(Edited by) Kunsthaus Langenthal, WallRiss – Megarave – Metarave


Les Presses Du Réel, Kunsthaus Langenthal, WallRiss, ISBN: 9783905817591, English, German, French, 152 pages, 2014, Switzerland

This is the rich trilingual (English, German and French) catalogue of the homonymous exhibition curated by Raffael Dörig which sprouts from the crucial moment of the early nineties connecting two distinct but very related phenomena: public access to the internet and the rave scene. The book centres on the so-called “bedroom generation,” who pioneered a global information network, as well as attending rave parties and developing their culture. Arguably this generation determined a specific openness and sensitivity that can be observed in this and subsequent generations. Rave synthesised in different respects the definitive passage from analogue to digital, as the documentation in the catalogue proves. First, snapshots of rave parties are among some of the last analogue amateur photographs, with a physical scarcity and a recognisable aesthetic. In a few years the digital cameras would have taken over. Second, the rave prime medium, the flyer, was the first popular use of Photoshop collage, stemming from the appropriation culture of punk. Finally, rave music was obtained in a seeming mix between vinyl and electronic gears. The same generation fostered net art and what came later was a more or less coherent outcome. This engaging path is very well explored in this catalogue, enhancing how it is intertwined with an “emancipatory use of media” as Dörig underlines, suspended between “techno euphoria” and “post-apocalyptic dystopia,” or, as Sadie Plant brilliantly defines it in the first essay: “other arrangements of reality.”


Megarave, Kunsthaus Langenthal, exhibition walkthrough