All those superpowers you have? All that, ahem, musical knowledge you've been hoarding? We'd like to borrow them. 

Short Experiments

We'll be rolling out experiments, along with other ways to support projects, on our Facebook page. Join the group, and look for a pinned Experiment post, or a link on the side. 

This month, we are working on Crowdmapping, starting with our test case, the last show by The Faith in Washington, DC. If you haven't already, read our working premise, then hop over to Facebook to join the conversation. 

I Spy: Crowdmapping

Our hypothesis is that by starting with a specific photo from a specific event, we can surface layers of other connections by moving through "concentric circles of constraints":

  • Limiting to just what we see in the photograph, we can identify people, places, objects in view and elements of the interior.

  • One "circle out", we can add other data *not* in view but still part of the event or location. 

  • We can also zoom out again and add other information (like what they played), trigger memories of subjective and sensory information (they were great, it was too hot) and key in specific media around the event (board tapes, other photographs by Jim, other photographers and their photos, flyers, etc.)

  • With this as a start we can start making more and more connections - between other bands on the bill, between this performance and the one before it, etc. 

Have info, but not on FB? Just drop us a line

Project-based Experiments
Spring Project: Out of Step in LA

It's Rumsfeldian: We don't always know what was made in and around an event like a show - sure, flyers and setlists, maybe tickets. We know we don't know how many photographs there are; we only know about things like journal entries if someone says they have them.


Out of Step in LA gives us a big pool of people and a short window of time. It also gives us a well-documented set of shows - the big RollerWorks show on April 2nd, and the "secret" show at the Cathay on the 4th - by a major touring band. 

Let's Find Everything: 4-2-83

This experiment builds on the Faith photo experiment by focusing on one show - at the Chatsworth RollerWorks in LA - during Minor Threat's Out of Step tour in 1983. What do we want to know about it? What's out there? What happened before and after? Was there really a riot? Who took pictures? What happened to the original Flipside camera tapes? 

Image Mapping 

There were a lot of photographers at the Chatsworth show - Naomi Petersen can be seen behind Lyle in the Flipside video; Linda Aronow (who took the photo at right) was shooting from Steve and Brian's side. Can we find enough images to create a 360° or panoramic stitch of the stage that night? Are there audience shots? If you have photos from this night - not just of Minor Threat's set - please share them and we'll see how many we can get.

Tech and Data Project Working Groups



Counterculture Metadata 

We're restarting our metadata dives and looking for best practices, lessons learned, and documentation we can build from so we aren't reinventing the wheel. There's a lot we have already done, but if music, cultural heritage and archival metadata and collections management is an area of expertise, please connect! 

Using Social Data 

We need social data-oriented folks who can help us figure out how the flood of information across hundreds of Facebook, Reddit and other groups might be harnessed and, uh, harvested.


We're also looking for people who can help with graphing and visualizations - whether on the idea and design side (even just sharing links to cool stuff helps) or for hands-on programmming or coaching.

Collecting the Collective Memory

Facebook highlights an interesting question: once these threads pass, where does the information - the data uncovered in the casual exchanges on social platforms - actually go? Even if we can't attach the info to all the photos out there, how can we capture it easily and attach it to our records, so future researchers can find it? 

Crowdmapping: Annotating Images

For text markup, we have mostly settled on leveraging social annotation frameworks like or But what we really want is a way to tag an image like Jim's Saah's photo of the last Faith show with layers of data - so, we can tag and toggle different types of information (like, to see the names of people in the audience, or location data) but also pull that data out to make other connections, whether like familar platforms like FB or Insta do, or so we can curate and manage data on the backend. 

Connecting Moments and Media, part 2

This is essentially the visualization part of the relationship modeling that underpins our datasets. And what we really need is information on what our backend systems and metadata need to be able to do to support a range of visuals - network and other social graphs, timelines, and the like. 

Unpacking Photo Content and Making Decisions on Data

We have a couple of moving parts with photo data. First, the EXIF we get from photos that have been converted to digital, if it's there at all, is usually wrong. So all the data that is embedded in a photo taken on a phone today - from geolocation to timestamps to creative settings - aren't available to us, and possibly should not be ingested to begin with. And, while we know photo management systemts (GooglePhotos, Apple Photos) can already detect a specific person inside a do we leverage that without being creepy af? Anybody?