Matthew Wang: Dancing on Drugs


Advisor/tutor: Ana Teixeira Pinto 

August 2020


This essay draws comparisons between the use of certain psychoactive drugs and dancing within individual and collective situations. It will examine these connection through concepts of ecstasy, pharmakon, and time, evaluating their effects on individuation and subjectivity. The essay will use examples from club life in Amsterdam, and the present coronavirus pandemic to illustrate the way dancing bodies, particularly collective ones, have been progressively demonised in favour of a static, sober, self-contained individuality. Also within club life, the essay will examine drug use in connection to larger questions around biopolitics and race. The essay makes a case for a more careful form of collective drug use and dancing as a practice of resistance.