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"Visualizing the History of FUGAZI" Zine by Carni Klirs

"Visualizing the History of FUGAZI" Zine by Carni Klirs


Incredible 13x19" full color newsprint zine of the meticulously researched and graphically visualized history of DC legends FUGAZI. Includes information about the band's tour history, family tree, activism, and more. A must have for any Fugazi fan.

From the creator of the Visualizing the History of Fugazi project:

During the 1980s and 90s, in the era before the internet, fans of punk music discovered new bands through obsessive documenters. The mainstream music press did not cover the majority of punk music, and it wasn’t played on MTV. Fans documented their favorite bands through underground informational networks that included fanzines, which contained show and record reviews, band interviews, show photography, and the random musings of the creators. Fanzines were idiosyncratic, printed in limited runs, and were traded around like contraband. Fanzines were a co-creative act. Punk is a participatory culture, in which the divide between the “creators” in the bands, and the “consumers,” i.e. the fans, blurred or did not exist. Fanzine culture impacted the music’s reach, and led to a culture of collectors, who often held on to these fading printed documents for years.

Punk music is temporal & ephemeral.
It represents a time & place.
It exists within local & social contexts.

I found out about my first punk show in Washington, D.C. because someone at my high school handed me a flyer. A black and white photocopied quarter-sheet of paper, cryptic and intriguing. One show led to another, and at 17 I found myself at Fugazi’s last DC show at Fort Reno. It was an incendiary, powerful performance. I was hooked.

Fugazi documented everything. They kept ledgers. They recorded their live shows. In 2011 the band put together a Fugazi Live Series website that includes information on every show they ever played. They’ve consistently been adding live recordings to the archive, and are now up to more than 800 shows. There is an obsessive amount of detail on each show, such as how many people attended, who they played with, and a comments section where attendees of that show can share their experiences.

So I decided to scrape data off of that webpage and try to visualize the history of the band, to convey why they were important to me, and to so many others. Fugazi is a lens into a multi-generational subculture that is still active today. They helped foster a community of bands through Dischord Records, which was co-created and still run by Ian MacKaye of Fugazi. They only played all ages shows, and kept door prices to five dollars, making sure every show was as accessible as possible.They decided very early on that every local show they played would be a benefit show, raising money for causes that would positively impact their city.

This is my fanzine, an obsessive documentation of a band I love, told through their own data. It’s my contribution to that legacy of precious ephemera, the printed matter that gets collected and obsessed over, or perhaps perused briefly then tossed in the bin.

Any data visualization project involves some subjective choices. That is especially true for this project. I decided what data was interesting or relevant to me, how to aggregate or summarize it, and how much anecdotal info to include. I tried to show the connections between the D.C. music scene in the late 1980s to the community around me today. Several of the venues Fugazi played at 25 years ago are still around, still hosting benefit shows. My own band performed at the very spot I saw Fugazi play their last DC show, roughly a decade later. There are young bands active today who are only three or four degrees away from Fugazi (when looking at connections between bands by shared members).

These visualizations are meant to be read slowly, not glanced at. There are no high level insights, no key takeaways, but they are full of small discoveries, personalized insights, details that may inspire or delight. Each visualization is printed as a fold-out poster, and does not need to be read in sequential order.