“An Avatar ... in a Physical Space”: Researching the Mediated Immediacy of Electronic Dance Floors
This article addresses the mediations of technologies and user experiences on the dance floors of Melbourne techno underground scenes. Interviewees for my doctoral research project recalled embodied experiences of a “second life”, similar to computerised virtual realities but in the physical space of the party. This article argues for the application of Baudrillardian theory in the investigation of such experiences, contending that the chemical and musical object of electronic dance music is capable of the virtualisation of its immediate environment and the adjustment of the subject’s everyday life. Emphasising the merits of ethnographic fieldwork in electronic dance music research, I call for a reading of Baudrillard that allows an empirically based exploration of his concepts. My focus on insider accounts of virtualisation processes is conducive to the close investigation of the dance floor “vibe” in the context of consumer culture.
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