Item Details

Tracing the lines of an electronic tattoo: The covert operation of Melbourne techno

Issue: Vol 16 No. 1-2 (2015)

Journal: Perfect Beat

Subject Areas: Popular Music

DOI: 10.1558/prbt.v16i1-2.19923


Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Melbourne, this article investigates the local techno scene and attempts to establish techno-cultural connections with its roots in Detroit. From a theoretical perspective based on the work of Jean Baudrillard and Kodwo Eshun, three aspects of techno parties are explored, each shaped by the intertwined factors of music, drug and environment. The first discussion considers the hidden and ephemeral fluctuation of the dance floor vibe within the context of an underground scene, which is juxtaposed with the ‘undetectible’ (Eshun 1998: 120) transmissions of early Detroit techno. The two remaining analyses assess the covert operation of techno through the analogy of electronic tattooing, applied first on the human and then on the urban body. The pulsating tattoo lines emerge from technological appropriations that dismantle and reconfigure urban reality, developing the complexities of the Baudrillardian virtual.

Author: Botond Vitos

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