STEIM has had an on-going problem that it has always neglected. DOCUMENTATION. For at least the last 25 years, every year STEIM has supported more than 100 projects, organized events and workshops locally and internationally, had it’s own research and development, and amazing collaborations have happened in the sound studios and guesthouse. The constant energy that flows through the building is what keeps the institution running. Naturally, everyone is so involved in making projects that documentation always is at the bottom of the list. But with increasing pressure to be visible, we have been putting more effort into this.
Since 2007, we have made it mandatory for all artists in residence (not exactly all, but artists who don’t contribute are secretly added to our b-list) to document their work on our project blog. We also have volunteers who follow specific projects and write reports. Christoph Scherbaum has helped us on numerous occasions.
Since 2008, with the help of Vivian Wenli Lin, we have been rigorously making video documentations of our events and residents on our vimeo channel. Vivian also started a portrait series of some of the selected artist as well. This is growing into a resource for organizers and students on learning about emerging artists. We also use our flickr account to document concerts and flyers.
Like previously posted, our former intern Carlos Vaquero has added audio excerpts from concerts to our events archive page.
Our hardware designer Byungjun Kwon has been quietly logging his tremendous work in designing new instruments on his site.
Elena Tiis, who just finished her master’s degree at University of Amsterdam is helping us with editing our past projects and our new project manager Jon is setting up a central file server so we can actually organize some of this stuff.
Our internal research group SRG is making progress towards a new STEIM tool kit for musicians. The group is driven by our super energetic young researchers Berit Janssen, Pinar Temiz and Geogios Papadakis. They will be presenting some of results through conference papers next year.
But it’s not only about the youngens, our senior staff Wouter and Nico have been mining deep into our basement pulling out spreadsheets and project proposals from early 1970’s.
And last but not least, Kristina Andersen and Joel Ryan are tackling the holy grail of all documentation, the 40 year history of STEIM. They are conducting interviews with key figures of the past, and are trying to draw out a line through the heavily intertwined and diverse threads of people and projects that STEIM has worked with.
So where does this all lead to? Well, we’re not sure, hopefully a book, a film, an open database, etc. But we just want to get the story out – both of the past and the present. And we still need help. If anyone is interested in helping us with documentation please let us know!