roundball, oblique function

Paul Virilio (in interview with Sylvère Lotringer), Crepuscular Dawn:

"With the orthogonal plane, the flat plane, as in the entire history of architecture, there is no difference between making one movement or another. On an inclined plane, climbing and descending are radically different; but climbing diagonally or descending diagonally are different again; and walking laterally is different as well. Every dimension, every direction of space becomes a modification of the body" (p.36).

"The advantage of the oblique is that you can choose what you want, whereas with the orthogonal, or with Le Corbusier, the right angle is always straight and up. Architecture Principe was based on breaking the orthogonal in every way. It no longer accepted the tyranny of the right angle. Entering into topology — you can say into 'the fold,' even if Gilles Deleuze had not yet written his essay on the baroque at the time — we did a lot of work on it. We had a lot of choices to play with, but they were dependent upon the experiment" (p.40).

"I am not talking about auto-mutilation, obviously, just attempts to push the body to the limit. It was a bit like competition. There was a sport-like dimension to our research, that's for sure" (p.44).

Oblique function in basketball

basketball court as oblique function
(inspired by parent et virilio, architecture principe)

What if the normally orthogonal space of the basketball court existed as an oblique function, with the direction of the grade incline running from sideline to sideline? What if the goals at each end of the court remained aligned to the orthogonal right angle? Given an experimental group of athlete-performers, how would movement and relation on the surface of play change over time as the players adapted from the orthogonal to the oblique? Could such changes become manifest in the absence of language — that is to say, strictly as a matter of gesture?


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