Parkour and the Multitude: Politics of a Dangerous Art

Parkour and the Multitude: Politics of a Dangerous Art This article examines the politics of le parkour’ a new global art developed in the Paris suburbs. The practitioners' creative and dangerous movements, as a form of spatial appropriation and as a collectively developed art-form, claim new commons. Their collaborative creation of these commons forges a group identity that allows each member to retain their individuality, forging an integrated but heterogeneous collectivity. This group dynamic, combining singularity and collectivity, suggests a connection to Hardt and Negri's concept of the multitude, a potential, emerging democratic political force in the global information economy. In parkour, the centrality of embracing fear as an aesthetic experience is significant because it is precisely fear that prevents the multitude from forming and reaching its full political power by maintaining the separation of different segments of workers. An art of the multitude, parkour is its microcosm, artistic manifestation, or even harbinger. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Cultural Studies SAGE

Parkour and the Multitude: Politics of a Dangerous Art

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Publisher
SAGE Publications
Copyright
© 2011 SAGE Publications
ISSN
0957-1558
eISSN
1740-2352
D.O.I.
10.1177/0957155810386675
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the politics of le parkour’ a new global art developed in the Paris suburbs. The practitioners' creative and dangerous movements, as a form of spatial appropriation and as a collectively developed art-form, claim new commons. Their collaborative creation of these commons forges a group identity that allows each member to retain their individuality, forging an integrated but heterogeneous collectivity. This group dynamic, combining singularity and collectivity, suggests a connection to Hardt and Negri's concept of the multitude, a potential, emerging democratic political force in the global information economy. In parkour, the centrality of embracing fear as an aesthetic experience is significant because it is precisely fear that prevents the multitude from forming and reaching its full political power by maintaining the separation of different segments of workers. An art of the multitude, parkour is its microcosm, artistic manifestation, or even harbinger.

Journal

French Cultural StudiesSAGE

Published: Feb 1, 2011

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