Take the basketball body. It reaches its pinnacle when it achieves a state of flow, when the process is more important than the product. When instrumental learning (250 jumpshots, ballhandling drills, weight training) becomes imperceptible such that it lives freely through its technology and arrives at perhaps the ultimate expression of thinking as life technique, the Gelassenheit of letting be, just living in embodied form.
Take the arena. An enclosed, spectacular, productive space. Like The Truman Show, only all are actors and all are Truman. Paradoxically, it is a safe haven, as it is the place where the basketball body can achieve flow, the place where love and
hate rage can be most fully expressed in the beautiful potential of communion with other basketball bodies.
As he lives through his technologies in these moments and spaces, he finds an embodied intensity of exteroception, proprioception and interoception (Massumi). All perceptions are hyper-attuned. The affective power of an absent touch, the silent scream of revulsion at a present grasp: sublime and vulgar are perhaps not as far apart as one might think. The harsh gaze of the other — athletes, coaches, referees, spectators, TV cameras, surveillance — that soon softens to an amniotic fluid he cannot be without. In these moments and spaces he is naked yet inscribed. He is overexposed.
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What about emotion? Is this beyond the affect described above? Or, as affect becomes thought, may emotion also become conscious? And in becoming conscious does it become performed and thus a form of language?
"Speak in a language that has a lot of quiet to it. Practice impossible writing. Silence is the origin of language" (Schirmacher).
The basketball player knows of the vulgar mechanization of _______, the numbing of the body as it merges with the machine-desiring (not desiring-machine) of the network, and the shards of disconnected thought _______ that mosaic the matrix of the mind _______. Yet the greatest love _______ and in the process artificial life was lived.
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(Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being / Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí)
Stupid Franz. (What can Brown do for you?™) Don't jump off the bridge after someone into a rough river when you will likely drown in the process. Don't be so emotional … calculate, dammit!
But can one calculate the obsession of the basketball player who finds his ultimate expression under the harsh-soft light of the arena as he enters a state of flow?
"Obsession makes life intensive … so long as you are capable of forgetting" (Schirmacher).
He cannot forget. His courage in the arena does not extend to his entire life technique. Nor will it. Condensation forms on the designer sunglasses he wears to the post-game press conference. Tears of a cyborg body that mask the emotions he must always conceal, repress, make absent. "For there is no end to the folly of the human heart" (Woolf).