Machine for making authenticity: the twists and turns of Polish popular music in the 1980s.  Cover Image

Maszyna do nadawania autentyczności.Perypetie polskiej muzyki popularnej w latach 80.
Machine for making authenticity: the twists and turns of Polish popular music in the 1980s.

Author(s): Natalia Grądzka, Mateusz Migut, Antoni Michnik, Xawery Stańczyk, Klaudia Rachubińska
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej
Keywords: popular culture

Summary/Abstract: The authors present an adaptation of Clifford’s „machine for making authenticity” diagram (from his seminal essay „On Collecting Art and Culture”) to the Polish popular music scene in the 1980s. Studying changes in the reception of four Polish popular music acts in the years 1979-1989, the authors test the limitations of the possible application of Clifford’s chart. Clifford originally distinguished two axes of classification: art vs culture (i.e. masterpiece vs artefact) and authentic vs inauthentic. The authors suggest that the same art-culture system of interpretation was common in the reception of popular music in Poland in the late 70s and early 80s, when several important bands were formed. Using excerpts from contemporary music press, the authors analyze the way four seminal bands (Kombi, Bajm, Republika, and Tilt) shift between the different quadrants of the art-culture diagram. Following Clifford’s stress on the historicity and the dynamic, ever-changing nature of the “machine for making authenticity”, authors acknowledge how the trajectories of classification of these bands were influenced by different agents in the popular music discourse: journalists, music critics, fans, other musicians, and artists themselves. In conclusion, the scope of applicability of this interpretational model (originally conceived for museum-type material culture) to popular music is explained.

  • Issue Year: 40/2014
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 26-43
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Polish