Patricia Lay-Dorsey is a familiar face to natives of and visitors to Detroit.

Known as “Grandma Techno,” thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of fans at Movement have taken selfies with her every year since she began attending the Detroit festival more than a decade ago.

They Call Me Grandma Techno presents the view from the other side – from Patricia’s lens. An accomplished photographer, she’s documented protests in relation to Black Lives Matter and the Flint Water Crisis, and in 2013 she published Falling Into Place, a photo book that illustrated her life with a disability.

They Call Me Grandma Techno is her new photobook containing a curated selection of Patricia’s photos from Movement from 2007 to 2018. Hardcover and 144 pages, the book is, like techno, made in Detroit.

1xRUN co-founder and CEO Jesse Cory came up with the idea for this book, which just tripped over the line and became fully funded this week. The book will launch with book and merch sales and signings by Grandma Techno at Movement on Memorial Day Weekend, 2019. After reaching out to us, it’s a project that we want to fully support.

View this post on Instagram

I am humble to have started a journey w/ @patricialaydorsey on her #grandmatechno book of photography taken over the years at @movementdetroit. #Repost @patricialaydorsey ・・・ And so it begins! Today I drove to @1xrun on the near east side of Detroit to start work on the Grandma Techno book they are planning to publish in the spring. I met with Jesse @jessecory (seen in photo #4 with @oscarfromtheblock on his lap) and Paige @pageboy313. We started by looking at my initial edit of 180 photos from the past 14 years from which we will select the final edit for the book. We also brainstormed ideas about book size, layout, price, number of books in the first print run, how many pages, relationship between photos and text, crowdfunding plans, associated merchandise, distribution, our book launch/book signing at @movementdetroit 2019, and especially our collaboration with @Paxahau, the producers of the festival. I am already in awe of the creative energy Jesse is bringing to this project. He is thinking of things that would never have occurred to me. And I can tell that Paige is ready to add to these ideas and implement whatever plans we come up with. I already had one photo book published in 2013, but it’s obvious that this book is going to be much more collaborative, as well as being a cultural celebration of Detroit’s place in the past and present of global Electronic Music. Yes, it may be my photos but the subjects are the wonderful young people who support and participate in this musical world, and the DJs who commit their lives to composing and performing creative sounds that are always great to dance to! This is the world that named me Grandma Techno in 2007 and has embraced me as everyone’s “grandma” ever since. I hope this book will be filled with as much love for them as they have always given to me. #bookpublishing #1xrun #grandmatechno #detroit #photobook #movementdetroit

A post shared by Jesse Cory (@jessecory) on

The Kickstarter for They Call Me Grandma Techno closes on March 25. Rewards include hats, a documentary about “Grandma Techno” signed prints and more.

Here’s more about the project from Patricia:

They call me Grandma Techno and take thousands of selfies of us together. They give me hugs, kisses and kandi, the beaded bracelets they make themselves. They clear a path so my mobility scooter and I can get up to the front of jam-packed stages, parting the crowds like the Red Sea. They help lift me out of my seat so I can stand to dance – while holding tight to my scooter handle or the barricade – and boogie down beside me, grinning from ear-to-ear. Over and over I hear, “It makes me so happy to see you here year after year…I love you, Grandma Techno!”

But I am more than Grandma Techno: I am a passionate photographer who loves nothing better than taking photos from inside the action. What you will see in this book is a selection of photos I have taken every Memorial Day weekend from 2007-2018 at our annual Movement Detroit electronic music festival on Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. If you already love electronic music, I hope you hear the ‘thump thump’ of the beat and feel the high energy of the scene as you turn these pages. If you are new to this music or have even been turned off by it in the past, I hope you catch a taste of the love and bliss that permeate this world and make us feel we are One.


Photo: They Call Me Grandma Techno Kickstarter


Comments are closed.