Pádraic E. Moore (b. 1982, Ireland) is a writer, curator, and art historian who currently lives and works in Amsterdam.
Moore’s practice is shaped by the belief that visual art enables alternative modes of interaction in a world increasingly led by technological rationality. Moore’s research interests focus on the influence of esoteric philosophies on both the literary and visual arts.
Music for Chameleons (2016) is a one-off nocturnal event conceived around the conviction that the dance floor can be a zone of experimentation, self-invention, transformation, and communion. An inclusive, interactive happening concerned fundamentally with the politics of pleasure, Music for Chameleons emphasizes music’s capacity to restore an individual’s arcane, perhaps even ‘tribal’ instincts. The event – a celebration of the redemptive transgressive potential of disco as a sensibility and social-aesthetic practice – is informed by a 1979 article by Richard Dyer, published in Gay Left titled ‘In Defence of Disco’. According to Dyer, it wasn’t just the sexual or ethnic diversity of disco’s artists and audiences that was important, Dyer believed disco reflected the mechanized and material realities of marginalized and minoritized life under capitalism. Moreover, its sound – produced from electronic components such as synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers – was a liberating agent.
In as much as nightclub dance spaces can serve as rehearsal spaces for modes of being-together that are better, more just, more caring, more fulfilling, or simply less harmful, they are also spaces of utopianism. This is not to claim all nightclubs are fully realized utopias – far from it – but rather that their dance floors are utopian in spirit: they provide concrete sites for the collective envisioning of a different kind of ‘good life’. – Richard Dyer, ‘In Defence of Disco,’ 1979
For Dyer, the sonic qualities of disco facilitated emotional release; its rhythm and aural textures were imbued with erotic and emotional extremes that permitted escape from the routines of everyday life.