ArticlesDatacide 14

Dancing with Death: The Excremental, the Sacred & Ecstatic Community in Free Party Culture

death dance 2_72
Image by Darkam

‘The slaughterhouse is linked to religion in so far as the temples of bygone eras … served two purposes: they were used both for prayer and for killing. The result … was certainly a disturbing convergence of the mysteries of myth and the ominous grandeur typical of those places in which blood flows. … In our time, the slaughterhouse is cursed and quarantined like a plague-ridden ship. Now, the victims of this curse are neither butchers nor beasts, but those same good folk who countenance, … only their own unseemliness, an unseemliness commensurate with an unhealthy need of cleanliness, with irascible meanness, and boredom.’
Georges Bataille (1)

In 1999, in the shadow of the approaching millennium, a disused abattoir on Waterden Road in Hackney Wick was squatted and used over an extended period as a venue for free parties. The adjacent property was a large warehouse, which had been converted to an Evangelist Church. The area, which has now been demolished to make way for the London 2012 Olympic development, was a crumbling industrial wasteland contained by motorways, railways and waterways; there was little through traffic. Waterden road was made up of various warehouses, a nightclub, a bus depot, and a site which had been home to a community of travellers for over thirty years. Next to the Church stood the former Hackney Wick dog/speedway stadium, falling into dereliction. Every Sunday, the stadium car park came alive as an ad hoc market, where people came to trade all manner of goods, many rumoured to be of dubiously legal origins. The area had a liminal feel, as if thrown together, with premises that were in decline being put to unexpected uses. Hackney psychogeographer Iain Sinclair describes this lost street as ‘the very essence of edgelands’ (2).

This juxtaposition of church and abattoir falls short of the convergence of prayer and killing that Bataille identifies in archaic temples. But together these accidental neighbours form a disjointed figure through which to explore relations to death in contemporary society. I visit this landscape to set the scene for a short detour through and beyond Bataille’s thinking on ecstasy and the sacred in order to approach another matter: the experience of community. I argue that those free parties created an environment in which the experience of being-with-others had a particular intensity which can be understood as religious, but that this religiosity differs from that of the church. As I explore the edgelands, I will show that to think community is to inhabit a space of limits: the limits of the subject, of representation, and of the city. As such, the spatiality of social relations is connected to architecture.

Bataille’s writing abounds with architectural metaphors, which connect the structure of logical systems with the monuments that express a society’s ideal nature. As Denis Hollier observes, ‘architecture’, in Bataille’s thought, ‘represents a religion that it brings alive, a political power that it manifests, an event that it commemorates, etc. Architecture, before any other qualifications, is identical to the space of representation’(3). Architecture is proposed as the system of systems because of its unifying function – as a form of logic, it organises a conceptual space in which there is only one voice, pushing otherness to an exterior where it is reduced to silence. This unity is forged through a relation to the Absolute—God—who is (meta-phorically or literally, depending on your viewpoint) the great architect. Hollier suggests that ‘this analogy programmes architecture, in advance, in a religious and theological perspective’(4). This implies, among other things, that the legibility of thought is dependent, to some extent, on a kind of religious faith.

This relation between conceptual space and religion is developed by Jean-François Lyotard who, similarly, approaches representation as a spatial problematic. Lyotard compares the space of representation to a theatre, arguing—like Bataille—that the staging of signs always implies the constitution of an enclosure, a space that is unified in its separation from the outside. But theatrical space is also internally divided, with a line drawn between spectator and actor, subject and object. Lyotard contrasts this theatrical enclosure with a topologically different space, a single-sided surface that he names the ‘Great Ephemeral Skin’, which precedes the formation of theatrical space (5). Influenced by Freud’s description of the primary processes in the unconscious, the great ephemeral skin is a space of affirmation characterised by the mobility of libidinal investments, absence of contradiction, and timelessness (6). The surface is boundless, a Moebian band on which intensities can run without ever meeting a limit that would be the mark of a lack (7).
Lyotard proposes that the theatre is a secondary structure, formed whenever negativity is introduced into the system, causing exclusion and twisting the surface into a volume:

‘Theatricality and representation, far from having to be taken as libidinal givens, a fortiori metaphysical, result from a certain labour on the labyrinthine and Moebian band, a labour which prints these particular folds and twists, the effect of which is a box closed upon itself, filtering those impulses and allowing only those to appear on the stage which come from what will come to be known as the exterior, satisfying the conditions of interiority’ (8).

Hence the representative chamber can be seen to be an energetic set-up that channels the productive force of libido into a qualitatively different space. This voluminous space is affected by the passage of time, so memories can be organised into a more-or-less linear narrative, thereby allowing for the establishment of a sense of self-identity. Here, repetition and substitution are quantified and incorporated into a value system. In this way desire enters into an economic environment as subjectivity is produced. Libido is immobilised by the apparatus of representation which produces identity; but it remains part of the structure, the force of the drives feeding into a regime of power (9).

Lyotard calls this set-up religious, because what is represented on stage is an absence, the ‘Great Zero’—exteriority appearing in the theatre in such a way as to remain untouchable, out of reach (10). This means that transcendence is a matter of positioning; the privileged status of ideological concepts (or indeed of God) is ensured by a spatial movement that produces a structure of exclusion (11). As Bataille says, ‘the absolute is powerful because it is perfectly empty’ (12).

The fundamental lack at the centre of the representational system channels desire into a cycle of wish-fulfilment that can never be entirely satisfied, propagating an economy of endless substitution. The constitution of power in the representational apparatus links the religious to the political; indeed, Lyotard claims that the way in which the force of libidinal economy gives rise to the power structures of political economy is ‘the entire political question’ (13). Lyotard connects theatrical space to the structure of the Athenian polis: the city, architecturally organised around an enclosed, central, ‘public’ space, which is the mise en scène of politics as it is still generally understood today (14).

By positing the theatre as an exemplary form connecting conceptual space with the city as polis, Lyotard emphasises the fundamentally visual/spectacular nature of representation, while also drawing attention to the hidden apparatus that support its staging: the direction, the scenography and all of the machinery off-stage. The visible is made possible by structures and processes that remain invisible: ‘all that effaces is effaced, hides and is hidden at the same time’ (15). The theatrical analogy applies to the structure of subjectivity, in which all conscious thoughts and socially enacted personae are underpinned by the polymorphous perversions of the libidinal band; equally, it applies to the city, whose public spaces are built on top of the sewers that channel waste products to the outside. In contrast to the libidinal Skin, a face without verso that hides nothing and knows no shame, the theatre always conceals something behind its façade—off-stage lurks something unseemly and unspeakable: the obscene (16). The twisting of the band is the disjunctive operation that allows for the separation of public from private, clean from dirty, sacred from profane.

The sacred is that which is set-apart. Bataille’s comment about the slaughterhouse draws attention to the way in which death is set apart in contemporary European culture, being exiled to the fringes of urban space. He suggests that removing the industrial processes of killing from the view of polite society is an attempt to separate the dirtiness of death from the sacredness of the church. With his ironic tone, Bataille emphasises the ambiguity of the sacred, which is both the object of greatest respect, and that which respects nothing.

Hollier points out that ‘sacred’ is one of those words with the responsibility for opposite values that interested Freud because it completely ignores contradiction. This is a characteristic of dream logic, which partially reveals the nature of the unconscious (17). ‘Sacred’ designates something that is untouchable, which can be high (as an object of religious veneration), or low (as an object of disgust). These categories are complicated by a further division: there is the ruling sacred, which is controlled by the profane insofar as it is set up by the profane as its ideal—a tendency which can be seen in architectural monuments; beyond this there is an even higher sacred, which makes use of an absolute comparative that dissolves the high, and thus cannot be distinguished from the low (18). Bataille observes that there is an identical attitude towards gods as towards cadavers and excrement (19). These highest/lowest sacred things are completely heterogeneous to the profane, and cannot be accounted for in the architectural logic of conceptual space. So in order to approach the matter of death it is necessary to employ a different kind of thinking, which Bataille calls ‘heterological’ or ‘scatological’ (20).

Death marks the limit of the subject, a threshold that is crossed singularly, and irreversibly. It cannot be substituted, and so cannot be incorporated into the economy of knowledge in any simple sense. As a limit experience, death exceeds the boundaries of theatrical space. This means it cannot logically be set up as an object, because, although it will undoubtedly happen, death does not take place. Rather, as a heterologous non-object, death constitutes an opening in the closed space of representation, being the irreducible other of everything known. This breach in the theatre’s walls is constituted by a movement towards the exterior, the ends of which remain mysterious. It is the impossibility of seeing where this movement leads that reveals the limits of theatrical space. All that can be seen by those who remain, the ‘product’ of dying, is the rotting corpse: the excremental residue of human life.

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Image by Darkam

Society’s use of architecture—monuments, tombs, pyramids—to cover the void left by death reflects the process described by Lyotard, whereby the movement of the libidinal drives in the unconscious is immobilized by the structure of representational space. The construction of these monuments can be seen as an attempt to exile the singular experience of death to the outside, where it cannot pose a threat to the order of the system, or to the subject. But death, like desire, refuses to be banished, remaining integral to the structure as its limit—as that which has the potential to unwork all meaningful discourse. Similarly, the industrial mechanisms of slaughter, although quarantined from the unified central space of the city, are necessary to cultural life. And so, like the hidden apparatus of the libidinal theatre, the abattoir remains in the non-space of the edgelands—neither inside nor outside the public space of the city.

Jean-Luc Nancy, developing on Bataille’s thinking, remarks that it is through death that community reveals itself, and reciprocally (21). The word ‘community’ is intended here not to indicate a substantive collectivity that is defined by a common identity or forms a unity, but the event of being in relation to others. Community, Nancy argues, is ‘an experience—not, perhaps, an experience that we have, but an experience that makes us be’ (22). This experience of being-in-relation happens prior to the formation of representational space, and is structurally excluded by the formation of the theatre. As such, community cannot be thought of as an object, nor as a work of fusion which combines a number of individuals into a greater whole. It is, rather, an event which exposes the finitude of singular beings. And because death marks the final limit of a living being, it is in relation to death that this exposition occurs.

Nancy proposes that community, like death, reveals an excess in relation to the theoretical which obliges us to adopt a new praxis of discourse (23). Community, as an experience of finitude, is always revealed in the death of others, and hence to others—because ‘I’ cannot experience the crossing of the threshold that is ‘my own’ death (24). As such, a sense of loss is part of the communal experience. This loss reveals a fundamental separation between beings, and the impossibility of fusion into a collective body. Nancy states that, ‘community is calibrated on death as on that of which it is precisely impossible to make a work‘ (25). On the contrary, community constitutes the unworking (désoeuvrement) of the unity of conceptual space, a breach in the walls of the theatre that moves towards another, exterior, space of thinking. Like Lyotard’s Great Ephemeral Skin, Nancy describes the space of community as a topological surface which resembles the ultimately collective nature of the Freudian unconscious (26). He emphasises that this is not the unconscious of a subject, but a kind of ecstatic consciousness where desire inclines toward the other, touching the exteriority of the self, and of thought. This experience of tactility furnishes the surface of sociality with its spacing, its rhythm. ‘Ecstasy’ (from the Greek ek stasis: ‘put out of place’) suggests that this is a movement, and implies that community has a relation to religious experience (27).

Nancy proposes that sociality is intrinsically spectacular insofar as it always involves the presentation of a space that constitutes a stage (scène) on which singular beings come to presence (28). Like Lyotard, he remarks on how the theatre, in Western thinking, forms a paradigmatic space which connects the philosophical and the political (29). Nancy suggests that we need to open this theatre, and rethink the nature of the social in terms of the experience of spacing (30). The space of community, then, is not a stage in the sense of an arena of visibility where subjectivities are performed, nor an artificial space of representation which mimics the ‘real world’ beyond. It is a qualitatively different spatiality that is performatively produced as beings are exposed to one another. Nancy calls it, ‘a stage in the sense of the opening of a space-time for the distribution of singularities’ (31).

Following on from this recurring analogy between subject and concept, theatre and city, I propose that the experience of community, as a movement to the exteriority of thought, is echoed in journeying to the liminal areas at the fringes of urban space; that a staging of sociality happens in these unplanned places; that thinking community be approached by way of the ghetto. Lyotard suggests that the condition of the ghetto is to ‘inhabit the uninhabitable’, that which defies the logic of domesticated space (32). In relation to the theatrical paradigm, the ghetto spaces of the city can be considered as part of the hidden apparatus which are necessary to support the staging of civilised life in the centre. These areas, which serve to accommodate the filthy by-products of modern living that Bataille’s ‘good folk’ cannot bear to countenance, are not subject to the architectural designs of town planners, and function according to a different (hetero-)logic. Reciprocally, the architectural space of conceptual thinking has its own formless edgelands, the obscene space of desire. As Lyotard says: ‘thought is not in the ghetto. Every work to which prodigal thought resolves itself secretes the wall of its ghetto, serves to naturalize thought. It can only leave its trace upon the brick’ (33). Returning to the edgelands of Hackney Wick, I want to suggest that it is possible to see traces of a communal experience on the bricks of the old abattoir; that for a short while, community occurred there in a way that was not immobilized by the apparatus of representation. The free parties there constituted a space where ecstatic sociality was at play, and this space was sacred; but in a way quite different from the sacredness of the church next-door.

The church on Waterden Road, the ‘Kingsway International Christian Centre’, was laid out very much like a theatre, with raked seats arranged in a C-shape focusing towards a central, podium-style stage—the architectural form of the building reflecting Lyotard’s analogy between the religious and the theatrical. Every Sunday, people would gather in this consecrated space, as in so many others, out of a desire to commune with a God who is set-apart on a transcendent plane. The eyes of the congregation look to the middle of the church where a vacancy is staged, as Bataille and Lyotard suggest—the impossible presence of the absolute represented by an empty space; a power constituted by an absence. A kind of community is formed around this absence, through the shared expectation of communion with a God who remains out of reach. Nancy observes that it is in Christianity that the true consciousness of community as a work of fusion is found (34). But this understanding of community engenders a particular sense of loss: because of the impossibility of penetrating into the pure presence of God, communion is always deferred. This deferral implies that the vacancy staged in the church is not only spatial —it is an exclusion that also has a temporal dimension.

The Christian faith, symbolically represented by a sacrificial weapon, the crucifix, is organised around the death of God-made-flesh. Through the resurrection, Christ proves to be the exception to the rule that death is irreversible. In his sacrifice Christ’s life is offered in exchange for the eternal salvation of faithful souls—his death takes the place of all others, as flesh is superseded by Spirit. In this way death, the insubstitutable, enters an exchange economy: the church becomes a place of trade like the market next-door. The worshippers offer their prayer in exchange for redemption, a way to follow Christ in defying the finality of death. The desire to be cleansed of sin leads to an experience of ecstasy, an outpouring of emotion towards the empty centre which mediates the trade. This ecstatic experience is one of emotional ambivalence—Jesus is an object of love, and his death removes him from presence for humanity, so worshippers feel a sense of loss and mourning; simultaneously, they celebrate his resurrection and elevation to transcendence (and by association, their own). As Lyotard commands, ‘playing the role’ of St Augustine: ‘only one thing merits affect, it is my own Zero, my Other, it is through him that your emotions come, you must give them to him, he will buy them back from you, the redeemer’ (35).

The ecstatic experience of Christian prayer depends on the worshippers having faith in a future communion, a total absorption into the Absolute that can only happen after the threshold of death has been crossed. This trading on the future is possible because of an eschatological understanding of time—a sense of temporality oriented towards a definite but deferred end: a vanishing point. The conception of an object at the end of all things allows time to be thought as a totality, and the life of the subject to be approached as a work, the aim of which is to balance the spiritual account book.

Hollier states that if eschatology implies a redemptive project, then scatology, in contrast, is shot through with the desire to fall, to touch the low (36). The illicit gatherings in the old abattoir inhabit the low, a place of subversion, and so also constitute a relation with the absolute sacred, that which exceeds representation and respects nothing. The excremental character of these events engenders a qualitatively different experience of space and time to that in the consecrated church, and so a different economy of desire is at play.

A free party constitutes an autonomous zone, an area that temporarily eludes the influence of State law, in which all the people present, create and enforce the rules. As such, there is no centralised structure of authority. The gathering does not form a ‘body’ in an organic sense; it is what Bataille calls acephalic, headless (37). In contrast to the unifying architecture of the theatre, a fluid space is constituted, where both the high and the low are affirmed. Here, an experience of sociality that is not predicated on identity occurs. The theatrical space is unworked, opening to expose the labyrinthine surface. This allows for the staging of polymorphous perversion that Lyotard names ‘pagan theatrics’, enacted as a kind of modern Dionysian orgy (38). No behaviour is forbidden here, nor any people excluded from the space, with the exception of those in uniform, carrying warrant cards—the personification of the legal and moral system these gatherings resist.

Free parties were officially exiled to the edgelands when so-called ‘raves’ were outlawed by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (CJA) in 1994. The CJA criminalised groups of people who gathered to play music at night, specifically targeting ‘sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’ (39). This made an implicitly resistant dance music culture into an explicitly political practice—effectively, a guerilla war. A ‘rave’ was defined as ‘a gathering on land in the open air…’, thereby driving the events indoors and underground, into less visible and easier-to-defend places (40). The phrase ‘in the open air’ was excised when the CJA was amended in 2003, but for a few years urban parties continued to inhabit a grey area, occupying the gaps in the law that was (rather badly) designed to prohibit them.

The legal pressures on these gatherings creates a tension between the aim of creating free and open spaces, and the need to keep the State out. Pursued, often violently, by the law, participants in the scene rely on secrecy, the anonymity of the crowd, and the physical walls around buildings and yards to evade capture. Each event is a disappearing act which must be staged—the opening of the labyrinthine surface paradoxically requiring an enclosure, a line of defence that creates another interiority. This paradox troubles rational discourse, it is an untenable proposition; but libidinal economy does not require consistency. Pagan theatrics are a matter of intensification, and intensity is generated by the simultaneous affirmation of incompossible positions on the libidinal skin (41). The pressure of the outside pushing in on the autonomous zone only serves to amplify the intensification inside.

Squatting has always been a nomadic life, where the idea of property is rejected for an ethos of common use. This is a culture that embraces impropriety; every empty building is seen as an invitation to break, enter and defile. The outlawing of ‘raves’ accelerated this tendency, the need to find new sites in order to stay one step ahead of the police propagating a veritable promiscuity of place. The old abattoir was something of an exception to this rule, being occupied and partied every weekend for several months, and revisited numerous times after. It was as if this ghetto space, tainted by death, was so obscene that it had sunk below the level of visibility to the law.

Although the machinery of killing had been removed from the site before it was squatted, a smell remained that evoked the business that had gone on there before, a phenomenal trace of the physical excess of death. Over time, the clinging stench of slaughter mingled with another, that of the filthy substance known in the vernacular as ‘squat juice’. Many squat venues do not contain working toilets. Restricted from going outside, beyond the walls that mark the boundary of the autonomous zone and its only line of defence, people use dark corners or abandoned rooms to relieve themselves. The urine, faeces, vomit, menstrual blood and sweat mix with the grime of the building, spilled beer, and rainwater seeping through cracks in the roof. The resulting matter, squat juice, works its way through the space, over clothes and hands, and people find themselves, literally, dancing in a puddle of excrement. Touching the untouchable, the sacred.

The scatological movement to touch the low cannot be carried out in a controlled manner, it involves chance, the luck of the fall. Hollier suggests that the fall, which is occasioned by a short circuit of knowledge and sexual bliss, logic and libido, lands a person in Hell, or ‘the realm of the pagan gods’ (42). Bataille links the chance operation of carnal love, which ‘“risks” me and the one I love’, to the cadence of falling dice (43). Desire leading to a gamble that exceeds calculation. Cadence, observes Hollier, ‘evokes dance (disgusting to philosophers, according to Nietzsche); dance which is no more an argument than laughter, proves nothing, but which perhaps, along with laughter, is the only way out, the only excess eluding philosophical speculation’ (44).

In abject spaces like the old abattoir, those of us who dance euphorically in the filth of our own and society’s excrement can be seen to be engaging in a scatological operation, a pagan theatrical move that constitutes an alternative economy of desire. In this place, where nothing is set apart, an experience of ecstasy occurs which escapes the totalising logic of exchange. Bataille calls this dépense, an unconditional expenditure.

Excrement, the low, refuses to be measured; it is expelled, by necessity, as an excess. Ecstasy is connected to excrement through this movement of expulsion, being an overwhelming sensation of intense emotion that overflows the limits of the subject. This unreserved excremental-ecstatic outpouring is not directed at any object, and so can be neither relieved nor recuperated through any process of wish-fulfilment. It is an affirmative emotional investment that is only possible on the libidinal skin, where there is no differentiation between high and low, clean and dirty, sacred and profane. It is this excess of desire that constitutes the space of community, exposing the finitude of beings by unworking the limits of both subjectivity and objectivity. Such an exposure, which touches the unknown, is always a risk. But unlike the eschatological perspective, which elevates its object and offers emotion in exchange for redemption, scatological expenditure does not speculate on a return. Lyotard tells us that the simultaneous assertion of contradictory figures generates a singular or atemporal instant of intense passage, a movement of displaceability on the spot, which opens onto the unbound surface of desire (45). Like the unconscious drives, this singular passage produces no memory—‘only ever being where it is in an ungraspable time, a tense, and therefore what was “previously” journeyed through does not exist: acephalia’ (46). In the old abattoir time stands still at a point of intensity for the dancers, as we lose our heads on the improvised dance-floor, at the singular point where the most exalted emotions and the basest materiality are simultaneously affirmed. With no past or future it is not possible to take account of the ecstatic expenditure, and so the dancers escape from the irascible meanness and boredom that Bataille associates with the need of cleanliness.

Just as the slaughterhouse is quarantined by the good folk, so are free parties set apart from the hygienic centres of respectable urban life. The outlawing of this underground culture forced it into abject spaces. But in the enclosure of the autonomous zone its members continued to dance with joy, wallowing in pools of shit, and wearing their filthy, tattered clothes with pride. Tainted by the excremental, the free party is a space of obscenity at the exterior of the theatre of civilization, in which a sociality is constituted that can only exist in the ghetto of thought. Lyotard comments that these ghetto spaces, the unseen ‘rear’ of the city’s front, must be exterminated (47). And yet, the untameable finds a way of gripping on, growing in the cracks that appear in the drive to devastation. In this exteriority the high and the low dissolve and touch each other, revealing the sacred, but in such a way as to redefine the sacred. Nancy describes it as:
‘the sacred stripped of the sacred. For the sacred—the separated, the set apart—no longer proves to be the haunting idea of an unattainable communion, but rather is made up of nothing other than the sharing of community’ (48).


1 Georges Bataille. “Slaughterhouse” in Encyclopædia Acephalica, Bataille et al, assembled by Alastair Brotchie, trans. Iain White et al, (London: Atlanta Press, 1995), 72-73.
2 Iain Sinclair, ‘The Olympics Scam’ in The London Review of Books, Vol. 30 No. 12, 19th June 2008, 20.
3 Denis Hollier, Against Architecture, the Writings of Georges Bataille, trans. Betsy Wing, (Cambridge MA/London: MIT Press, 1992), 31.
4 Ibid., 33–34.
5 Jean-François Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, trans. Iain Hamilton Grant, (London/New York: Continuum, 2004), 1-6.
6 Ibid., and cf. Sigmund Freud, The Unconscious, trans. Graham Frank- land (London: Penguin Books, 2005), 70.
7 Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, 4.
8 Ibid., 3.
9 Jean-François Lyotard, Des Dispositifs Pulsionnels (Paris: Union Générale D’Éditions, 1973), 238.
10 Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, 3.
11 cf. Geoffrey Bennington, Lyotard, Writing the Event, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), 13–14.
12 Bataille, “Absolute” in Encyclopædia Acephalica, 31.
13 Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, 18.
14 Lyotard, Des Dispositifs Pulsionnels, 268–9.
15 Ibid, 266.
16 The word ‘obscene’ derives from the Latin obscēnus, the etymology of which is obscure. Two possible origins are: ob scaena (against or facing a stage) and ob ceanum (of mud, filth). Hence the term implies a connection between the theatrical and the filthy. Although this relation may not be originary, but a secondary effect caused by the historical antecedents having receded out of view, the impossibility of locating an origin is characteristic of the libidinal band, which precedes the constitution of any defined place, and remains beyond the horizon of ocular logic. In this sense the evocative ambiguity of the word obscene can be seen as a performative enactment the logic of the outside that I am attempting to stage here. Cf., Eric Partridge. Origins, A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958), s.v. “obscene“. 17 Hollier, 131–132.
18 Ibid, 132.
19 Georges Bataille, “The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade”, in Visions of Excess, ed. Allan Stoekl, trans. Allan Stoekl et al., (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 94.
20 Cf. ibid., 97–99; 102, n.2.
21 Jean-Luc Nancy.,The Inoperative Community, ed. Peter Connor, trans. Peter Connor et al, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), 14.
22 Ibid, 26.
23 Ibid, 25–26.
24 Ibid, 15.
25 Ibid, 15.
26 Ibid, 19.
27 Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition. s.v. “ecstasy”.
28 Jean-Luc Nancy, Being Singular Plural, trans. Robert D. Richardson & Anne E O’Byrne ( Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 2000), 65.
29 Ibid, 71.
30 Ibid.
31 Ibid, 66.
32 Jean-François Lyotard, The Inhuman, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby, (Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1991), 200.
33 Ibid, 200–201.
34 Nancy, Inoperative Community, 10.
35 Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, 8.
36 Hollier, 102–103.
37 Bataille, Visions of Excess, 199–200.
38 Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, 6-11.
39 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (c.33), Section 63 (1)(b). , [Accessed 30/04/10].
40 Ibid, Section 63 (1).
41 Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, 10.
42 Hollier, 103.
43 Georges Bataille, On Nietzsche, trans. Bruce Boone, (London: Continuum, 2004), 68.
44 Hollier, 103.
45 Lyotard. Libidinal Economy, 15.
46 Ibid.
47 Lyotard, The Inhuman, 202–03.
48 Nancy. Inoperative Community, 35.

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One thought on “Dancing with Death: The Excremental, the Sacred & Ecstatic Community in Free Party Culture

  • Ah the abattoir – beautifully written Hannah – thank you!

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