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.
French Cultural Studies – SAGE
Published: Feb 1, 2011
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