The Big Idea

Rather than seeing Punk as just a kind of music, or a fashion sense, or a way of navigating the world - what would happen if we thought of Punk as part of American cultural heritage? Would we talk about it differently? Would we take better care of the 'stuff'? Would we look at it as more than merchandise?

Let's find out. 

The Gist

Like other 20th century American folk musics - say, Jazz or Hip Hop - there are fans, collectors, academics and institutions invested in Punk's artistic and cultural output and impacts. But unlike Jazz (which has been canonized as an elite art form) or Hip Hop (now both globalized and commodified), Punk has (well, mostly) maintained its outsider status.

 

As a result, there are few coordinated efforts to steward American Punk's complex, complicated history; to shed light on its creative and cultural achievements; to locate its critical objects and works; or to capture the voices of the people who can tell its story. 

TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ

the tl;dr

We know, we know, it's a lot. So throughout the site, we've scattered "tl;dr's" - too long, didn't read - for people who want basics.

 

In fact, there's even a Short Version of the Big Idea. 

The Story so Far...

When we started, our idea was straightforward: create a digital space that could aggregate already-digital objects, make it easy to search across existing archival collections and create ways to capture crowdsourced information about them. 

 

Over time, it became clear we needed to be able to be a repository for museum-quality files and collections data; create curations and finding aids; and accept physical objects people wanted to keep safe - to be part Museum, part Digital repository, part crowdsourcing platform, all DIY.

As a collaborative, multimedia social and archival experiment, we're working to create connections, tools, platforms and experiences that encourage community, connection and cultural preservation by: 

Ethnomusicologist and Folkways founder Alan Lomax worked to understand the ways people use rhythm, words and technology to create and preserve not just music but cultural memory. We're gonna apply his ideas to creative countercultures. 

Specialized initiatives for cataloguing the working archvies of photographers, filmmakers, musicians, independent labels and other creators and publishers, as well as large collections of art and artistic tools - to capture not only art works but the process behind the product.

Capture Punk's organic, spread-out history through a new platform for crowdsourcing information, backed by a databsed designed to support counterculture content and let us use new storytelling-with-data tools, 3D digitization and presentation models, and other emerging tech to curate and share knowledge.

360° Storytelling

Producing, publishing and sharing stories across multiple platforms - film, digital and interactive media, books and recordings, gallery events and gatherings - to reveal many facets of a time, place and creative community and create new archives, opportunities and awareness. 

Working collectively to design useful tools and supports that jump-start the preservation and sustainability of objects, especially film, tape and other fragile formats - and personal stories, interviews and critical details. 

Working toward cultural, artistic and economic sustainability through preservation and legacy planning that ensures we can share Punk's story now and in the future.

Perhaps our most important tool is a shared ethos and understanding of DIY: using what we have, adapting great ideas, and learning from each other - so we can we build and work across ecosystems of talent, skills and knowledge. If you have time, skills or ideas to share, our Support page is a great place to start, or, just connect with us