DJing and Breaking, or the Classical Stage of Art

  • Jim Vernon


This chapter demonstrates that, while the symbolic art of graffiti remains limited by its essentially indirect presentation of freedom, its immediately palpable presentation was created by Hip Hop’s DJs and breakers, whose revolutionary acts of self-governing bodily control and self-discovered feats of skill provided sensible proof of the essential freedom that grounds and guides all artistic creation. By effectively making spirit flesh through the corporeal display of self-mastery in hitherto unimagined feats of skill deployed in “battles”, fought within “cyphers” ritually formed around the performers by their devout audience, Hip Hop’s pioneers created nothing less than what Hegel identifies as a classical “religion of art” that unites aesthetic objects (DJs and dancers) and their adjudicating public (cyphers) into a consciously self-determining, ethical community.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Vernon
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations