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Volume 2, Issue 2 – Nayress Ben Gaga – Sound Systems and the Bending of Space: Funambulism from Fanon to Albert Einstein

I volunteered to be part of the planning team of the Sound System Outernational events held at Goldsmiths University of London. Little did I know that my first encounter with the mysterious world of Sound Systems would impact me to this extent. Until that point, Sound Systems were a commodity for me as a jazz singer. An equipment necessary to hold a concert or a reception, nothing more. I couldn’t be more mistaken. On the first conference day, I spent a considerable amount of my time observing the “conversation” between people and the Sound System. I have always been fascinated by the way individuals approach objects and in that event, my attention was drawn, for the first time, to how individuals and objects affect space and are affected by it.

This text imagines the sound system as an object of great affective density, generating a gravitational space, which we fall into, a field that exceeds and overflows its immediately perceptible dimensions. Drawing on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Fanon’s writings on the circle of dance, I read the sound system dance as a uniquely expansive space generating affective fields and orbital paths through which bodies move and subjects are reconfigured.

Nayress Ben Gaga

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