meshworks, phantoms, control

As a disciplinary institution, modern sport has been characterized by its lines and enclosures. In the passage to the society of control, which we have attempted to articulate here at sportsBabel, lines are still important to the analysis, but they are usually referring to a structural crisis as enclosures become permeable to flows.

Admittedly, this level of analysis ought to be considered quite coarse in light of the Border Matrix produced by Multiplicity. In their consideration, far from borders disappearing in the society of control, they have rather proliferated at scales of geography, experience and produced subjectivity ranging on a continuum from the macropolitical to the micropolitical.

Border Matrix, Courtesy of Multiplicity.Lab

While the Multiplicity examples are primarily concerned with contemporary geopolitics at a larger scale of analysis, such as the former Berlin Wall constituting a "phantom limb" form of directing flows, one can certainly imagine how this granular approach might be repurposed for the micropolitical analysis of sport.

By the way, can it be described as a "phantom limb" in sporting discipline if the border lines never existed in the first place?


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