GVB and Holey Space

Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p.415:

Holey space itself communicates with smooth space and striated space. In effect, the machinic phylum or the metallic line passes through all of the assemblages: nothing is more deterritorialized than matter-movement. But it is not at all in the same way , and the two communications are not symmetrical. … Here, we would say that the phylum simultaneously has two different modes of liaison: it is always connected to nomad space, whereas it conjugates with sedentary space. On the side of the nomadic assemblages and war machines, it is a kind of rhizome, with its gaps, detours, subterranean passages, stems, openings, traits, holes, etc. On the other side, the sedentary assemblages and State apparatuses effect a capture of the phylum, put the traits of expression into a form or a code, make the holes resonate together, plug the lines of flight, subordinate the technological operation to the work model, impose upon the connections a whole regime of arborescent conjunctions.

While thus far I have suggested that Global Village Basketball constitutes a smooth space in contrast to the striated space of formal basketball governance, I have wondered several times to myself if in fact this project doesn't simply act as part of the apparatus of capture by a sporting Empire. Does the concept of "holey space" offer a way out of this conundrum? Doesn't GVB actually connect elements of the smooth (passages through cyberspace, non-choreographed performing bodies) with elements of the striated (fixed time frame, work model of score to unite all athletes)?

Unfortunately, in their discussion of space Deleuze and Guattari spend most of their efforts on the opposition between the smooth and the striated. While they acknowledge that these exist in admixture with one another, they don't discuss at any length how one changes to the other over time, or develop the idea of holey space to any great extent. But I will have to at least consider the possibility of GVB and holey space as facilitators of both connections and conjunctions in a sporting context.


6 responses to GVB and Holey Space

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  1. Kalle Jonasson says:

    Yeah, that "holey" business is kind of odd. Did D&G put in it so that they wouldn't be accused of reproducing that old hegelian dialectic scheme they so intensely and explicitly despise?

  2. sportsbabel says:

    No, in my opinion I don't think they just put it in there. With the dialectic we have the binary of either-or, and even if D+G added a third term, we are still in the realm of trialectics and categorization. It seems to me that holey space is rather about blurring the dialectic, about acknowledging the role of the threshold in the production and passage from one space to another. Definitely undertheorized, or perhaps leaving the rest of us a little work to do? Ha!

  3. Kalle Jonasson says:

    yup, i like to think of smooth, nomadic sporting practices as creating Virilian frontiers within the territory. Think outsidish inside the box, so to speak.

  4. sportsbabel says:

    I wonder what D+G's "The Fold" will contribute to this discussion? I have not read it yet…

  5. Kalle Jonasson says:

    Deleuze wrote it on his own, and I think he's tougher to get without Guattari. The preface isn't as illuminating as Massumis work with 1000 P. I've tried a couple of times to dig in to it, but no. The little I comprehended was that the reasoning resembled the Serres' handkerchief topology demonstration I presented to you some time ago.

  6. Kalle Jonasson says:

    … one thing (and maybe the only thing, ever) that crossed my mind, regarding holey space, is the tunnle dug between Palestine and Egypt. This channel is used by Hamas to smuggle in rockets and explosives to be used in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The tunnle was the very cause of Israels latest attack on the Gaza strip. A literal hol(e)y space! The sports question is trickier though.