Speed Tribes

From 2004, as part of the Cultural Hacking edited collection, is my article “Speed Tribes: Netwar, Affecive hacking and the Audio-social” in which I describe the population rhythms of the hardcore continuum in terms of swarm dynamics around the bpm metric.

“The virtual architecture of dread defines the affective climate of early 21st century urbanism. It is underpinned by the sense, as a character from William Gibson’s latest novel Pattern Recognition proclaims, that “we have no future because our present is too volatile. . .”  Exorcising this dread has been a central objective of cultural hackers. In the late 20th century, through breakbeat and vocal science, it was urban machine musics, and their pre-occupation with generating soundtracks to sonically enact the demise of Babylon, that took up this project. Since the turn of the 20th century, audio futurism has explored the themes of war, speed and sensation. A century later, and under the shadow of ‘shock and awe’, what are the current dynamics of this strain of affective hacking?”

Published in ‘Cultural Hacking’, ed. F. Liebl (2004) pp139-156, Springer: Vienna.

The concept of the speed tribe is pinched from Karl Greenfield’s book of the same name, but given a Spinozan twist.


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