ACON Rovers est projet de réduction des risques liés à l'usage du GHB dans les milieux festifs gais. Une équipe de bénévoles intervient dans les soirées pour aider les personnes en difficulté. Ce travail est décrit et théorisé : son émergence historique, les formes de savoir qu’il mobilise, l’attention portée aux relations entre les différents acteurs de la scène festive gaie et les mécanismes mis en place pour évaluer le projet.
In recent work on environmental and health risks, Isabelle Stengers has suggested that governing logics have been seized by a strange injunction : “the right not to pay attention.” She characterizes “paying attention” as an art that brings into play connections we are in the habit of keeping separate. In this article, we use this insight to characterize different forms of prevention in the drugs field, arguing that “modes of attention” are an important consideration for harm reduction and counterpublic health. Our case study centers on the ACON Rovers, a team of volunteers who rove around gay dance events on the lookout for people in trouble. Through certain “arts of interception” and through an immanent practice of working with possibilities, the Rovers aim to avert certain dangers, especially those associated with use of the drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. But doing this work well involves a certain mode of attending to risk, derived from embodied knowledge, that has regard to the affective relations of surveillance. In this article, we seek to describe and theorize the work of the ACON Rovers. We discuss the historical emergence of the program, the forms of knowledge it draws upon and mobilizes, the attention the project pays to affective relations between different actors in the party environment, and the mechanisms the project has installed to assess and reflect upon its work. Since they seek to intervene in drug effects, we argue that the Rovers are engaged in ontological work. Their mode of operation can be contrasted with that of drug enforcement, which often assumes “the right not to pay attention.”