The English Premier League began its 2015-2016 season on August 8, and, as in seasons past, there are already plenty of soccer clips flooding the social network Vine.
This time around, though, those Vines are going to end up in a museum.
The National Football Museum (NFM) in Manchester will be collecting fan-made vines using a web recording program this season. Themuseum's Visual Arts Manager John O'Shea made the announcement in a post on the website of the net art organization Rhizome.
Soccer Vines have become a cottage industry since the social video service launched in 2012. The structural features of Vine (i.e. 6 second videos that loop) make them a really effective way to capture exciting moment in soccer (or, yes, football) games: strange or tense interactions between players, incredible passes, and of course, go(ooooooooooooooooooo)als.
But soccer Vines also exist in murky legal territory. They tend to be subject to copyright takedowns, and so they'll often vanish. These takedowns garnered a lot of attention during last year's World Cup.
To work around this, the NFM is using Rhizome's webrecorder program to archive the Vines. Webrecorder is a browser-based app that lets anyone record their experience of browsing the web, and in this case, of watching soccer Vines.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially since recording Vines this way often removes them from their context. O'Shea explains in his Rhizome post that this wasn't a decision that was made lightly:
Museums which include contemporary popular culture in their remit have always had to make difficult choices with respect to what they can collect, as so much of the story they seek to tell is happening in the immediate present. With Vines, this is complicated by the fact that the interaction that plays out as a "Vine" is shared and circulated and this activity can be as important as the video clip itself.
Nonetheless, this is pretty exciting. It may be a little like going, "look, they noticed us here on the internet!" to say so, but this is a nice acknowledgement that ~social media~ produces cultural artifacts. Now watch this cool bicycle kick.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org