Everybody in the place, Jeremy Deller's documentary on the sociocultural significance of acid house and rave in the UK, screens tonight on BBC4.
First shown at last year's Frieze, the documentary is focussed on the years between 1984 and 1992. Clearly, a massive amount of change had occurred in the UK in those years (which have been documented many times elsewhere); Deller's argument is that dance was essentially at the centre of these changes.
If you want to feel old, then the documentary turns its focus onto a group of contemporary A-Level students, learning about this period, to which Deller then interweaves TV and home-movie VHS footage. It's really tempting to start a few sentences with "Back in my day" at this point – even of for the time when people could actually afford to actually buy a property (Freehold townhouse for sale).
Typically for Deller, who has focussed on this period before with works such as the well-known Battle of Orgreave, the material is rich and precisely laid out. The documentary is laden with many signifiers of the era, both in terms of British socio-cultural history generally, and in terms of rave and acid. Getting into a call box to phone a number on a flyer in order to find out the location of a rave is something which absolutely could not happen now – and in fact, with burner phones, VPNs and Bitcoin, doesn't ever need to happen again anyway. The movers and shakers would all be interconnected in a mesh of encrypted infrastructure.