Without god, not being.
Techno dance, collective exhaustion
and nihilistic enjoyment

Florian Gaité

14.12.21 — 19:00

CN D Pantin

The idea of techno dance as a neo-religious ritual practice is widely conveyed by the social sciences (Maffesoli, Gauthier, Hampartzoumian) who base this connection on the common search for ecstasy and the sharing of certain formal characteristics (repetitions, wiggling, twisting, swinging, striking...). For all that, the link of supposed continuity between choreo-mystical dances (Dionysian oribasia, Sufi trance, shakers' round...) and the techno practice, even if widely taken up by the technoid community itself, does not seem to us to be at all self-evident in a society which thinks and builds itself outside of any reference to transcendence. Far from making it the sign of a postmodern "re-enchantment" that would revitalize the feeling of the sacred, we think on the contrary that what is at stake in these collective exhaustions has more to do with the exaltation of a contemporary nihilism, radically immanent, that denies any exteriority to the present experience. The borrowing to the religious terminology would betray thus, in hollow, only the narrowness of the imaginary of the ecstatic enjoyment, of which it would be advisable to renew the terms. Unproductive and insignificant, does techno dance really have the cathartic, therapeutic or initiatory value that we attribute to religious rites? Can we think of an ecstasy without link with the sacred and see in the exits of ravers and clubbers only a dry call to the void? And if the research of this free expenditure, of this exhaustion, was finally only a way of enjoying simply being by not being even more oneself, nor other thing, that is to say, basically, of being nothing?

of the International
Symposium Dances and Rituals