Seven hours of content in Flashback to Blackburn Acid House Parties

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

A new archive goes online this week, capturing the oral histories of acid house parties in Blackburn.

Flashback looks at the time between 1988 and 1991, with 7 hours of recollections from 33 participants.

It was created in response to work produced by Jamie Holman, when he was artist in residence at last year’s British Textile Biennial and will be available online and in the Lancashire archives.

The brand identity and digital audio-visual experience was created by Chris Mason of Made by Mason. He was appointed by Jamie Holman Studios and Super Slow Way to create an immersive online experience.

“It’s more important now than ever that we’re finding accessible ways to showcase these forgotten stories, and Flashback’s understated branding and audio visuals are an exciting opportunity that will hopefully benefit the future of how we share experiences together,” explained Mason.

He explained that the design capitalises on the “hypnotic nature of subtitles.” Working alongside Lighten, they used Google's speech-to-text API to create transcripts that give each word its own unique time code.  That means the words are always in sync with the audio.

They were also keen to move away from the stereotypical smiley faces and neon rainbows that are usually associated with the movement.

“We were always going to a tread a delicate line with this subject matter. Reflecting a distinct cultural era that is now 30 years old; presenting it to a current audience; in an archive that we hope will have currency in another 20 or 30 years time,” said Jamie Holman.

“The visual identity needed to be current, whilst referencing the original era but not becoming pastiche or looking dated. Chris created subtle design references to the era and locality such as the inclusion of Blackburn Rovers Blue in the palette; while Lighten presented us with the interface that makes our audio clips a more engaging experience for the end user. Working together to digitally present this research material quickly became a collaborative process.”

Flashback is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and Blackburn with Darwen Town Council. It’s a partnership between Super Slow Way and Jamie Holman Studios.

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