Caroline Proulx

Rave, or Fragmentation Experimented


This article sets to show how raves are areas of fragmentary experience and expression. The concept of fragmentation refers to all forms or expressions showing discontinuity, including bursts, ruptures, break-ups and other oppositions to linearity and homogeneity. Fragmentation can also be thought of as participating in a vision du monde set in deep contrast with classical modern thought. Rave, for its part, is known to have its entire dynamics revolve around the its experience, which in turn can be defined in terms of an almost mystical quest set out to realize a foreboded mythical state of ecstasy (ek-stasis). Thus understood, the postmodern social phenomenon of rave is here the backdrop for an applied philosophical analysis concerned with the relationship between time and being. The article attempts to show that this “ ecstasy quest ” is in fact a means for the subject-participant to temporarily escape mundane time (the everyday perception of time in a regulated cosmic order). Finally, dance and techno music are examined in order to illustrate the manner in which they help spring up the fragmentary in the rave experience.