­ly seems to have turned out that way for punk rock, in any case, which vowed in the sev­en­ties to tear it all up and start over again. Now, in the 2010s, we find trib­ute paid to not just the music but the aes­thet­ics, lifestyles, and per­son­al­i­ties of the punk move­ment by two sep­a­rate, and sep­a­rate­ly well-respect­ed, insti­tu­tions. We recent­ly fea­tured the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art’s exhi­bi­tion Punk: Chaos to Cou­ture. Today, you can start watch­ing The Art of Punk, a series of doc­u­men­taries from MOCAtv, the video chan­nel of Los Ange­les’ Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art. Its trail­er, which appears at the top of the post, empha­sizes its focus on, lit­er­al­ly, the visu­al art of punk: its posters, its album art, its T‑shirts, and even — un-punk as this may sound — its logos.

The series opens with the episode just above on Black Flag and Ray­mond Pet­ti­bon, design­er of the band’s well-known four-bar icon. It catch­es up with not just him, but found­ing singer Kei­th Mor­ris and bassist Chuck Dukows­ki, as well as Flea from the Red Hot Chili pep­pers, who grew up a fan of the greater Los Ange­les punk scene from which Black Flag emerged.

The episode con­cludes, need­less to say, with Hen­ry Rollins, who, though not an orig­i­nal mem­ber of the band and now pri­mar­i­ly a spo­ken word per­former, has come to embody their punk ethos in his own high­ly dis­tinc­tive way. In the lat­est episode, just out today, The Art of Punk series takes you inside the world of Crass, the Eng­lish punk band formed in 1977. Watch the remain­ing install­ments at the playlist.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Punk Meets High Fash­ion in Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art Exhi­bi­tion PUNK: Chaos to Cou­ture

Hen­ry Rollins Remem­bers the Life-Chang­ing Deci­sion That Brought Him From Häa­gen-Dazs to Black Flag

Mal­colm McLaren: The Quest for Authen­tic Cre­ativ­i­ty

The His­to­ry of Punk Rock

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on lit­er­a­ture, film, cities, Asia, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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