I made this ‘found film’ about the No Wave scene in the late 70s.
I saw Palberta at Lobsterfest in May and I was just super into them. The lack of traditional song structure and their ridiculous performance was mesmerizing. Later I was talking with my buddy Joel and they were like, “Mad, that’s No Wave music.”
A brief history of No Wave:
According to Wikipedia the term “No Wave” is thought to be inspired by Claude Chabrol, pioneer of French New Wave film because he remarked, “there are no waves, only the ocean.” I’m not really sure the credibility of that, but I like the quote. It’s also linked to a tongue and cheek rejection New Wave music.
In 1975 New York ran out of money, the city went dark and mayhem broke.
Hell On Earth.
Meanwhile, the Lower East Side boomed with “bohemian iconoclasm” and was filled by remnants of the Beat Generation as well as characters like Steve Buschemi and Nick Zedd.
New York was chaos and No Wave was born.
It’s messy, nihilistic and abrasive. It’s disturbed and deafening, it’s a rejection of commercialization and commodification.
I honestly really don’t know that much about No Wave. But the short lived avant-garde movement was on my mind and I had to make this video for class. Connecting images of New York’s destruction, historical trauma of America, genealogy of the New York art scene and original videos from the No Wave, New Wave scene I stitched together this short, visual archive.