"Tango is an improvised movement — at its best and most challenging, a politics of touch — carrying within its sensory mechanisms the potential instantiation of a politics that might be called a politics of friendship. Tango is a challenge to fraternization as the maxim for democracy even while it is the dream of a nationally unified identity. Tango is all of these contradictory movements of desire."
(Erin Manning, Politics of Touch, p.28)
We ought to recognize the tango (like the panopticon) as an abstract diagram or general architecture of embodied micropolitics that may, with the necessary modifications, be applied to different forms of coming-together or community. Here, body becomes bodies, the tango's lightness as diagram matched only by the heaviness of the flesh in which it finds embodied form.
(sportsBabel, July 2009)
"I move to move with you to move with them to move you moving me."
(Manning, Relationscapes, p.25)
If, as Virno suggests, the figure of the virtuous public speaker is central to the emergence of the multitude, then we must also ask about the virtuosity of the public listener (a form of communication in its own right). This is why Manning's abstract diagram of the tango is so important: it accounts for both speaking and listening bodies in relation.
(sportsBabel, May 2010)
"Touch errs. Being in relation is about the experience of erring, which is at the heart of any desire to reach toward. It would be fallacious to argue that the body is always constant in its directionality. A politics of touch must be errant."
(Manning, Politics of Touch, p.70)