David Graeber, 'The New Anarchists,' New Left Review, 13, p.64:
"More and more, activists have been trying to draw attention to the fact that the neoliberal vision of 'globalization' is pretty much limited to the movement of capital and commodities, and actually increases barriers against the free flow of people, information and ideas."
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Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, p.72:
"So what is the condition? Quite simply, a field. No field, no play, and the rules lose their power. The field is what is common to the proto-game and the formalized game, as well as to informal versions of the game coexisting with the official game and any subsequent evolution of it. The field-condition that is common to every variation is unformalized but not unorganized. It is minimally organized as a polarization. The field is polarized by two attractors: the goals. All movement in the game will take place between the poles and will tend toward one or the other. They are physical limits. The play stops when the ball misses or hits the goal. The goals do not exist for the play except tendentially, as inducers of directional movement of which they mark the outside limits (winning or losing). The goals polarize the space between them. The field of play is an in-between of charged movement. It is more fundamentally a field of potential than a substantial thing, or object. As things, the goals are signs for the polar attraction that is the motor of the game. They function to induce the play. The literal field, the ground with grass stretching between the goals, is also an inductive limit-sign rather than a ground in any foundational sense. The play in itself is groundless and limitless, taking place above the ground-limit and between the goal-limits."
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As we have noted here on several occasions, modern sport both contributes to and creates new forms for the project of enclosure, which complements those hierarchical bulwarks of state and corporation — as popular discourse, athletic labour force and spectacular commodity. Think shifts in the geography of the arena proper, jersey numbers on uniforms, radio frequency chip tagging, anti-doping protocols, omniocular camera tracking systems, and many others.
Even with a game as simple as football/soccer/fútbol, Massumi points out, this begins with the goal. The goal catalyzes a field of play, yes, potentializes those bodies that move about within its space, yes, but is also a point of finitude: there is no after the goal. Rather, we are confronted with disappearance into a void, spatiotemporal coordinates becoming mathematical integer, one metric exchanged for another, goal becoming goooooooaaaaaaaaaaal.
What if the goal was not simply a foreclosure of athletic poiesis, a terminal point of the enclosure whence one escapes only to be thrust back inside? What if the goal was an opening onto something, somewhere, sometime, a portal to thinking and becoming, a worlding?
What lies beyond finitude?
(abstract submitted to the 2011 north american society for sport sociology conference in minneapolis)
Biogramming Base Bodies: We're All In
In early 2011, athletic footwear, apparel and lifestyle conglomerate adidas launched its worldwide marketing campaign "adidas is all in". Presented as a cosmopolitan moment in global sport and physical culture — at least insofar as its endorsers and target markets are concerned — the campaign's television creative consisted of 15, 30 and 60-second edits of a centrepiece 120-second ad, played at the launch of the campaign and available on Youtube thereafter. Within five months of the "adidas is all in" launch, the full-length version had been viewed over 2 million times. Engaging Brian Massumi and Erin Manning's concept of the biogram and weaving threads of Félix Guattari's schizoanalytic ecology, this paper argues that the "adidas is all in" television creative leverages techniques of in/visibility that have changed the affective stakes for the fetishization of athletic celebrity and its related sports consumables.
3 FUCKING METRES
Moving Bodies for Democracy in Canada
While struggles continue around the world for the democratic right to vote, Canada had a voter turnout rate in its 2008 election of 58.8 percent, the lowest percentage in Canadian electoral history. Clearly we need to start thinking much smaller.
Do NOT use your remote control to turn on your TV for the national Canadian Leaders' Debates on APRIL 12+14 — walk, run, wheel, crawl, or skip to the TV instead. Cover the 3 fucking metres under your own power. Move your body for democracy.
Once you complete the basic training, move to discuss politics in a public space (coffee shop, gym, community centre, mall, market, transit, etc, etc, etc) with a friend, acquaintance, stranger or anyone else of interest! Suggested non-partisan phrasing may include: "Are you voting in this election?"
Finally, vote! No remote controls! Walk, run, wheel, crawl, or skip to your local polling station on MAY 2, 2011.
One-week training program starts today for 3 FUCKING METRES!
3 FUCKING METRES
Get VOTER FIT in just ONE WEEK!! ®
How to create VOTING SHOES ®
"To appropriate the historic transformations of human nature that capitalism wants to limit to the spectacle, to link together image and body in a space where they can no longer be separated, and thus to forge the whatever body, whose physis is resemblance — this is the good that humanity must learn how to wrest from commodities in their decline. Advertising and pornography, which escort the commodity to the grave like hired mourners, are the unknowing midwives of this new body of humanity" (Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community, p.50).
All artwork by Department of Biological Flow.
Olympic Velodrome and Pool (Berlin)
Olympic Velodrome and Pool
1992 | 1999
. . . . .
"The level of connotation of the visual sign, of its contextual reference and positioning in different discursive fields of meaning and association, is the point where already coded signs intersect with the deep semantic codes of a culture and take on additional, more active ideological dimensions. … Codes of this order clearly contract relations for the sign with the wider universe of ideologies in a society. These codes are the means by which power and ideology are made to signify in particular discourses." — Stuart Hall