kay. It’s been nearly three months since my dissertation defense, two months since my graduation, and two weeks since I moved to Berlin. Things have been crazy busy, but I’m still determined to finish this series of chapter summaries. It’s a surprising amount of work to summarize this gigantic, sprawling thing as a series of “plain English” blog posts. Anyway, here comes the affect!
(NOTE: This is the seventh installment of a series where I summarize my dissertation through blog posts. You can find the inaugural post here.)
This chapter is about tracing the connections between intensity and togetherness. The full version of this chapter wades into a fair bit of theory, but I’ll try to keep things streamlined here. Essentially, this is how I go about tracing the connections: (more…)
A fairy-ring of mushrooms grew overnight on the lawn during the NEH Summer Institute at Wesleyan
uring the preparation of the final, revised, post-defense version of my dissertation, I finally had to flesh out all of the “front matter” of my dissertation. The front matter usually includes things like an epigraph, a dedication, acknowledgements, a table of contents, lists of tables/figures/maps/etc., and an abstract of the dissertation. Writing the acknowledgements was surprisingly hard, and there were a lot of people, organizations, and things that I couldn’t acknowledge in a scholarly dissertation. But this is a blog, and I have considerably more freedom to shift between levels of formality and punch through layers of politics and politeness. So here are all the other things for which I am grateful, dissertation-wise. (more…)
PHD: Pizza Hut Delivery in Lima, Peru. Note the image of a delivery boy on fire on the left…
uick interruption in my dissertation-by-blog series to say: I’m a doctor! No, not the kind of doctor that can write a prescription and stick things into your orifices (although I suppose that depends on the context), but a PhD. I defended my dissertation on Tuesday morning, July 19th, 2011. It went well, tons of people showed up, and I wore this lovely new suit that I got tailored during my trip to Peru earlier this month; charcoal with violet pinstripes!
Just a quick note to point my faithful readers to a rich and perceptive account of a night out at Berghain written by Tavia Nyong’o at Hear is Queer. His comments about the frequently-misunderstood aesthetics of techno and the difficult-to-represent experience of losing oneself in dancing are both welcome contributions to the online discourse about EDM.
The last time I was in Berlin, I actually did not spend as much time out listening to music as I should have. I think I was turned off by the amount of US music on the German radio, and the prominence of international touring acts on the rosters of the most heavily advertised venues in the city, and hastily concluded that the mus … Read More
ou folks might recall that I wrote a feature story for Resident Advisor a couple of months ago that provided a sketch of the circumstances around the Luna Land Party in Spreepark Plänterwald. The story was mostly about the bizarre history of Spreepark itself and the rising tension between the Berlin institution, Bar 25, and the American promoter, minimoo, that organized the party there. But another important part of the story was the gentrification going on in Berlin’s entertainment districts, particularly the way that urban redevelopment projects like Mediaspree were putting pressure on Berlin’s nightclubs. This pressure had put Bar 25 in the position of announcing its “final” closure for at least four years running; each time, somewhat miraculously, they managed to extend their lease for a bit longer. This fall, however, the bar was closed for good. A few days after my story was published on RA, YouTube video began to surface showing Bar 25’s premises, empty and razed to the ground. After years of holding massive closing parties and then reappearing in the spring, it seemed that people needed some visual evidence that Bar 25 was really gone.
But Bar 25 isn’t the only bar / club in that area that has been under pressure. (more…)
ey folks, do you party in Chicago? Are you (or were you) a part of any of Chicago’s Electronic Dance Music scenes? Well, then LMGM’s Super Funtastic Surveygasm is just the thing for you!
Well, OK, maybe it’s not as funtastic as the title suggests; and it’s probably not going to give you an orgasm (if it does, don’t tell me). But you will be helping me out and contributing to a better understanding of the Chicago scene(s). This survey is primarily background research for a magazine/journalism article I’ll be writing soon on “Clubbing in Chicago,” but I’m also planning to use the results as another source of data for my own dissertation research (for which Chicago is one of 3 main research sites). As an added plus for all those who participate, I’ll be publishing some of the preliminary data on this blog; also, on the survey form, you can opt-in to be contacted when I publish the results.
The survey is anonymous and should take no more than 15 minutes. So, grab a drink, make yourself comfortable, and click on the image of Mr. HappySurvey below to begin:
erhaps it’s too late for your hazy memories, but: what were your tracks of the summer of 2010? Much like the project I started last year, I’m planning to put together a DJ mix that reflects the sounds of my recent trip to Berlin. This is primarily directed at folks who were in Berlin last summer and were hearing the same tracks I was, but I’m still happy to have suggestions to people who were partying elsewhere. If you were hearing a track all over the place during the summer, post it in the comments! Here’s my preliminary list:
Somewhere in Revaler Straße 99, someone is very pleased with himself
n this post, I want to make the somewhat counter-intuitive argument that there are some privileges to being a local DJ. In so doing, I’ll also explore how the privliges of being local intersect in surprising ways with vinyl/digital debates and ideas about expertise, labor, artistic value, authenticity, and so on. More broadly, I’ll be making some arguments about how privilege works in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scenes and why this should make us re-think how we understand our commitment to the values of inclusiveness and equality that are part of the history of EDM scenes (if sometimes in contradictory ways). You might ask why I use the term “privilege” here instead of “advantage” or “benefit.” This is because the notion of privilege helps give me clarity about how the ease or difficulty of doing something can say something about the uneven distribution of access, opportunity, and resources in society. I’ll come back to privilege in a moment, but let’s begin first with brighter side of local-ness. (more…)
I ❤ Berghain. Part of a "I ❤ Berlin" photo competition
ust 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…)