3.2. The Birth of Tragedy - Rational and Irrational 

18 June 2021

To think down the line of Nietzsche reveals closer how I would like to apply this research into a practical tool. Nietzsche’s: The Birth of Tragedy refers to two opposing concepts, Dionysian (Hereon DI) and Apollonian (Hereon AP). DI relates to the god of festivals (among other things), centred in extravagant sexual licentiousness where ‘individuals unleashed the most savage instincts’ (Nietzsche & Smith, 2008). The imagination of DI is crucial to the understanding of how DI correlates to this paper, as it emerges as an expression in dance, as a feeling of ecstasy and an expression that evolves toward a collective and even more profane experience of nature that social scientist Graham St John explains: “When you dance you integrate your body with your mind, you integrate your individuality with the collective, and you integrate this human race with the planet” (2009, p. 221) St. John, like Mckim, aligns the notion that through ecstatic dance, such as Dionysian bacchanal a sense of loss of the individual self is experienced and an ‘oceanic experience’ (Malbon, 1999) that gives the metaphysical meaning (Mckim, 2007p. 3), which is contrary to AP. AP is derived from the concept of Apollo, the Greek god of light, who is said to rule over the realm of the self-conscious and, therefore, is strongly related to the idea of individuation and provides a world with sensible structures and rational material objects. It is possible to understand AP structures as hegemonic objective truths that govern our world and are the very structures that evoke subcultures, which is DI. In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche discusses the conceptions of DI and AP at length, with a particular focus on the Art of Greek Tragedy. In Oedipus, a collection of performers (the chorus) narrate, move and pass comments in unison. Nietzsche deems the chorus fundamentally DI. Moreover, the characters of the chorus ‘remain eternally the same’ no matter what may come to pass within the timeline of the story. Nietzsche believed that such a ‘factitious natural state’ would have a “nullifying” effect on the audience that will create a similar feeling of having their individuality stripped away, which will, he believes, provide a metaphysical comfort for them, which he explains as “A living wall against the assaults of reality because it […] represents existence more truthfully […] and completely than the man of culture does, who ordinarily considers himself as the only reality” (Nietzsche & Smith, 2008, p. 201-2).  Through the compassionate reflection of the chorus, the public feels together, giving them a sense of collective meaning that is physically felt. Greek tragedy as a whole, Nietzsche refers, is a means to help bring forth matters such as death and one’s mortality through art forms, which makes the ordeal much more bearable. Through the AP structured and logical dialogue and poetry that holds the play together, a metaphysical comfort unfolds in these issues. This combination of AP and DI that Nietzsche admires and states help ‘sugar the pill’ (Nietzsche & Smith, 2008, p. 201-2) of unpleasant thoughts by displaying them in an aesthetically pleasing way. Nietzsche’s concept of the choir as a metaphor for the people dancing in the space in which the club facilitates represents DI. Therefore, it is a place that helps people deal with the outside political, social and cultural hegemonic oppressive reality that is AP. However, AP is also responsible for the infrastructure and sanitation of the club, the factories that press the records and the structured organisation that runs the club. Then it is safe to say that only through the integration of  AP and DI will change become a beneficial social process. By looking at these two opposing ideologies, one of rationality and logic AP and the other of spontaneity, irrationality and sensitivity DI, which are in a continuous struggle with each other. Is it possible to locate in an embodied way the different theories of subcultures that act on and permeate each other with the different sociological and philosophical behaviours to consider how to stimulate movement through the tensions or dynamics of these opposing ideologies?

In this chapter, I have looked at the history of the subculture ‘House music’ in a linear time frame. I have shown that the different theories of subcultures, which include different sociological and philosophical behaviours, have played a role in how the history of ‘House music’ unravelled. I have offered different degrees of evidence that subcultural theories, sociological and philosophical behaviour intertwine and occur outside of linear time. By extracting the subcultural theories, sociological and philosophical behaviours from the time they were first observed and subsequently theorised, is it possible to appropriate them further?  In the next chapter, I will apply the findings of the previous chapters to create a foundation on which to base a methodology for movement on a micro and macro level and consider how to apply this methodology as techniques of embodied knowledge that I call ‘The Frame’.

4. The Frame