What is bricolage?
Bricolage is either the construction or creation of a piece
of work using whatever is available at the time. The term
is originally French, it refers to repair and DIY done by
people who are unprofessional in the are that they are
Bricolage in Music
Australian slap bass – tea chest
Comb and wax paper for humming
African drums and thumb pianos
Stylistic Bricolage is best emphasized by Punk music.
Many punk musicians are not musically trained, believing that
training discourages creativity in as it makes them only wish to
play accurately and avoid exploring disharmony and errors.
Bricolage in Subculture
Bricolage was adopted by the punk scene to add to its cultural
For example, the safety pin became a key object in a punks
outfit, as it was used to patch up old clothes in a DIY way.
Also, punk fanzines sometimes used a Bricolage style, in
particular Sniffin’ Glue, which uses handwriting opposed to
having letters printed.
Bricolage is a way for subcultures to defy the meanings of mass
culture. It uses the meaning of objects to bring about their own
The safety pin was sometimes used ironically, playing on the
word safety by, for example using it through their nose.
Safety Pin Through the
Bricolage and Punk
Fanzines and Bricolage
Self published magazines, known as fanzines, were a
popular feature during the punk era, they strongly
demonstrated the use of Bricolage.
Punk zines began alongside the punk movement in the
later 1970s. They began in the UK and the USA but soon
spread around the world.
They used cheap photocopying so that everyone could
afford to buy one.
Hand written prints were common in fanzines, as well a
collage like style, using torn bits of paper. It was similar to
a scrapbook, but targeted at punks and using cheap