THE RAVE PROJECT & FLYER ARCHIVE
How It Started & The Mission
One day back in the early fall of 1992, a
rock poster collector came into my art studio and tossed a couple of odd looking die cut flyers
on my desk. "What are these ?" I asked. He proceeded to tell me that they were flyers
for late night underground dance parties where Techno and House music was played and
refreshments - including "smart drinks"(caffinated "health" drinks) were served.
The thing that got my interest was the fact
that there were new flyers of every description, every week and that they showed up in little
shops throughout the city. At first my interest was mild and I gathered
examples for my brother back in Ohio. But it wasn't long before I realized that this was the start
of a significant movement. I say the start, because the San Francisco scene - being years behind the scene's
real beginnings back in 1987-8 - had started up in ernest in the spring of 1991.
The Commitment Was Made
Not only were the graphics unique and the ability to go out on a regular basis to discover
something new was a real kick....but, instinctively, I understood that this was a real cultural
phenomenon in the making and that someone had to preserve a visual record of what was happening,
from the beginning and while it was happening. They say that life is timing and for me the timing
was perfect. A major lull in my work schedule allowed me to start the Rave Project and devote very large
amounts of time through the rest of 1992 and 1993 to the project. During that period I met most of the
significant Bay Area artists and some of the promoters. I also met with shop owners and enlisted their
help in saving promotional flyers and - especially - posters. Thus the Rave Archive was created.
The Rave Project logo was created and flyers with the following declaration were distributed throughout
the city. They read....
"The Rave Project recognizes the rave movement as an
important chapter in the on-going
process of cultural, musical and artistic evolution. The art of the rave movement, seen chiefly in the
promotion of rave events, is a significant and important period of artisitc expression, and one that
must be preserved for future generations to enjoy. The Rave Project has been created to gather and
document this rich visual heritage before it becomes too difficult to do so in a comprehensive
and professional manner."
The Rave Project Archive - 3 areas of focus & future plans
1 - SAN FRANCISCO:
The Rave Archive has worked very dilligently in three
main areas. First has been the regular weekly gathering of party flyers from San Francisco,
which are filed by month and year. The permanent acrhive files two of each flyer.
000000My favorite part of the collection is the limited edition color xerox and
silkscreen, - small and large - posters that appear in various San Francisco shop windows or - ocassionally -
on buildings or poles. I am especially proud of this part of the collection.
000000TRACKING THE "SCENE'S" GROWTH
The San Francisco section of the archive represents the most comprehensive visual
record of the House/Techno style music & "Rave" party events, of any major city in the USA,
and most likely - the world.
It is estimated that the archive contains 80% of all events. This is especially unique and important if you
want to track the growth of the rave scene as a whole. What one can see from the archive is a
constant expansion of interest and activity over an eighteen year period, with constantly evolving styles of music.
2 - US RAVES:
Next I have a large collection of flyers from areas
around the country which are archived by city and state. Artists with distinctive stlyes in certain cities,
will have established a style that is generic to that state or area of the contry. In most cases the styles
vary greatly wherever you look. Los Angeles, (especially the early period), New York, Florida,
Chicago and the Midwest, are the most heavily represented areas of the States collection.
3 - INTERNATIONAL RAVES:
The other area of the collection is the
International collection. In this area, the English collection is especially remarkable.
Other heavily represented areas are Australia, Germany,
France; Belgium, Holland, with smaller representations from many other countries. That portion of the
collection is not featured on this site and due to the enormous amount of work to scan them - probably never will be.
Goals and Plans For The Rave Archive
My first goal was to set up this site to showcase the talent of U.S. flyer artists and designers
and to make it a substantial visual reference source for collectors. This site will have a permanent home
on the Internet for all to enjoy.
Another goal is to organize a museum exhibition. In the event of a comprehensive
retrospective in a major venue, I plan to use many of the extra flyers to create clear packets
( 10x12 with colorful clip-on graphics ) of assorted flyers to be given out to the first 100 attendees.
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco is a targeted venue.
THE ARCHIVE AND CURRENT RESEARCH AVAILABILITY: I have had several requests to do research with the collection.
Unfortunately that is not possible at this time since the whole collection is in storage
in Michigan. My thanks to my cousin who had donated a huge temperature controlled, walk-in closet; since my storage
costs here in SF (from 92- early 2001) were just too expensive ( $500 a year! )
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