Artistic Performance, Amateur Boxing, and "A People to Come"
by Desiree D'Alessandro, Contemporary Artist, Amateur Boxer
Digital (De-)(Re-) Territorializations
Hosted by Bowling Green State University
and BGSU's Association for Textual and Literary Analysis Students
My artistic performance practice is integrated with ambitious pursuits in athleticism--specifically amateur boxing. Boxing is a potent topic in terms of contemporary sports and gender studies, as women's boxing is debuting in the 2012 London Olympics. Coupling gender and athlete demographics, while dissolving traditional fields and boundaries, I implement a rigorous artist-turned-athlete training regimen with the aims of exploring the intersection between visual art and the noble art of boxing.
I utilize the internet to document and broadcast my progress and related boxing artworks through my website, blog, and YouTube videos. The process of sculpting my body into that of a competitive athlete and uploading to Youtube engages the broader social register as I document my sweat and sacrifice to transform the physical work into an intellectual encounter. This is the creation of what Deleuze calls a "people to come" -- in effect a multiplicity in the state of being born. Also in accordance with Deleuzean philosophy, my practice aims to strip the seemingly implicit separation between art and athleticism to engage new, hybrid praxes that reconstruct, reterritorialize, and recontextualize these fields. In front of a collective physical and virtual audience, my work unravels on target and immediate contemporary issues regarding Performance Studies, Sports Politics, Race/Gender/Identity Formation, and Spaces/Sites of Resistance.
As an artist and athlete, I seek to enhance the experience of spectator involvement in a practice that eliminates the ropes that restrict the ring, so that the scale of the encounter shifts from the individual to the social. In this sense my work supplies a conduit for broader collective engagement. As Deleuze points out, "the author is in a situation of producing utterances which are already collective, which are like the seeds of the people to come, and whose political impact is immediate and inescapable. The author [is] in a position to express potential forces and to be a true collective agent, a collective leaven, a catalyst."
Additional Tags: Desiree D'Alessandro boxing boxer fight fighter Tampa Florida FL Legends Boxing Club female women woman punch knock out, olympic, Deleuze, Critical Theory, people, come, line, flight, transversal, USF, University of South Florida, California Santa Barbara Eleanor Antin Teching Tsieh Sam Lucia Rijker Million Dollar Baby Smooth Striated theory intellectual contemporary art artist heavy bag speed double end power combinations david martinez sherman henson jimmy williams frisco arreola world champion