Gesture Scan 600dpi

open flatbed scan of random upper body gestures
(sampled at 600dpi, downsampled to 72dpi)

Giorgio Agamben, Notes on Politics, p. 80:

"Gesture is the name of this intersection between life and art, act and power, general and particular, text and execution. It is a moment of life subtracted from the context of individual biography as well as a moment of art subtracted from the neutrality of aesthetics: it is pure praxis. The gesture is neither use value nor exchange value, neither biographic experience nor impersonal event: it is the other side of the commodity that lets the 'crystals of this common social substance' sink into the situation."

The Imagined Architecture of Homo Transludens

The Imagined Architecture of Homo Transludens: Networked Sport and Affective Politics

(an excerpt, submitted by sean smith to the social sciences and humanities research council of canada post-doctoral fellowship program for a proposed residency at concordia university's sense lab)

Venice Biennale Basketball

Play is a fundamental component of human cultures, one that has infused other structural forms of the society of Homo Ludens, such as art, philosophy and law (cf. Huizinga). Inherent in play to greater or lesser degrees are sets of rules that channel the conditions of possibility for the ludic subject, whether towards a particular goal or in freer forms of expression. But in the contemporary digital age, these rules of play often become more implicitly rules of a computer system, algorithmically and architecturally so. Julian Kücklich suggests that cheating — with Homo Deludens as a strategic figure — is one way to understand such systems, to learn what constitutes their conditions of possibility and opportunities for agency.

Located in the liminal space between these two strategic figures, Homo Transludens is proposed in this program of post-doctoral research as one who navigates the threshold in sport between rules and non-rules — not in such a way as to cheat against one's opponents but rather to find new opportunities for athletic expression at the ostensible boundaries of play. Brian Massumi refers to this threshold phenomenon of relational movement as the style that generates the evolution of a sport. Homo Transludens, then, may be considered the creative figure at play "who most effectively melds with the collectivity, toward its becoming" (PftV, p. 78, emphasis added).

In the context of the Global Village Basketball pilot project, Massumi's style referred not only to the creative expression of athletic bodies on the court, but to the design of the actual playing spaces themselves. While many of the meta-game molecules played indoors in "traditional" gymnasium locations, many others joined the game from municipal parks or playgrounds. One mother used toy baskets and chalk to sketch a scaled-down outline of a full court in her driveway on which local pre-school children could participate. Meanwhile, absent a ball to play with at the Venice Biennale art festival, two artists mimed on video the gestures of a one-on-one competition, using Alexei Kallima's Rain Theorem — a black light installation of a football stadium crowd cheering — as the visual backdrop for the performance.

Venice Biennale Basketball

This capacity to imagine local architectures helped mobilize a collective architecture of the imagination for networking together some of the molecular pickup games that existed around the world. The Global Village Basketball meta-game was an aggregated, yet distributed, net performance of improvised pickup basketball played upon on a smooth patchwork of architectural spaces. In this sense we may consider it to have existed as a line of flight from the privileged structures and spaces of state-organized basketball, temporarily allowing for new biopolitical subjectivities to emerge in a sporting context.

diplomatic, relations

Courtesy of MLB

"major league baseball has opened its first baseball academy in china, using it as a foothold to continue the growth of the sport in the world's largest nation. … with the advent of the state-of-the-art development center, mlb is hoping to capture china's growing interest in baseball and move it forward toward the next world baseball classic in 2013." — mlb.com

"even the most dominant nation-states should no longer be thought of as supreme and sovereign authorities, either outside or even within their own borders. the decline in sovereignty of nation-states, however, does not mean that sovereignty as such has declined." — hardt and negri, empire