French underground raves of the nineties. Aesthetic politics of affect and autonomy

Abstract : This chapter deals with the aesthetic politics of French underground raves in the nineties. It examines theoretical conditions required to address the aesthetic politics of raves. More precisely I criticize the common reductive analysis and the oscillations between celebration and denunciation of techno as a form of stimulation for some passive individuals suffering its effects and being led into the collective trance. Here, I refer not to “aesthetic” in terms of judgment of taste exercised over the music but in terms of a relationship between music and its players and listeners within the process of aesthetic experience. In the same way, what I call “politics” is not related first to the content of the music, or some criticism of the established order that music could express, but to the type of space-time which is created in raves and how it is configured, involving another distribution of the sensible than that of the dominant order. I focus on underground raves, more commonly called “free-parties” in France, and I characterize their aesthetic politics through the articulation of two axes, supplying the momentum of this musical movement: the axis of “potentiation”, related to the power of affective mobilization of the music, and the axis of the “alternative”, where free-parties appear as autonomous organizations corresponding to a process of political subjectivation.
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [52 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Jean-Christophe Sevin <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 3:42:39 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 22, 2019 - 11:48:01 AM
Long-term archiving on : Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 4:54:56 PM


Sevin-French underground raves...
Files produced by the author(s)


  • HAL Id : halshs-01954321, version 1



Jean-Christophe Sevin. French underground raves of the nineties. Aesthetic politics of affect and autonomy. Political Aesthetics: Culture, Critique and the Everyday, ⟨Arundhati Virmani⟩, pp.71-86, 2016, 978-0-415-72884-3. ⟨halshs-01954321⟩



Record views


Files downloads