2020 Historical Jukebox

Zach Dickmeyer

Senior Seminar 2021

Artist StatementHistory, while incredibly important, is a fundamentally flawed field of study. Regardless of how many historical accounts one can study, the full picture of the past is never truly and accurately complete, and oftentimes, only the voices of the majority get written into history. This leads to either an understanding of the past that is often dominated by the ruling class, or a version that only covers a small portion of the larger context.

In an attempt to showcase this critique of history, I decided to gather accounts relating to the year 2020. In particular, I interviewed a variety of individuals, asking each of them to summarize the historical events of 2020 in one to two minutes. Accounts centered around topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in social justice movements, and one of the most important elections in the past many decades. Yet, so much was still left out. So much of the year’s history remained unaddressed.

After gathering these accounts, as well as found footage from news outlets, I compiled them into a program using the P5 programming language, an off-branch of JavaScript with a heavy focus on art and making. The interviewees cover a wide range of topics, yet through these accounts, so much history from the year is still left out. While experiencing the program, my hope is that listeners will reflect on what they are not hearing about. Upon realizing how much of the year’s events were left out, I hope that listeners will apply this experience to a broader context and consider how much of history they have not heard and reflect on why the narrow slice of history that they are familiar with is the specific version that has been taught throughout the years.

About the artistZach Dickmeyer is a graduating senior from Hamline University with a degree in Digital Media Arts and a minor in Communication Studies. Throughout his time at Hamline, Zach has had a specific interest in the fields of audio and creative coding, and is hoping to use the skills he has learned in his degree to pursue career opportunities in the podcast industry.