Deleuze on the Dancefloor

Electronic music is not just for our ears or our heads. Talking about electronic music, we can’t forget about the DJ, dancers, and dancefloor that create a field of possibilities and enter into a network of relations with and beyond the intentions of the original producer. Not all, but much electronic music is made to be experienced in relation and movement, not as a live performance of pre-existent material for people sitting in their seats, but as active creation, a rhizome of sound and silence, gesture, movement, and becoming.The territory of the dancefloor deterritorializes the everyday—parks, abandoned buildings and warehouses, neighborhood blocks, rooftops.

Mixing records with tracks spanning time and genre, the DJ becomes spontaneous composer through selection and alteration, one track becomes another–one wonders, how did we get here–the music transforming intensive bodies in time, the shapes of bodies in movement affected by and affecting each other, their shapes and responses changing the form of the music to come, the record’s groove and the groovers. The tracks are different, there is repetition in the beats, and it is never the same, the constant addition creates lines of flight and escape.

“The most important musical phenomenon that appears as the sonorous compounds of sensation become more complex is that their closure or shutting off (through the joining of their frames, of their sections) is accompanied by a possibility of opening onto an ever more limitless plane of composition…musical beings are like living beings that compensate for their individuating closure by an openness created by modulation, repetition, transposition, juxtaposition” (Deleuze, Percept, Affect, and Concept 190).

The dance is not the physical representation of the music, but becomes music as music becomes the dance. Turning lights reflect from a sphere covered in mirrored squares, washing over bodies, faces, and walls—changing the shapes of these surfaces, the shape of the reflections changed by the surface they light.

This bloc of sensations lasts for its eternity. Everything is transformed. And transformed again. From Keith Haring’s, Dance: “…things that I was seeing in dances and literally putting them right into the work…[the break dancers] knew, when they saw it, right away what it was…Movement as painting. Painting as movement. The physical reality of the world as we know it is motion. Motion itself=movement. What I am proposing, or what I am practicing for myself, is a body of work that is in constant motion. Never “final,” never finished.” A modern artist has to produce images…however, the elements of chance, and magic, and spirit cannot be sacrificed in this quest.”

Deleuze’s is a philosophy of living, creating, and we find it at work in moving life in living spaces.

 

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