Dromography - a D&Graphy?

At least some perspectivization of the body should be required in all physical cultural studies. But that's not sufficient, concepts of movement must also be added. Perhaps a writing of displacement, a 'dromography', could be developed? This said, it should be added that I'm perfectly aware of the problems, as pointed out by Erin Manning, with conceiving of movement as mere displacement. For now and for the sake of the argument it will suffice.

In their seminal working out of the concept of Nomadology in A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari make a great deal of Paul Virilios oeuvre. The demonstration of how becoming really is, or rather becomes, difference is really lucid when they pick up the various 'man-thing-animal'-assemblages of different barbaric tribes, as worked out by Virilio.

The second concept of great importance, that D&G borrow from Virilio in this twelfth chapter of their most scrumptious Mille Feuille, is that of 'dromocracy'. Dromos is Greek for course, route, street, and perhaps even vector and trajectory. This neologism offers a perspective on power which is related to speed, and, more precisely, to the control of speed. Controlling speed is a potent wielding of power. This is measured by the methodological approach of 'dromoscopy'. To make it more compatible with social science, and to integrate in to ethnography, perhaps the suffix -graphy is preferred here. 'Dromography' is already done out there, this is just a suggestion for the baptism. Without knowing the full extent of Virilio's concept, I suppose a dromography would work more hands-on with the small-scale practices, like a PK-Jam, or a game of soccer, whereas dromoscopy perhaps is more suited for larger networks.

It seems, though, like Virilio is a bit more dystopian (i.e. worried about the development of speeding technologies) in his establishing of the concept, whereas D&G, although aware of the coercion of segmenting striae, elicit a revolutionary potential from speed for their nomadic becomings. Does this imply that a embodiment of speed is a pivotal part of, what's known as, agency?

In that case, and if each sport and movement culture has it's way of controlling and releasing speed, how should this be analyzed? Many of the critical articles on sport, that I've come over, run tiny demonstrations of the very practice (movement, speed, etc.) as part of the introduction to the problem. Not very many create categories out of such an analysis. On the other hand, a plethora of concepts are created which relate to 'molar' categories like social class, gender, ethnicity, etc. While these are useful and important, my main interest lies with the 'molecular' aspects of sports. Getting a grip on how to analyze displacements, trajectories, and speed in given sport could provide a good compliment to the repertoires of sport scholars.

How you conceive of movement should differ greatly depending on what concepts you're founding your understanding of it. In my way folks like D&G, Michel Serres, Paul Virilio should do the trick. They are explicitly, although in different ways, working with speed.

No comments:

Post a Comment