“Bowiemythomania” as a Phenomenon of Pop Culture: Organic Hybridity and Special Temporality in Creative Work of David Bowie

Abstract views: 135
PDF Downloads: 93


Pop Culture
Hybrid Mythology
Modes of Time
Mythologization of Time
Mythological Temporality
Musical Creativity
Artistic Image

How to Cite

Ivanov, A. (2022). “Bowiemythomania” as a Phenomenon of Pop Culture: Organic Hybridity and Special Temporality in Creative Work of David Bowie. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 4(1), 96-113. https://doi.org/10.46539/gmd.v4i1.185


The article examines the features of constructing David Bowie’s mythology which has a pronounced hybrid character. The content analysis of D. Bowie’s works showed that he often used images that go back to classical mythological plots, and many popular songs and concepts of D. Bowie’s albums were created using mythologization mechanisms. The main creator of the myths was the performer himself, and the special mythological temporality constructed by the musician encompassed all modes of time, each of which could be correlated with a certain complex of myths. The specificity of such temporality in the case of D. Bowie was that it manifested itself in reverse chronological order: at the beginning of a career the future was mythologized, in the middle it was the present and at the end it was the past. Playing on various collisions of myth with reality and using the technique of myth reoccupation, D. Bowie demonstrated to the world all the creative power of “mythological reality”. It is noted that post-truth accompanied the musician’s career from the very beginning, contributing to the genuine disclosure of his talent. It is concluded that in relation to the heritage of D. Bowie, the term “hybrid mythology” acquires positive meaning. The singer manages to bring pop culture to a new level, giving rise to a phenomenon that we can call “bowiemythomania”.



Barthes, R. (2004). Mythologies. Sabashnikovs Publishers. (In Russian).

Blumenberg, H. (1985). Work on Myth. MIT Press.

Bottici, C. (2007). A Philosophy of Political Myth. Cambridge University Press.

Brooker, W. (2021). Why Bowie is important (С. Afonina & V. Boyer, Trans.). Individuum. (In Russian).

Campbell, J. (1997). The Hero with a Thousand Faces (A. P. Khomik, Trans.). Refl-book, AST. (In Russian).

Cinque, T. (2017). The subversion of an exquisite corpus: Against the grain with David Bowie. Continuum, 31(4), 596–606. https://doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2017.1334392

Creechley, S. (2017). Bowie (T. Lukonina, Trans.). Ad Maringem Press. (In Russian).

De Angelis, D. (2018). Starman Tarot. Lo Scarabeo.

Devereux, E., Dillane, A., & Power, M. J. (Eds.). (2015). David Bowie: Critical Perspectives. Routledge.

Egan, S. (2017). David Bowie: Ever Changing Hero. Flame Tree Press.

Egan, Sh. (2017). David Bowie: Meetings and interviews (L. Berger & A. Bessonova, Trans). AST: Kladez. (In Russian).

Fuller, S. (2021). Post-truth: Knowledge as a power struggle. Publishing house of the Higher School of Economics. (In Russian).

Greco, N. P. (2015). David Bowie in Darkness: A Study of 1. Outside and the Late Career. McFarland.

Ivanov, A. G. (2019a). The narrative dimension of political myth. Bulletin of Tomsk State University. Philosophy. Sociology. Political Science, 49, 69–78. https://doi.org/10.17223/1998863X/49/8 (In Russian).

Ivanov, A. G. (2019b). Debunking popular myths: From fashion to analytics. In S. V. Tikhonova (Ed.), Communicating Scientists to Popularise Science: Proceedings of the All-Russian Conference held on 3-4 July 2018. At the Faculty of Journalism of Lomonosov Moscow State University (pp. 46‑57). VVM. (In Russian).

Ivanov, A. G. (2020). Time mythologization: theoretical foundations and contemporary specifics. Tomsk State University Journal, 459, 80–87. https://doi.org/10.17223/15617793/459/9 (In Russian).

Kalpokas, I. A. (2019). A Political Theory of Post-Truth. Palgrave Macmillan.

Keyes, R. (2004). The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life. St. Martin’s Press.

Kokkidou, M., & Paschali, V. E. (2019). Beyond Senses: The Existential Agony of David Bowie in the “Blackstar” Video-clip. In E. Kourdis, M. Papadopoulou, & L. Kostopoulou (Eds.), The Fugue of the Five Senses and the Semiotics of the Shifting Sensorium: Selected Proceedings from the 11th International Conference of the Hellenic Semiotics Society (pp. 60–71). The Hellenic Semiotics Society.

Koretskaya, O. V. (2017). The Post-Truth concept as a linguistic phenomenon in contemporary English-language media discourse. Philological Studies. Issues of theory and practice, 7–3, 136–138. (In Russian).

Kuznetsov, V. Yu. (2006). The mythological time. Bulletin of Chuvash University, 4. (In Russian).

Leigh, W. (2014). Bowie: The Biography. Gallery Books.

Losev, A. F. (2014). The dialectic of myth. Aazbuka. (In Russian).

Martyanov, D. S. (Ed.). (2019). Governability and discourse of virtual communities in the context of post-truth politics. ElecSis. (In Russian).

McCarthy, E. (2019). Telling lies: The interviews of David Bowie. Celebrity Studies, 10(1), 89–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2018.1559113

Mendes, A. C. (Ed.). (2020). David Bowie and Transmedia Stardom. Routledge.

Moody, R. (2013, April 25). Swinging Modern Sounds #44: And Another Day. The Rumpus.Net. https://therumpus.net/2013/04/swinging-modern-sounds-44-and-another-day/

Novohatsky, D. V. (2020). Mythogenic Flights of the Naked Pioneer Girl: A Fairytale History of the Great Patriotic War. In М. P. Abasheva, M. A. Litovskaya, I. L. Savkina, & M. A. Chernyak (Eds.), Cult goods. The commercialisation of history in mass culture. Collective monograph (pp. 187‑203). Cabinet scholar. (In Russian).

October, D. (2019). Transition transmission: Media, seriality and the Bowie-Newton matrix. Celebrity Studies, 10(1), 104–118. https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2018.1559124

Pegg, N. (2016). The Complete David Bowie. Titan.

Perrott, L. (2019). Time is out of joint: The transmedial hauntology of David Bowie. Celebrity Studies, 10(1), 119–139. https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2018.1559125

Plato. (2021). Republic (М. Karpova, Trans.). AST. (In Russian).

Schott, G. (2019). ‘Look up here, I’m in heaven’: How visual and performance artist David Jones called attention to his physical death. Celebrity Studies, 10(1), 140–152. https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2018.1559126

Telling Lies—Facts about the song. David Bowie. (n. d.). Interesting facts about songs. http://music-facts.ru/song/David_Bowie/Telling_Lies/ (In Russian).

The rules of David Bowie's life. (n. d.). Esquire. https://esquire.ru/hero/43-david-bowie/ (In Russian).

Tikhonova, S. V., & Artamonov, D. S. (2021). Historical memory in social media. Aletheia. (In Russian).

Trynka, P. (2011). David Bowie: Starman. Little, Brown and Company.

Wen, P., & Gaidamaka, V. P. (2003). The Greeks and Mythology: Belief or Unbelief?: An Experience of the Constitutive Imagination. Art. (In Russian).

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.