When I—finally—came out as transgender, I finally felt like I could be in my body, except for a lingering, nagging kind of gender dysphoria that felt too obtuse to manage with any of the tools of transition. The only thing that works on it is dancing. Specifically dancing to techno, to the hardest, most relentless beats I can find. This is what led me to New York’s queer and trans rave scene. Not everyone in it is trans or queer, but these temporary spaces operate on queer rules. Thus began the ‘fieldwork’ that led to my book Raving. The book is done, but the fieldwork continues. As does the question of how and why people find relief from participating in the slow and relentless end of this world through slipping into the sideways time of the rave. Perhaps there are aesthetics of dissociation, a state trans people know well, that now work for a wide range of bodies.
Moderation: Anna Leon (TQW Theory)
is the author of A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International, and The Beach Beneath the Street, among other books. Her new book Raving, on which the talk will be based, will be published in March 2023 by Duke University Press. She teaches at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.
For this lecture, McKenzie Wark will be joining TQW Studios via Zoom.