20th September 2019

Retromania seems like it’s here to stay, but are Mods and Skinheads just romanticised symbols of Britain’s past or have these subcultures left a legacy worth looking at? Can subcultures still be subversive? How can anything be thought of as underground now that we have the instant accessibility of the internet? 

‘It’s Nothing New’ will be an informal discussion with Elaine Constantine, Marco Santucci, Dominic From Luton and Andrew Calcutt. This session has been developed by Cora Sehgal Cuthbert and Mitchell Vowles as part of their year-long Graduate Mentoring Award with Acme Studio’s in partnership with City & Guilds of London School of Art, Jonathan Harvey and University of the Arts London.

Elaine Constantine is a photographer and film director. She became renowned in the 1990s for her colourful portrayals of British youth culture and shot regularly for clients such as French, Italian and US Vogue, The Face, i-D, W, Vivienne Westwood, Diesel and Burberry. In 2015 her debut feature Northern Soul was nominated for BAFTA’s Outstanding Debut Award. Constantine’s work has been exhibited at the V&A, Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery.

Marco Santucci is the owner and director of Industry Art, a London-based independent agency that represents photographers, filmmakers and digital creatives working in fashion, editorial and advertising. Industry Art acts as a mediator between culture and the market. 

Dominic From Luton has secured a substantial reputation as an innovative artist who locates an intriguing, fascinating relationship with his home town of Luton. Though his art practice, he explores things that make him inextricably bound to his home town – for better or for worse. Obliging us to consider Luton and aspects of its multiple identities, the artist is creating us no end of access points through which we can consider all manner of contemporary conditions such as history, identity, geography, space, place, sport, culture, and so on, particularly the ways in which particularly the ways in which such things impact on our own lives. Recent projects incude, Stupid White Men, J Hammond Projects  and Sweet Harmony: Rave | Today, Saatchi Gallery.

Andrew Calcutt is a writer, currently lecturing in journalism at UEL. Since graduating 40 years ago he has also been a record producer (praised by radio DJs John Peel and Charlie Gillett), magazine journalist (his byline appeared in Arena, Blueprint, Living Marxism and The Modern Review)  broadcaster (from BBC Radio Four’s Moral Maze to Channel 4’s Zeitgeist), digital pioneer (commissioning editor for Channel Cyberia and award-winning Cscape), and prolific author of a host of books on culture and society including White Noise, Cult Fiction, BritCult, and Arrested Development: pop culture and the erosion of adulthood, which has just been reissued by Bloomsbury. He is currently interested in the regeneration of East London and the remaking of journalism.