Caravan of new-ravers

Hackney Wick, how’s that gonna be like? The journey gets a bit complicated as we start getting confused with night buses. Moving with a long caravan of new-ravers we finally hit the right place. I vaguely remember an ambulance, and those discontinuous lights, blurring, or maybe there wasn’t an ambulance, poisoned memory… and I remember a queue, under the rain, and a bouncer letting people in in pairs… on a deserted street some crowd shakes the foundations of an occupied warehouse.

The door closes behind me. A hard bass comes all the way down the stairs together with a dense atmosphere of sweat and smoke to welcome those who made it. As I walk upstairs the heat keeps getting higher. My body vacillates between a feeling of disgust and one of extreme pleasure. Eventually comes the surrender. Moves become unintentional, as if a higher entity had started to take over: a whole body of ravers. Pheromones surreptitiously lead interaction, causing unconscious communication between bodies. So much escapes control here, so much travels through esoteric channels. A bacchanal of signals that my body processes but that I am incapable of decoding.

Someone at the decks is manufacturing a sonic intervention, moulding audio waves from two turntables. Chemicals kick in. Endorphins spill over the room. There are so many invisible dimensions making contact, so many peripheral worlds, and I seem to be inhabiting all but none at the same time. Being so much here, but nowhere. There is something dreadful in the experience: perhaps the proximity of pleasure and self-erasure, the idea of audio-abduction. The body being constantly traversed by different force fields that aim to unleash reactions and instead of fighting for an intentional self-expression it passively abandons itself to those forces. Between these walls communication takes place in a different fashion.

Bodies communicate via hormonal exchange. A crowd synchronizing its cell oscillation to become a unified body. Intense and persistent sonic vibration. Light almost nonexistent, voices pitched down for the celebration of the doom. Before anything can be understood or qualified all your epidermis has been threatened; your viscera called to arms. Sensory motor impulses taking over your body and almost forcing you to celebrate the contagion.


I wrote this piece for a project about Hackney by Nick Hamilton for Resonace Fm.

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  • Bio

    Olga carries practical and theoretical research in the field of media arts. She works as a co-editor with while she pursues a practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths. Her research project looks into assemblages of sunlight, human bodies and machines. She is particularly interested on subtle modes of communication across bodies of radically different nature. She looks at the ways in which electronic circuits, computational systems, endocrine processes and neurological happenings intermingle. The tools she develops are speculations about the undercurrents of body communication.
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