Document the Ting

I watched a video call to action today, courtesy of Elijah and Emma Warren @ SOAS uni.

Elijah put together a sequence of quotes lifted from and inspired by Emma’s book Document Your Culture (which you can buy on Bandcamp). The bottom line was that we all participate in the production of culture and, with the right care, should all be documenting it more. What happens if we leave the decision of what “deserves” to be documented to other people? To quote Emma, “if it’s not in the archives, it never happened”.

I thought about “culturally powerful dancefloors” that I’ve been a part of - Plastic People, Canavans, Steamdown, The Moat @ Outlook. I fully understand how these cherished spaces foster non-verbal kinship through ritualised ceremony. We have to pay it forward and preserve these cultural machines, whatever it takes.

It’s inspired me to revisit a music scene documentation project that I’m really excited about. It’s funny that being around open-source software culture means documenting and archiving work is second nature. I think I can use this energy to document the ting and reproduce culture in novel forms. Def go watch that!