Insects, Intensities and Investigating Raves

Jussi Parrikka, in his book Insect Media: An Archeology of Animals and Technology—explains, “…’insects’ are continuously distributed across a social field not merely as denotation of a special class of icky animals but as carriers of intensities (potentials) and modes of aesthetic, political, economic and technological thought” (xiii). Within Parrikka’s words lies a powerful reconceptualized understanding of the world and all things within the world—including that which is intangible and even indescribable through language. The investigation of insects as having these powerful ‘intensities’ to effect behavior and thinking is something deeply meaningful to the rest of the world as well. Insects are free from language and therefore their power comes from the way they map territories, contract forces, fold their bodies and establish relations. One of the most interesting things is that these little creatures do is swarm, which Parikka explains is the event where “…animal packs operate without heads…” by coming together in a thickly and confusedly assembled crowd. These swarming activities are extraordinary and guided me in a new direction of thinking about my ecology.

Raves operate in much the same way that these insects within their ‘social fields’ do. The rave space—the ecology as a whole—is a place of high volume congregation in tight spaces filled with massive amounts of ‘intense’ objects. The people that attend raves tend to be consumed by their environments-light displays, music, temperatures, and sights—which are in constant motion, change and transition. Popping pills and dropping tabs is an additional part of the experience that intensifies the creative potentiality of the rave space and the objects that move squirm and swarm within it. The drug consuming rituals offer a way into another dimension or level of consciousness, awareness and understanding of the power of the rhizomatic kind of relations between all the ‘actants.’ Parrikka explains, “The creative potentiality of the animal in a milieu is doubled by the experimental technicality of the milieu in which it is reinvented through the registering” (96). In much the same way drugs allow us to see, smell, feel and hear things differently or in a reinvented manner, the simulations of animal behaviors (like Marey’s images and insect-mimicking machine) allow us to see how intricate and affective/powerful they are.  

 

-jenny

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~ by jh2716 on December 3, 2013.