Category Archives: Affect


Dear Paramount Management

I was disturbed, angered and ultimately saddened to come across the notice that appeared in the elevator of the Paramount on Saturday night about the so-called ‘loud party music’ said to be emanating from the rooftop of 47 William St (Slims).


I am the owner of a Paramount unit and have been residing here since 2013. While admittedly my north-facing 1 bedroom unit is sheltered from the goings-on of William St, unlike the 2.5 bedroom units in the block, I do walk past Hyde Park House, the venue in question, on William St (the Paramount side) after 6pm almost every day, on my way home from work at the University of Sydney, and/or to walk my dog in Cook & Philip Park, any time between 6pm and 11pm.

While I have indeed noticed music wafting from the rooftop venue in question on one or two occasions over the past month on my way to and from home, to describe the muffled, atmospheric sounds of people socialising that I have experienced on these occasions as “loud party music” is – if I can be so blunt and pointed – a bit rich.

At the very least, I am quite sure these intermittent and ambient sounds of social recreation and urban leisure (which many people might otherwise or once have considered characteristic of urban centres and the experience of life in areas located close to the very centre of major cities) are nothing that a decent pair of ear plugs, or headphones with light relaxation music, or some straightforward interior design solutions could not mask. Certainly, the disturbance created by 47 William Street is certainly far less intense in duration and volume than the noise emanating from another social/communal venue within direct earshot of the Paramount in the vicinity, namely St Mary’s Cathedral

I am not aware of anyone ever having petitioned the council about the loud noise emanating from this institution, whose huge bells chime for whole swathes of precious time over the weekend, every weekend, from morning onwards.  Since I often work from home over the week, I have often thought to do so, since the “LOUD SANCTIMONIOUS NOISE” coming from this venue interferes with one of the main opportunities I have to get certain aspects of my job done – namely reading, research and writing – each of which require extended periods of concentration that are difficult to maintain when the boisterous noise that routinely emanates from this problem venue penetrates the haven of one’s private residence .

I have refrained from doing so, in the end, on the basis that cultural institutions such as this one serve an important social, communal and recreational function for a social minority in Sydney (i.e. observing Catholics); and that the noise made by these bells is a routine and ritualised part of these communal gatherings.  Most significantly, I knew full well that such activities went on in this neighbourhood when I first decided to buy into the Paramount.

So rather than try to impose my professional and personal needs on the neighbourhood as though I have some natural, ‘god-given’ entitlement to do so (as a “private resident”) I just shut my balcony doors, put some headphones on and get on with things.

For my part, I was delighted that the current owners of the trading venue t 47 William St decided to refurbish and convert the rather bleak, non-descript and usually empty Hotel William into Hyde Park House, complete with a stylish and striking rooftop eatery and bar, Slim’s Ithe venue I presume to be the source of some of my fellow resident’s moral indignation and NIMBY-style evangelism).  In my view – shared, it appears, by hundreds of friends and acquaintances familiar with Sydney’’s inner eastern suburbs and their urban and cultural history – the venue has added much needed life and effervescence to what has otherwise become a depressingly sterile local environs increasingly resembling a soulless ghost-town with little colour and movement whatsoever except the cars, buses and other vehicles pushing their way up the increasingly bland and alienating major road coursing through the area (William St) on their way to somewhere else.

To my mind, venues such as Hyde Park House add value – social, cultural, ethical, aesthetic, communal and financial value – to the area as a whole, the local environment, and indeed the residential properties located within it. “At last”, I thought, “a social venue that has the practical initiative, financial clout, critical and popular acclaim and aesthetic knowhow to buck the anti-urban wowserism that is killing the city formerly loved and known as Sydney.  Given the devastating effects of the O’Farrell government’s 2014 Lockout laws – not only on many small businesses throughout the entire 2010-2011 Sydney postcode area and beyond, but also on the distinctive social and recreational life and street culture that once made Sydney an exciting, friendly, vibrant and dynamic place to live and an internationally compelling tourist destination, I very much welcome a lively new social venue in my local area.

The elevator notice posted on the weekend asked residents to contact council to lodge their concern as well as email the building manager. But this approach to the matter is unfair and patently unbalanced. I believe it is necessary to devise a more even-handed strategy to these sorts of issues. I would like to see notices of this kind changed to reflect a more neutral and open stance that genuinely polls residents to express their views on the matter in question, whether for or against, and encourages them to share such views with council should they desire to take further action.

For my part, I am cc-ing this email to council, as well as the venue in question, to express my opposition to this resident action. Since the retort I taped below the original notice was removed, I had also planned to mailbox all residents a copy of this letter and share it with my extensive professional, governmental and community networks through relevant social media platforms. I would do so, not because I have anything personal against the complainants or building management per se, but because the action itself is indicative and/or symptomatic of wider trends in the erasure of public urban space that I find deeply concerning and demanding of counter-action.

As it happens, I contacted council, who informed me their rangers visited the venue on the night of the complaint and determined the sound levels were within the acceptable range for this venue’s licence type. I now wonder if the residents responsible for the complaint might be suffering from hyperacusis. They might want to look into it.

The Paramount is situated in the 2010-2011 area, very close to the city, right in the middle of the inner east’s Sydney’s historic urban social scene. Presuming those who reside here or buy properties in this apartment block are aware of this history, the “loud party noise” issue of the past weekend – like similar matters/actions that have come to my attention over the time I’ve resided here – have left me and many of my friends and correspondents wondering why those intent on wielding their status as ‘property owners’ or ‘private residents’ to shut down social venues in this neighbourhood, effectively killing all signs of social life in Darlinghurst, don’t just sell up and/or go and move somewhere quiet and peaceful and as boring as they seem determined to make this area.

Yours sincerely,

KANE RACE (Associate Professor)

E kane.race

Gender pronouns: he/him/his

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Filed under Affect, Parties, Policy and programs, Sexual Sociability

Instagrabs: moments in time, practical aesthetics & digital vernacular creativity

 ~ aka, fucking around on my smartphone ~

working girl

Working Girl – May 2018

 I’ve been doing this thing where I screen-cap a bunch of consecutive shots from my Instagram account that happen to line up, in my view, to make some aesthetic sense of a moment or phase in my life that gives me pleasure or generates affective resonance for me: let’s call them Instagrabs.

Don’t Cry Mama – July 2018

An Instagrab relies on the mediating capacities of a particular technology, the smartphone camera and its screen cap function, as well as the commercial software platforms of Instagram and Facebook, to pull together a series of takes on the world that I take to hang together to provide some handle on a particular moment in experienced time.
kim jong

Kim Jong um… March 2018

It is a tableau of images that in practical and partial terms captures some perspective on my world in a retrospective and makeshift attempt to convey the feeling of particular trajectories or moments of movement through that world that have formed me as a subject (and will continue to do so through this intervention, to the extent that it formats and brings them into the present)

Viking it – September 2016

As an assembled collage of a series of digital depictions of my experience of the world I move through, the Instagrab assembles a second-order perspective on what that phase in my experience of the world felt like, as well as the sort of meanings and feelings it might generate and confer, both retrospectively and prospectively – into the future.


Tendrils – Autumn 2017

At once intimate, publicly accessible and imbued with personal meaning and affect, Instagrabs attempt to make some aesthetic sense of where I’ve been and the feelings that sequence of moves through the world involved in a multiply-mediated and specifically assembled practice of re-collection.


Click through for my Instagrab Album–  a work in progress



FanPhatic – February 2018


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Filed under Affect, Devices and technology, Digital culture, Random thoughts, Theory, Uncategorized, Vernacular Digital Creativity

Queer Carry On

Colour & movement, the motion of light, and flowers  …

Reverberations/ Post-Impressions / Queer Carryover


Outfit created by Benjamin Williams








pink feathers






Intimate Exposures


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Filed under Affect, Digital culture, Erogenous zones, Eroticism and fantasy, Masculinities, Parties, Sexual Sociability, Vernacular Digital Creativity

Gingko Leaves in Winter



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Filed under Affect, Antiretrovirals, Devices and technology, Engagement with medicine, Random thoughts, Self-medication, Sexual Sociability, Theory

Above & Beyond a Joke: Who are the  real criminals here?

Above & Beyond;
Over & Above;
Beyond a Joke.

& more to the point: how long has this been going on???

Back in 2007, I tried to work out why the police state was insisting so dogmatically on policing techniques that, even back then, had already been shown to exacerbate rather than reduce the harms associated with the consumption of psychoactive drugs.

I could only conclude that the police and their state operatives were completely uninterested in regulating a market that their actions actually maintain and reproduce as dodgy and dangerous, realistically, at all. That would defeat the point.

Here’s what I argued, in Pleasure Consuming Medicine (2009), Chapter 1



That was A DECADE AGO.

Nothing has changed: things have only gotten worse.

The drug dog now serves as a shitty mick pretext to produce anyone who fails to tow the state line on ‘drugs’ as deviates… and punish young people for socialising en masse at all.

Fuck them; fuck the politicians who allow this to take place; fuck those sections of the public that support such blatant abuses of rational authority; and fuck the dumb-assed officers that swallow the bullshit ideology they get served up from their ‘superiors’ whole.

Above & Beyond & Pretty Much completely Over it All….

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Filed under Affect, Devices and technology, Drug dogs, Engagement with medicine, Masculinities, Medicine and science, Parties, Police, Policy and programs, Self-medication, Sexual Sociability

Deleuze & Guattari and some Moreton Bay Fig-Trees

I’ve always been captivated by the wondrous reptilian root structures of old Moreton Bay figtrees. But two-dimensional photographs only capture a mere slice of their majesty, grace, and languorous durability and exhilarating lines of movement

Today I found myself following their thick curves and lines with my iPhone video, and was struck by how this technique allowed so much more of their startling prehistoric forms, compositional density and erratic experimentality to emerge.

Even my dog, Hercules, got the gist ….🐾

When Deleuze and Guattari first counterposed arborescent forms to rhizomatic assemblages in a Thousand Plateaux, I wonder what an encounter with a Moreton Bay fig tree would have done to disrupt such a neat distinction….

Neither arborescent nor rhizomatic – indeed/rather both – the Moreton Bay fig reveals the need to think territorialsiation and deterritorialisation, not as descriptors of empirical givens, but as complex, intermeshed processes or trajectories that bear the capacity to startle those who encounter them with their unpredictability, in the same breath as they reassure and astound us with their robust curves, enduring sturdiness and reassuring order

moreton pic

At once smooth and striated, these organisms are awesome and bewildering and moving in complex velocities – at once speeding and slowing the creature that encounters them in equal measure, when grasped with a modicum of motion …

As for the camerawork, it’s a bit wonky, but well, it’s a start…

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Filed under Affect, Erogenous zones, Random thoughts, Theory, Vernacular Digital Creativity


I’m honoured that my book The Gay Science: Intimate experiments with the problem of HIV will be launched ~ alongside Susan Kippax and Niamh Stephenson’s Socialising the Biomedical Turn in HIV Prevention at

Pride of Place: Remembering the Past, Shaping our Futures;

a conference commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Mardi Gras, on the evening of Monday 25 June 2018.

The Pride of Place conference will explore themes of intergenerational lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer experience, and celebrate the evolving purpose, identity and influence of Mardi Gras within the LGBTIQ community. The relationship between LGBTIQ politics and Indigenous Australians, as well as multi-ethnic communities, will be a focus of conference discussion.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Ally Network, the 78ers, Sydney Pride History, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.

The books – both of which emerge from the vibrant social movement around HIV in Australia – will be launched by Peter Aggleton and Annamarie Jagose at an event chaired by Elspeth Probyn at 5.30pm on Monday 25 June, in the Refectory of the Abercrombie Building, University of Sydney (level 5).

Just prior to the launch, the conference is featuring a panel discussion, Mardi Gras and Communal Responses to HIV in Australia, from 4.15pm, featuring Dennis Altman (La Trobe University) Heath Paynter (AFAO), Nicolas Parkhill (ACON) and Niamh Stephenson, UNSW:

Mardi Gras and Communal Responses to HIV in Australia 

The Mardi Gras festival, protest and party have been particularly – and perversely – generative of communal responses to HIV in Australia.  At the beginning of the AIDS crisis there were calls to ban the parade, with one of the government’s principal advisors on AIDS describing the party as a ‘Bacchanalian orgy’. But it soon became evident that the parade and party could serve as hallmark events in which the possibility of a communal, collective response to the crisis could be celebrated and embodied. Some of the most brilliant HIV/AIDS education has emerged from Mardi Gras culture, garnering international recognition for Australia’s bold, irreverent partnership response to the epidemic.  This panel of distinguished speakers from the community sector and academia will explore why the culture of  Mardi Gras has generated such dynamic, collective responses to HIV in Australia.

If you would like to attend that session, or any other parts of the conference, you are required to register for the event (the standard price is $50 for the full two days, with some concessions as per the conference website).

“So many pills, so little time sweetie!”




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Filed under Affect, Antiretrovirals, Books, Devices and technology, Digital culture, Drug dogs, Engagement with medicine, Erogenous zones, Eroticism and fantasy, HIV behavioural surveillance, Masculinities, Medicine and science, Online meeting sites, Parties, PNP culture, Police, Policy and programs, Random thoughts, Self-medication, Sexual practice, Sexual Sociability, The statistical imagination, Theory