intimacy

Chapter 2, Part 2: Gender, Sexual Touch, and Rethinking Intimacy


Splendor in the Grass

Splendor in the Grass: the residue of pleasure in Lakeshore Park, Chicago

Although the first half of this chapter describes EDM events as intensely tactile spaces where there is a greater openness to touch, it’s not like everyone at a nightclub is hungry for touch—sexual or otherwise—nor is everybody all that tolerant of being touched. And yet, touch is everywhere at EDM events. How does that work? How someone manages this diversity of attitudes towards touch in a crowd of strangers is one of the more obscure aspects of EDM tactility, (more…)

Berghain Attacked By Cuteness


I Heart Berghain

I ❤ Berghain. Part of a "I ❤ Berlin" photo competition

Just look at this cuteness. LOOK AT IT, I SAY!! Don’t try to deny its overpowering adorability. Let it wash over you.

So, according to the folks at iHeartBerlin.de, this picture comes from a series of images they created for a photo competition, the rest of which you can find by starting here. The competition was put on by Mobile Sessions (which seems to be organized by Sony Ericsson).

You know, taking this picture along with that video for Minilogue‘s “Animals” track (see video below) and the graphic design for the Masomenos record label (also see below), I’m thinking that I could write a whole article on minimal techno and cuteness. Also, someone needs to write an article on pictures of the exterior of Berghain (since pictures of the interior are forbidden during party hours); I bet that there are some interesting patterns to those photos… (more…)

Sightings on the dancefloor


I have a bunch of stuff I want to write about from last weekend—and I’m not even sure I’ll be able to get to all of it—but I wanted to post this note on here before it slips my mind and the affective impact of all of it wears off.

I suspect that I underestimate the extent of my readership. Every once in a while, I meet someone who has been forwarded one of my blog posts through a mutual friend (when I arrived in Berlin for example, nearly all of Bob & Donna’s friends had read at least some of my writing or heard about it). Every time that happens, there’s a brief moment of scary-fun disorientation, where the pleasant surprise of being deemed worthy of reading (and forwarding) collides with the realization that the ever-important “first impression” happened without you—that is, it happened with your text / performance / product instead of with you. It’s sort of like getting caught with your pants down, but with an exhibitionist twist: you kinda like it, but you just wish you had thought to wear more fashionable underwear.

So recently, I’ve had a whole slew of these experiences, including one last night that really surprised me. (more…)

Nigel Thrift, gatherings, and light-touch intimacy


One of the things I’ve promised on this new version of my blog is reviews/summaries of scholarly texts that I’ve been working with, so here is my first attempt. Lately, I’ve been really inspired by Nigel Thrift’s work. He’s a UK sociologist geographer (thanks, LB!), working in urban studies, who has been championing what he considers a non-representational theory of urbanity—that is, a concept of the urban that takes into account things like affect, speed, and spaces animated by action. I’ve been particularly interested by his concept of “light-touch intimacy,” which appears in his essay:

Thrift, Nigel. 2005. But malice aforethought: cities and the natural history of hatred. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 30 (2):133-150.

[This essay also forms a chapter in his monograph: Thrift, N. J. 2008. Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect. London and New York: Routledge.]

Thrift begins by noting that there is a long history to the trope of the city as doomed; (more…)

San Fran Field Trip: Intimacy, Strangers, and Translocality


So this hardly counts as a full-fledged party review—certainly not like some of the mammoth ones I wrote on LuisInParis—but I just want to point to an interesting experience I had a few weeks ago.

Back around mid-March, I headed off to UC Berkeley for the meeting of the Cultural Studies Association. On the Tuesday before my departure, I posted a status update on my Facebook page, asking, “Who knows what’s up in the Bay Area? I’ll be there this weekend.” By the next Sunday morning, I was stumbling out of a techno/house loft party somewhere in the SoMa district of San Franciso with a cluster of brand new friends.

Shortly after I had posted that status update, a good friend of mine from the Chicago scene, who is a DJ and used to live in the Bay Area, sent a Facebook message to me and all of her techno-loving friends in the Bay Area. By the next day, (more…)