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The work of Punctum Records, and the subsequent unfolding of a creative commons via Studium and the Human Sciences is a declaration, a joyous rebellion against a systematic violence that has been heaped upon our culture by consumerism and rigid institutionalism. As awakening artists and thinkers, we must support collaboration over competition, and this means we must have the grit to give ourselves over to a process that is damned to reveal sudden truths: we need each other, we need to care, we need to create, we need to keep on and on.
Punctum Records is a hugely important and relevant organization in the current climate of the music/art scene in Austin. Punctum makes it possible for many artists in the community to make and release their art with emphasis on quality over financial/commercial success. This is a rare phenomenon and should be embraced and supported by our community. It is a critical time for art in Austin, and it is my hope that there is still a place for an organization like Punctum in this city.
Punctum Records and Human Sciences (ie Studium at large) are Austin’s platform for applying critical theory to the arts. A safe, but not complacent, haven for artists and thinkers that we use to enrich our community’s (and our own) understanding of the context of creative expression, in Austin and beyond.
To experience meaningful art alongside today’s overcommercialized and saturated entertainment industry is a rarity and seems to be an impossible endeavor. However, I believe it is a worthy and important endeavor. Punctum Records has already proven to be a strong voice for a small community of artists who believe in the power and necessity for good art in the common space. Punctum, Studium and Human Sciences represents something that is truly good, and I believe that their persistence and steadfastness to their mission will garner beautiful, longlasting, and accesible experiences and products that will stand out as valuable among the meaningless noise around us.
Punctum Records creates a platform for young people like me, with meager resources but big ideas to share the art they are driven to make, art that often must necessarily crystallize between the shifts at the cafe or restaurant where we work to make rent. Human Sciences and Studium provide a safe and positives space for voices of all backgrounds and opinions to interact, and allow for even the quietest beginner to share his or her thoughts and engage in a dialogue with peers about the issues facing our community and the world, and what role we can play in shaping both for the better. When I moved to Austin, I was told two things about this city: it’s the live music capital of the world, and we have to work to ‘keep Austin weird.’ Punctum Records, Studium, and Human Sciences are working harder and with more heart than anyone to keep what people love about this city alive.
Over the last few years, Punctum Records and Studium have both been central pillars of my music listening community. Punctum has consistently provided financial and moral support of myriad artists from disparate genres whose common thread is not vogue or venue draw, but a commitment to thoughtful, deliberate music that may not otherwise have a home. Releasing albums at a breakneck speed in the course of just over two years, they have allowed emerging artists to realize nascent dreams and established artists to explore new territories otherwise unavailable. Studium has furthered this generosity by providing a communal space for these artists and their listeners—a reverie, an incubator, a space to try and to grow. Both entities have been a luminous and forceful addition to the music listening community that I am proud to be a part of, and I consider their continued financial health to be as good as my own.
Punctum has given me hope that eclectic, underground, innovative music has a genuine home and support system. I believe that organizations like Punctum fuel the future of music because they offer artists an alternative to the arguably outdated, standard record deal. They help foster creativity and the production of new music through building a strong community of likeminded individuals. My next record will be my debut under the name Lip Talk co-produced by Brandon Curtis (of Secret Machines / Interpol) and I am truly honored that Punctum will be manufacturing and distributing our first vinyl! I know Punctum has a bright future and I’m proud to be a part of it from the beginning!
Personally I have always been interested in collaboration across various disciplines to create new work, ideas and dialogue which are an important part of any artistic community or community in general. The Punctum Records, Studium and Human Sciences projects on their own or combined, will aid in an interesting and necessary direction of cultural growth within our city and I look forward to experiencing what happens next.
Punctum Records is a vital organization in a city experiencing such rapid growth. Punctum connects artistic and cultural dots amongst a tsunami of happenings, gives them a constructive community in which to grow, and then earnestly presents them to the city and the world. As Austin becomes a larger and larger mark on the international map, we would do well to support Punctum Records in helping us remember who we are as a music city and guide us where we’re going next.