Cookie notice

We use cookies on our site.

<back to Glossary


Xeno-euphoria is a term created by McKenzie Wark to describe the ecstasy of becoming alien to oneself, riding the strangeness of the beats of techno music into somatics that are not honed into natural wholeness or a oneness but towards technological dissociation and a relational subjectivity. Wark suggests that the reason techno is a home to queer and trans communities is because this xeno-euphoria takes place, and splits space and time, outside of dominant visual regimes of what a body should look like or should feel like.

"The state of xeno-euphoria: Time becomes stringently horizontal. Neither rising nor falling, just sideways swelling and slimming. The body slots in, to time, finding itself stranded through itself, through losing the form of its being in time. I have to be patient, open, present for it. Let thinking flake off and fall away from the I. Then comes the pretty strangeness, into this body, out of the drugs it took, the beats it endures.

This is the need: that for a few beats, or thousands, I’m not. Not here. Not anywhere. In the place where there’s usually me, with all her anxieties and racing-racing thoughts and second-second guesses, there’s just happy flesh, pumping and swaying, tethered only by gravity. A trans body homing in on its own estrangement, losing itself, in these alien beats, among this xeno-flesh. Trans—the crossing—toward—the stranger’s gift—xeno."

McKenzie Wark, Raving, 2023, p19