Repetitive Beats

The Design Museum’s show Electronic showcases how a once-revolutionary music has become bourgeois and clichéd, but contains scattered hints at what was once possible.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: A general view of the atmosphere at the opening of new exhibition ‘Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers’ at The Design Museum on July 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Writing about the opening of a new Paris nightclub in 1978, Roland Barthes marvelled at the abstract re-sculpting of space by lights, casting ‘enigmatic traces, with sudden mutations: circles, rectangles, ellipses, tracks, cables, galaxies, fringes’. Barthes’ geometric reverie is rendered in uncannily concrete fashion by the 3D live visuals to Kraftwerk’s ‘Man Machine’, as blocks […]

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