Recombinant Football

(the following is from a proposal for idensitat [iD#6], Sport, Arts and Social Inclusion project laboratory, spain)

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"The [field] becomes configuring as the body recomposes. … What this means is that both body and space are experienced as alive with potential movement. … The body-[field] stratum is therefore neither object nor form, but infinite potential for recombination" (Erin Manning, Relationscapes, p.15).

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Phase One: Recombinant Play

1-Sided Football: How do we understand the sport of football in the absence of a willing community of competitors?

2-Sided Football: The traditional, binary form of football competition. What happens, though, when we add a second ball to the game? What happens when we remove the ball from the game and it must be collectively imagined in order for play to continue?

3-Sided Football: A reprisal of the three-sided football version proposed by Asger Jorn and the Situationst International to be played on a hexagonal pitch. In this version, however, we will also include the variants performed earlier: adding a second ball to play as well as removing the ball altogether, forcing the collective imagination to complete the game.

Phase One: Recombinant Play

Phase Two: Recombinant Skin

Registered Skin: The sports uniform is a particular semiotic technology designed to discipline or homogenize athlete identity, as well as allow fans to easily register members of "their" team on the field of play and cheer accordingly. Sport is also one of the few social domains in which numbers are directly inscribed to one's individual clothing.

Surgical Skin: Athletes will form groups of 3, one from each team. They will then collectively cut up their football jerseys into pieces, from which the three players will sew together 3 "new" jerseys as material artworks from the event.

Recombinant Skin: The new artworks become wearable, and the athletes return to the field of play for one final match of three-sided football. Strict visual identification is challenged and athletes become more reliant upon gesture.

Phase Two: Recombinant Skin

Phase Three: Recombinant Vision

To complement the first two analog phases of the project, which could be considered a performance followed by a material artwork or archival artefact, the third phase proposes a digital communication component that may be disseminated through various media channels (eg. gallery, web site, school). This will be a two-channel video that offers different, though "subjectively" interrelated, perspectives of the same event. The two channels, which we shall describe as "spectacle" and "kino-gait", are synchronized temporally but toggle back and forth between first- and second-channel positions on the screen.

Spectacle: The traditional camera angles that comprise professional sports television — sidelined, orthogonal, perspectival, fixed, panned. As closely as possible approximating the typical visual narratives of football.

Kino-Gait: What would happen if the skin-as-volumetric-construct could "see back" in surveillant space — in other words, if gait-as-skin-in-gesture became our method of seeing rather than the eye? Kino-gait should have multiple cameras functioning together to create a single omnidirectional volumetric vision. Its goal is to have the whole surface of the body function as an eye: the entire skin-as-camera becomes a preliminary limit of kino-gait. This is not to replace or diminish the flesh as a means or locus of knowing, but rather to complement or enhance it.

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(thank you to icarus for the balls e-idea)

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