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Rave Time 2023

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Rave Time is an exploration of ecstatic and embodied learning, alternative spaces it happens in and how hard it can feel to hold onto.

​'Ecstatic comes from the 1590s, "mystically absorbed," from Greek ekstatikos "unstable, inclined to depart from," meaning "characterised by or subject to intense emotions", now usually pleasurable ones, but not originally always so.'

Combining footage documenting a disused, overgrown playground attached to a closed down community centre about to be demolished to built luxury housing, an experimental artist residency I led with young artists exploring embodied ways of communicating and collaborating, plus the annual queer protest party ‘This Is My Culture’ in Hampstead Heath cruising grounds inspired by George Michael’s famous words “Are you gay? No? Then fuck off! This is my culture!” I have used footage from my own life to explore the affective quality of fizzy spaces that are co created temporarily with other people. 

The abandoned play area left with remnants of children's games now taken over by weeds and city wild life. The young artists awkwardly and playfully getting to know one another through movement and sensing into themselves. The bursts of an illegal rave and nostalgia for gay cruising. Thinking about what kinds of queer knowledges are able to grow and spread in these conditions, and what kind of collective tuning in goes on through sweating, trying to move and live together - against forces of erasure and displacement.

The work plays with sound and tone as well as closed captions that add a quiet layer to the colliding combinations of footage.

Footage made partially at UKNA with Sophie Mak Schram for emerging artists (Zara Sands, Sunny Vowles, Niamh Seana, Luke Beech & Courtney Roberts) using tools made with Kerri Jefferis, plus the annual queer protest party ‘This Is My Culture’.

Shown as part of Gentle Gestures stream at London Conference for Critical Thought 2023, accompanied by a workshop.

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