Open Source Memory: Crowdsourcing A Mondo 2000 Memoir
An early cyberculture publication proposes an open source documentation project as an exploration into memory and psychology.
Before there was the digerati, blogosphere or even Wired, a host of small, independent magazines operated at the nexus of documenting the evolution of the the Internet and media technologies. In the 80s and 90s Mondo 2000 offered a veritable wealth of documentation for at the time was Cyberculture, all with a touch sarcasm that has also come to define social behaviors on the Internet.
Having retired the magazine some years back Ken Goffman (R. U. Sirius) is raising money to produce a collective memory project of the zine as well as the zeitgeist of early cyber punk ethos. He explains:
Originally, I had the idea that I could work with the idea of memory and perception in the context of writing a memoir. I probably didn’t remember my life that accurately, and perhaps not that interestingly, but if I made my memoir open-source and brought people who had their own memories of interacting with me in their own lives — during the late ’60s/’70s and the period when I was doing Mondo 2000 and earlier magazines — then something really interesting would come of that. It’d be a literary experiment and an exploration of memory and psychology. That’s where it started.
The retelling of the story of Mondo 2000 through collective and open source means, however, offers a metaphor for the times; that is, our personal memories are part of a connected experience. Crucially, the web has allowed the documentation of the connected experience to influence the actual documentation process of culture.