• A detail from

    A detail from "Captain Sensible, Boston, October 2001" by John Nikolai. Nikolai's photos of punk rock stars and local intellectuals are being shown at the Weisner Student Art Gallery.

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Photos in 'Punks and Great Minds' make for disparate mix

A detail from "Captain Sensible, Boston, October 2001" by John        Nikolai. Nikolai's photos of punk rock stars and local intellectuals        are being shown at the Weisner Student Art Gallery.


Do the pioneers of punk rock hang out with the pioneers of science and engineering?

They will this month--on the walls of the Stratton Student Center--in "We're Disparate, Get Used to It: Images of Punk's Pioneers and the Great Minds of MIT and Harvard," an exhibition of photos by John Nikolai at the Wiesner Student Art Gallery through March 20.

Nikolai, a Brighton-based photographer participating in the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program, will show some of the images he's taken of punk's pioneers (including members of The Damned, Ramones, Clash and Sex Pistols), which he'll later publish in a book, "Never Mind Nostalgia: Current Profiles of Punk's Pioneers."

These will hang together with Nikolai's photographs of as many Harvard and MIT "great minds" as he could take in a six-week period this year. They include Noam Chomsky, E.O. Wilson, Steven Pinker and Rodney Brooks.

According to Nikolai, there were a great many differences between photographing the pioneers of punk rock and the great local minds of our times. "I wasn't kicked in the head by a stage diver while trying to photograph Noam Chomsky, so that was a nice change," he said.

The exhibit spins its name off of a song "We're Desperate" by legendary Los Angeles punk band X. Think of it as punk rocket science.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 13, 2002.


Topics: Arts

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