PRELIMINARY PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTING A TRIOLECTIC: Thoughts suggested following experiments in the use of “’pataposition” to render three-sided football in n-dimensional space (in two parts)
- Written by The New Cross Triangle Psychogeographical Association (NXTPA)
Part 1: Alytus, Lughnassadh, 2015 (Report written in anticipation of release for the Winter Solstice, since culture is what is left when all that has been understood is forgotten)
In the summer of 2015 CE, somewhere in a forest in Southern Lithuania, just a few miles from the exact geographical centre-point of Europe, a contingent of psychic workers undertook the construction of a triangular “supercollider” from the ’pataposition of three overlapping orthographic projections of the Kabbalist “Cube of Space”. Here they launched three simultaneous games of three-sided football into each other at high speed, the intense energies released in this “super-superposition” being sufficient to open up higher dimensional space, uncovering the deep triolectics at play within the science of exceptions. In doing so, the assembled situlogists successfully glimpsed the quantum hyperspace of psychogeographic gameplay, completing the first phase in what has been called a “Great Unworking”: Three-sided football’s attempt at the psychogeographical “unbinding” of Europe.
Whilst it had long been decided that our bi -annual festive get-together would be marked by a communal game of three-sided football, initially some debate had taken place as to the exact format this might take. Blissett had, of course, within minutes of arriving, set out our own propositions on the matter to the assembled congress. Blissett and Blissett, as the instantly revocable delegates of the NXTPA, SOF and the Luther Blissett Deptford League, had in fact only arrived in the country the previous evening, having crossed the Konnigsberg bridges at 30,000ft the previous sunset. Still tired from our late night dérive through southern Vinius, a local minibus had spirited us through the sun -soaked pine forests to arrive just in time for coffee.
Blissett presented an informative paper on the 23 varieties of three -sided football, or at least those so far catalogued in the Book of Deptford, whilst Blissett’s report on Triolectical Football in N-Dimensional Space and Kabbalah Quantum Letterism was happily well received by the assembled psychic workers in the hall. In the paper we had suggested that a homeomorphic transformation of the Kabbalah’s Cube of Space - the inspiration for Isou’s Letterist cosmology - had been undertaken by John Dee in the 16th Century, through the use of non-Euclidean, n- dimensional geometry. Presenting the trifurcation of the Cube of Space into the Kabbalists’ Tree of Life (religion), the artists’ colour wheel (art) and the three-sided football field (sport), we demonstrated the hypothesis that through the use of super-superposition (what we opted to call ’pataposition), that it would be possible to experience three-sided football itself in n-dimensional space.
Ateh stated that he too had been considering the possibilities of superposition, whilst Ateh filled in the assembled delegates further upon his important research concerning hidden dimensions of Lettrism at the End of the Age of Divinity. This had, I gathered, been elaborated on at previous congresses, but it was useful for me to have a refresher on such crucial analyses. The afternoon saw us assembling for banner painting, ahead of the planned OPSINA (cOmmitee for the coordination of the psychic workers Plenary to Submit to reproductIve aNd productive workers And dominate destructive workers) psychic attack on the G4S offices at the Swedbank compound in Alytus. We were to carry out the action in solidarity with all those afflicted by its prisons, detention centres and concentrations camps worldwide. Using the collected local clay from the Situchemistry store in order to asemically embellish a number of translucent cloths.
This proletarian medicine was being dished out at morning exercises each daybreak to those willing and able to get up in time, but we noted that it also made an excellent painterly and plastic medium for the patterns and sigils with which we now adorned our garments.
The results, Blissett remarked, were quite satisfactory. Not only that, but I noted that it also reduced our dependence on industrially produced and dubiously sourced pigmentations, whose colonialist patronage is well known. Our newly -embellished drapes were then wrapped about our personages, whilst we transformed ourselves and each other by means of a Situpathic daubing ritual, singing and dancing whilst situlogically transmuting the very forms of our bodies through a transformative morphology of the unique.
Our psychic rally at G4S was a moderate success. At one point it got a bit hairy went I was physically manhandled away from a door by one of the security guards, as I stood holding the banner with Ateh towards the front of the column. However, a redoubled psychic attack from the assembled mud creatures made him think better of his approach and he desisted his assault, stepping back defeated. Having driven back the guards, our precession left in victorious mood, snaking first through the town streets, and then through the forest itself, lifted by full- throated song and asemic chanting, before cleansing ourselves of the amassed energies in the refreshing waters of a nearby lake.
That evening we dined on the kind of cuisine that doubtless would have proved familiar to the Blissett’s who had arrived earlier that day from Bologna and who had us in stitches over a few beers with their tales of their pranks and escapades against the local forces of reaction. The arrival of the Belarusian Lettrists likewise saw us in high spirits, and despite language barriers, the common tongue of asemic speech proved a valuable tool of communication.
Over the next days, we enjoyed many other significant contributions from various psychic workers. Of particular value to me were the words of one Ateh of somewhat advancing years, whom I had previously known of for the important role he had played in UAW/MF during the 1960s. He had much knowledge to share with the hushed psychic workers in the main hall, and I also felt particularly lucky to be able to hear his considerations on revolutionary animism and the antiques trade over a hearty breakfast of omelette and coffee the following morning, in the slightly surreal setting of our ‘Soviet’ era hotel’s sparsely furnished diner.
The torch -lit fire procession to visit the dead workers that evening was another moment that filled me with powerful emotions, particularly as we were momentarily joined by certain local residents of the square in our ecstatic dancing and the symbolic placing of our flaming bier into the town fountain. We continued dancing for what must have been around twenty minutes, as I dribbled the football and whirled about with a horse’s skull affixed to my face, weaving in and out of my fellow workers in a circular fashion around the water feature, until being finally driven back by the police. Our Situphonic sessions, the evening before, were likewise a source of great joy to me, and I lost myself in the trance-like rhythms emergent from the assembled Blissetts for many happy hours.
On the day of the game itself I awoke excited, and hurried to join the assembled Atehs in the forest glade that we had spent the previous afternoon psychogeographically marking out, like some kind of hexagonal Cerne Abbas Giant. The geometry of the ’patapositional field had proved difficult to master for those of us more used to playing our football on pitches of the hexagonal variety. However, thankfully we had someone with an architectural training in our midst, who was able to quickly sketch out a plan of the necessary equations and pace out the measurements amongst the trees without too much trouble. The three hexagons converged upon a ’patapositional triangle at the centre of the field and it was my expectation that the intensity of the gameplay in this triangle would function as a kind of supercollider, opening a window upon the quantum dynamics of not only three-sided football, but triolectical systems as a whole. What I discovered was that I was partaking in an emergent psychogeographical materclass.
The teams were designated via a one-off system of Letterist notion, adopted just for this game. Our team opted for Δ as an attempted to channel not only the energies of the central tripartite supercollider, but also of our own native talisman, in the form of the New Cross Triangle. Our approach proved successful. The team, comprising myself, a Blissett from Romania and a Blissett from the Czech Republic, quickly made a judgement as to how the game was playing out. To this end we swiftly opted for a tactic of stealth and psychic warfare, not only against our two direct opponents, but also the six other teams who might transgress upon our goalmouth. Utilising the friendly forest landscape in the form of triolectical guerrillas, the lessons of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz returned to us and we began to see that owing to the scale and layout of the terrain, a psychogeographical understanding was even more crucial here than in previous games of three -sided football. To this end, we played a territorial game. Leaving Blissett and Blissett in a stealthy defence of our goal, concealing themselves amongst the foliage, I opted to play a roaming role, whose purpose was to direct the game play into the opponents territories, as far as possible from our own. In striking early deals with our immediate opponents, we realised from soon after start that our common interest could be served by directing the play elsewhere. The strategy was an unqualified success and come the final ringing of the ceremonial triangle, we had conceded the least of all nine letters.
The highlight of the game for me must have been the point at which I successfully managed to conceal one of the balls through nothing other than the dissimulative use of my opponents’ natural predisposition for inattentional blindness. In a tactical play akin to the famous “invisible gorilla” experiment, and whilst the other two balls shot about wildly over the other side of the glade, I slowly and calmly walked up to one of their goals. Totally unchallenged and in plain sight, I slipped the ball over the line, unnoticed until it was too late. However, the last laugh was on me, as my wily opponents had previously, unknown to anyone else, managed to move the goalposts – literally – by implanting a fake goal post to one the side of their actual goal. They had a good chuckle at me as I realised my mistake. Despite my clever plan, I had not scored in their goal at all, but merely in a replica of the goal, constructed a few yards to the east!
The most surprising element of the game to me, although in hindsight it makes perfect sense, was that the central ’patapositional triangle did not produce the chaotic, competitive free-for-all expected, but in fact spontaneously self-organised as a collaborative space. Whilst the teams acted like nations, defending their territory and making raids against opponents, the overlapping space in the centre realised that they were all of the same class, and thus rather than working with their team alliances, self-organised a form of class solidarity amongst themselves to co-operatively defend their goals against the whirling melee around them.
After the game, we cooled down in an improvised orgone generator, constructed by a few Blissetts in a local municipal fountain. We joined hands and directed the powerful energies the morning’s game had evoked back into the surrounding forest, much to the amusement of the assembled townsfolk, although to the slight confusion of a young couple attempting to have a wedding photograph snapped by what, evidently, was some kind of local landmark.
Unfortunately Blissett, Blissett and I had to leave the next morning and so did not get to participate in what was by all accounts an important and thought-provoking visit to the mosque and the lichen sanctuary the next day. Blissett and I had important psychogeographical business to attend to in Vilnius, before journeying on, via Warswaw, Bucharest and Bulgaria to Athens. Here we engaged in the triolectic of triple-bluffing an academic conference, whilst lending our efforts to the city’s refugee solidarity efforts and at the same time undertaking a psychogeographical examination of the Exarchia Square Triangle, paying particular attention to its varying states: during the day, the night, and during an anti-police riot respectively. A report on our finding will be made available in due course.
For us the Alytus events provided a wonderful and valuable opportunity to meet in person with Tae Atehs from many different localities, particularly those psychic workers from CLASS, AMANDLA, DEWOU-DAMPT, AMKAAK and ABRACADABRA-C whom we had not met before (although we had previously had the pleasure of playing three-sided football against DAMTP at the 1th Triolectical World Cup in Silkeborg the previous summer) . We were also very happy to make the acquaintances of Chus Martinez and Karen Karnak, both of who provided us with useful thoughts and ideas in relation to our ongoing activities.
As this concludes our fond reminiscences, it is to those very ongoing activities that we now turn. Specifically, how the further insights into the nature of triolectics discovered from the ambitious Alytus experiments might inform our approach going forward.
Part 2: Considerations on the implications of our Alytus discoveries for the Luther Blissett Deptford League and Beyond
In 2012 CE the Luther Blissett Deptford League (LBDL) of three-sided football was established in London by former affiliates of the Workshop for Non-Linear Architecture (WNLA), commemorating the 50th anniversary of Asger Jorn’s preliminary codification of the game. At first the league had no players or teams, but slowly they began to drift in and, in late 2013, the addition of further players from the newly abolished University for Strategic Optimism (UfSO) enabled semi-regular fixtures to begin to take place. As a consequence of such regularity, the league gathered momentum, and, in summer 2014, it finally voted itself into existence, with players adopting a formalised structure of rules, teams, fixtures and the aggregation of results. The NXTPA’s delegate within Strategic Optimism Football (the team established from the auto-abolition of the UfSO) was one of two dissenting voices who opposed that decision, despite our own clear, if at the time inadvertent, culpability in ultimately facilitating this regularisation. Here we set out our reasoning for the first time.
Although we could not have known then how this formalisation would pan out, and were ultimately willing to cede to the experimental value it potentially unleashed, we now argue that the moment has come to introduce diversion. It is important, we propose, that even as the league propagates beyond the control of the psychogeographers whose dreams first animated it, it must cut lose from any attempts to rebind it once more into the binarisms of Euro - normativity. Encouraged by the early results from the Lithuanian experiments, we instead profess our intention to agitate in favour of the aforementioned Great Unworking.
Firstly, whilst not seeking to efface our own continuing active participation within the Luther Blissett Deptford League, we (super)position ourselves firmly against - but simultaneously both beyond and in complementary relation to it.
Lessons from Pinball
When discussing psychogeography and art in his Pour la forme (1959), Asger Jorn presents a diagram of a Galton Box, something like a pinball machine without the fun. Invented by the reactionary mathematician Sir Francis Galton, it demonstrates probabilistic distribution through use of a vertical board, spangled with multiple offset rows of pins, leading towards a number of gullies. Balls poured from the summit ricochet left and right, cascading through their pin labyrinth towards an eventual resting place in one of multiple conduits at the machine’s base. Despite - indeed through - the vagaries of chance, the collected balls will come to settle predictably, in a close approximation of a bell curve.
Jorn uses the Galton Box to argue that from pure chance arises pure predictability: the symmetry of the bell curve. From the perspective of probability, chance and determinism are thus shown to be two side of the same thing - apparently proving the validity of Hegel’s definition of chance, as taken up by Engels and then Breton. However, Jorn proposes that probability focuses too much on the abstracted outcome of chance as opposed to its experiential reality. Calculations of probability, which arise in and through the aggregation of results, focus only on ends and outcomes, in a manner hostile to genuinely experimental, unexpected and individuating events. It is not the perspective of each ball that concerns such calculations, merely the final distribution they give rise to. Indeed, in itself, no one ball’s path can be predicted. Only when aggregated with the already measured fall of multiple other balls does its path become predictable. The forces of order, can produce it, even from seeming chaos, for Jorn however, what matters is the state of possibility.
In response, Jorn introduces a third pole to the dialectic. Opposed to the mono -perspectival science of probability (i.e. the synthesis of chance and determinism), which falsely universalises the detached position of the privileged European observer – the anthropologist or spectator - he proposes something more akin to luck, which is a matter of polyvariant perspectives. Considerations on whether an event is chance or necessity are tangential to whether it is lucky or unlucky, which depends solely on the observer: “unmeasured”, an event is at once both lucky and unlucky.
Here one finds the nascent form of what would become Jorn’s triolectics. Tangential to a dialectical contradiction of particular and universal, Jorn proposes another kind of universalism, a pataphyscial universalism – the equivalence of all particulars, in their particularity . Jorn’s slightly confusing augmentation of Marx’s method attempts, in short, to strip the teleology from dialectics by re-imagining the notion of superposition, beyond that which Hegel had correctly identified as Euclid’s flawed formulation. Because for Jorn all conceptual syntheses can only be conceived of in opposition to another, third, superpositional possibility, arising from another direction or dimension, the primary effect is to puncture the notion of a self-cancelling closure for all, reintroducing multiple perspectives as the condition of an open, creative future for each. It is what he elsewhere called the ‘transformative morphology of the unique’.i
Jorn argued that:
The social moralism of Surrealism transformed, so to speak, all of its faithful adherents into bell curves, because it had not understood what is important is […] the play of transmissions’.ii
We argue that in the form of a regularised, competitive league, the three-sided football exhibits a stunning correlation with the Galton Box, as we shall now explain.
The Quantum Hexagram – Three-Sided Football as Micro, Meso and Macro
The six points of the unicursal hexagram signify the superposition of the micro, meso and macro scales. Against the dogmatists of quantum mechanics, Jorn similarly argued that principles operative on the sub-atomic level, in fact self- replicate across all scales of reality. This is something, we hold, that recent experiments in three-sided football strongly support.
We propose that three -sided football itself can be understood on multiple levels, the three primary ones, for our purposes here, being as follows:
Microcosm - the moment, or decision (the superpositional totality of a sequence of quantum triolectics in the body of the decider).
Mesocosm - the game, or situation (the superpositional totality of a sequence of triolectical decisions or moments on the field of play).
Macrocosm - The meta-game, or situlogy (the superpositional totality of all possible games upon the social field) .
Each of these levels is fractal inherent within the others; a collapse or blockage in one can, we are proposing, quickly lead to a collapse or blockage in the others. This is what we will now explain.
Firstly, on the level of the moment:
In three-sided football, players are constantly faced with the reality of superposition at the level of gameplay. A player from team f perceives players from teams b and l - according to the theory of complementarity - as existing in a state of superposition, being simultaneously both opposition and ally (just as, indeed, player b does players l and f, and, player l does players f and b).
However, in making a pass, shot or manoeuvre – in short, a decision - player f potentially conducts an act of measurement, collapsing the superposition and rendering players b and l momentarily into the Aristotlean logic of definitively being either an opponent or an ally in that instant (in fact, some, such as D3FC have argued that even this very act of decision itself is nothing more than an artefact of the quantum nature of consciousness, which at its heart is structured around the similarly triadic relation of quantum chromodynamics).
The real consequence of such moments, however, cannot be known other than from the outside. This is to say that until such potential measurements are mediated and themselves measured, via the higher level of the game, they remain superpositional. To put it simply, until the game is announced to be over, it remains open in its entirety, all remains in play, the consequences of each decision are not yet definitive, their full permutations are as yet unknowable and thus no true measurement has yet occurred. The game is like Schrödinger’s box, with the fate its cat as yet undefined. Team f cannot say team b or l was definitively an ally or enemy other than from a perspective beyond the play of trajectories, i.e. only from the perspective of the externality of such moments, when all the balls have definitively come to rest – that is to say, when viewed from the outside as a complete game in its entirety.
As Jorn understood, one cannot at the same time look at what one looks with. Thus measurement or closure can only be conducted at a further level of mediation, the path of any individual ball in Galton’s Box remains unknowable from its own perspective , only from the perspective of the outside observer, looking at the board as a whole, does it become predictable. Thus we are deferred from the microcosm to the mesocosm.
However, this same process in fact actually repeats on the meso level. If the game can be seen as the totality of each of the aforementioned microcosmic moments, each and every game, can itself likewise be seen as just part of the totality of the game of three- sided football as a whole , upon the social field.
Likewise, just as each particular game constitutes a myriad of moments that are superpositional until closed in measurement by ending the particular game of which they are part, so too, all such games are also superpositional until they are themselves measured, and thus ended. This measurement must, for the reasons mentioned above, likewise take place upon a higher level, which is to say, simply, that the full permutations and possibilities of any particular game themselves remain unknown and unknowable until such as time as the game itself is measured from the perspective of the totality of all such games.
The consequence of this is that, since this totality cannot be definitively ended while any such game remains in play, all such games, and the moments within them, cannot likewise be measured: three-sided football as what Hegel would call a ‘Begriff’. All remains in a state of superposition.
However, here is where the problem of the league system intervenes. As we have just seen, absent of definitive measurement, the meta-game of three-sided football in its totality – that is to say as the totality of all its possible games - is superpositional, open and in dynamic flux. This is because, as stated, the superpositional nature of each level is a consequence of all the others. Put in other words, the free condition of each is the free condition of all.
It is crucial to the superpositional nature of all three levels therefore, that games remain open and unmeasured at each of these three scales. If one makes a definitive measurement of one level, the superpositional nature of the others similarly collapses. What we are suggesting is that, for the successful implementation of triolectics upon the social scale, it is crucial that it remains superpositional on all levels. Once one introduces definitive measurement at any level, one produces the collapse into the familiar binarisms of Euro-normative thought.
Here is the rub. In a regularised league, within which one measures, records and aggregates results, one abstracts from the superposition between the levels of mesocosm and macrocosm, interjecting a form of measurement. In definitively measuring a particular game – by granting it a consequential victory or defeat (as opposed to a merely nominal one, in which such distinctions are ultimately meaningless) – one introduces a definitive binary. This triggers a chain reaction bringing about the collapse of triolectical superpositions across all levels.
The binary of victory/defeat in turn correlates with a binary league position between the two poles of “top” and “bottom”, this then induces a form of false universality abstracted from the particularity of the games one measures. This in turn definitively collapses the game’s superpositional nature at the level of the individual game’s passes, feints and tactical reversals, but also at the level of the game in its totality. The false universalism of the league comes to stand in for the absolute of three- sided football in its totality. It thus becomes abstracted from what can be called the experiment proper – the domain of the absolute - into a form of fixed, generalisable law, from which one in turn abstracts a universal, homogenous image of the game
As Jorn noted in his introduction to triolectics (The Natural Order, 1962), any experiment in which the conditions are definitively regularised, and, as a consequence appear known in advance, can no longer accurately be called an experiment; its result becomes as predictable as the totalitarian strictures of “Soviet” “Diamat”. On this basis we argue that a binarist league system is thus fundamentally at odds with the very basis of triolectics itself.
What the league forgets that what is important is not the ‘final levelling out’, in Jorn’s words, but ‘the play of transmissions’. What is important is the superposition, not the measurement. Each game is a Galton Box, and the ball striking each pin is a pass. Until a final result is definitively measured, i.e. the ball comes to a rest at the end of the board, it goes both ways; it remains in a superpositional state – like Schrödinger’s cat – open and in experimental flux. In measuring the result of a game for the purpose of league position, the game is rendered no longer as the ball in flow, the play of transmissions, but rather only as the static ball at the bottom of its run, settled definitively into one of the gullies: it becomes a result, and thus transforms all its faithful adherents into bell curves.
In aggregating such results, each game – rather than remaining in a state of superposition, in a state of play with all others – becomes on another, higher level, settled into a final resting place, so that the league itself functions precisely as the bell curve Jorn describes, ultimately becoming predictable. This is, indeed, something that has been noted by many players over the course of the league’s first season.
Naturally, there will be outlying games whose outlandish unfolding lands them far from the centre of the curve - just as there are outlying balls in Galton’s distribution. However, when aggregated, bundled with all the others as part of the league’s false universal, they remain equally predictable, and equally implicated in the collapse of triolectical superposition into the binary structure of “either-or” that defines traditional, two-sided, Aristotelian Association Football.
Binarism by the Backdoor
As stated, the consequences of this are not merely theoretical but have been consistently observed in practice. The direct result of a collapse into the renewed binarisms of either-or measurement (and the application of scientific method in the form of an aggregation of results), is similarly a direct renewal of all those attendant binarisms that emerge from the binary nature of two -sided football.
Hence, with the introduction of the regularised and measured league system in 2014-15 CE, we have undoubtedly witnessed a renewal of the defeat or victory mentality, leading to heightened competitiveness. As a further direct consequence, we have also seen the return to some of the predictability offered by scientific method. Games have quite obviously begun to drift form what was ultimately experimental about them in Jorn’s understanding, becoming less interesting as a consequence. The binarisms of competition have invariably produced a binarism of tactics and gameplay, which has repeatedly led to two teams aligning against the third for the totality of a particular game (with an eye to ultimate league position), removing the self-replicating dynamism of the triolectic function within the game itself, in which alliances shift regularly with each goal conceded. Thus we see games tending towards a 10 vs 5 pattern, and as a consequence, a return to two-sided football by the back door. Binarisms reproduce binarism.
Furthermore, the collapse of the triolectic into duality has also seen a reversion to binaries on the higher social scale. For instance, the game has begun to stratify once more along a binary of “ability” – between “weaker” and “stronger” players, “weaker” and “stronger” teams. In addition, and perhaps more urgently, it has also resulted in a reintroduction of the pronounced gender binaries of conventional two-sided football. It is certainly no coincidence that wimmin players were, whilst in still in a minority, notable, frequent and valuable participants in the LBDL prior to its constitution as a system of aggregated measurement. Following the introduction of this system, the participation of wimmin has observably been reduced to zero, whilst conversely, in other, irregular games, the gender composition has remained more diverse.
Both of these renewed binarisms also further add to the game’s predictability – producing ever more smooth bell curves. This shows us that a definitive system – one based in and upon measurement – tends not only towards definitive outcomes and forms, but ultimately towards specialisation. Further, it reproduces a spatiotemporal specialisation, in which the game becomes concentrated within specific spatiotemporal enclaves. Specialisation flattens the multi-dimensional triolectic into the binary two-dimensionality of spectacle.
It is no coincidence that the word league derives from an Ancient Roman system of measurement – originally the “leuga gallica” - developed as a tool of imperialist domination during the conquest and occupation of Celtic Gaul by the Roman Empire. Appropriating the Gauls’ more situlogical definition – which simply suggested the relative distance covered by walking for a period of time – the Romans standardised the measure. From these origins, the “league” was thus absorbed into what Jorn’s idiosyncratic psychogeography describes as the “Latin” mindset, with its inclination to unify and dominate.
Hence the particular is once again subsumed to a false universal, occluding it from a realisation in the equivalence of absolute singularity. Results are bundled into fasci, with binary values replicated on all scales. Triolectical superposition collapses from the level of the individual pass, right up to the global totality of three-sided football as a whole.
Binary logic was favoured by philsophers from Aristotle onwards, precisely because it is a primary method of exclusion . A cannot be B, 0 cannot be 1. In triolectics A can also be B, 0 can also be 1. As a result of the reversion to binarism brought about by measurement, three -sided football has also become exclusionary, across the three trimensions of revolutionary praxis: class, space and time.
As the demands of competition produce regularised teams, such games increasingly tend to exclude on the nature of class: by ability, gender, species and number of players per team - hence total number of participants. Secondly, such games exclude on the basis of space: as games are no longer superpositional, they become geographically specific, those not able to access the vicinity of the “definitive” game are thus excluded – we might perhaps argue that this an extension of Eurocentrism. Thirdly, games exclude on the basis of time : a collapse in superposition similarly reduces those who can contribute or participate to temporal vicinity, excluding those ‘too old’ or ‘too young’, the dead or the unborn from taking part. Again the effect is a homogenising exclusion of the truly unpredictable.
Thus we reiterate our position against the league, as currently constituted, as a bundling of measurements. However, if we are not to replicate the very structures we have just identified, it is insufficient to simply oppose the league, to withdraw and just set ourselves against it. This would merely be to replicate the very binarism with which we accuse it. Instead, our position must become a superposition, we must also stand within it, beyond it, and in complementary relation to it.
To remain within the league structure, we develop the following medium term proposition, already being worked on by D3FC: the remodelling of the results system into a chromodynamic triolectic. As a result, the binary linearity of the table would be overcome in a triangular relation of three forces, each simultaneously displacing the next in a self-replicating triolectical dynamism. Following discussions with FIASCo and D3FC, we declare our intention to agitate in favour of a supplementary scoring system that equally rewards three complementary modes of game play. Thus, for example, a “blue” victory might be awarded for the team that concedes the least, as is currently the case, but at the same time, a “red” victory might be given to the team who scores the most, with a third “yellow” victory granted to the team for who there exists the smallest gap between the two former figures. All three conditions would thus be complementary, a team excelling at blue and red gameplay, would necessarily fail dismally on the yellow measure. Likewise, a team who pursued a strategy of a yellow and red victory, would also, necessarily, be defeated on the blue scale. Although it is likely that it would have unintended consequences - such as the specialisation of teams according to a preference for attack or defence – the permutations of such a system remain something to be more fully investigated through experimental means. Whilst we would, of course, have to await such practical results, such a system would, theoretically, reintroduce triolectics at the level of the league, but could not, still, be a substitute for a triolectics of the absolute however.
To rediscover a triolectics of the absolute requires we go beyond the league, but to remain in a complementary relation to it. As such this requires a further proposition. If the league system constitutes the interjection of binary measurement between the mesocosm and macrocosm, and thus in effect occluding the macrocosm from the perspective of all lesser scales – blocking an ascension to the absolute with a false universal - we suggest that this might potentially be counteracted by superinducing another scale beyond the macrocosm, thus restarting the chain of deferral in which measurement cannot reach a final, definitive end.
In such a situation therefore, even if the league comes to dominate a chain of causality within the meta-game, this meta-game itself can be made simply one more superpositional equivalence within a further, higher level – that of the ’pata-game. Thus such a ’pata-game would bear the same relation to the meta-game, as the meta-game bears to each particular game. It would be the totality of all possible and impossible games of three -sided football. Thus, rather than seeking to dialectically supersede the league, it would instead suggest the supplementation of a complementary league, where what is valued is not the measurement of definitive aggregated results, but instead the absolute equivalence of each particular game, precisely in its particularity.
As can be seen from the above triagram, superinducing another, complementary, triolectic, supplementary to the first, results in the structure Microcosm-Macrocosm-’Patacosm and the structure Microcosm-Mesocosm-’Patacosm forming in a complementary and thus superpositional relation to one another. Not only does this facilitate the tripass of the binarist blockage activated by the measured league system, it likewise produces a supplementary “league” in which each game would, at least in theory be truly be superpositional upon all others – on all levels, macro, meso and micro. It becomes an imaginary solution in and for itself; games, fixtures, teams, venues and variations, all would become irregular, particular, complementary. Such a proposition rejects the unification of the game into a transcendental universal in favour of a proliferation of potential, necessary and impossible varieties, of potential, necessary and impossible histories and, potential, necessary and impossible outcomes.
To this end we announce the beginnings of a “Great Unworking”, an anti-league of “unbinding”, whose aim must be to dispel the psychogeography of “Europe” as a binarist concept, that is to say structured upon inside/outside and the countless other dualisms emergent from the Cartesian-Capitalist worldview. It will seek to do so by applying triolectics at key pressure points upon the network of non-Euclidean leylines that structure the European field, both psychically and geographically. The meta- field of play for this task was cast between the three poles of Alytus, Silkeborg and Vienna, the ’pata-field is only just beginning to make itself known.
The implementation of the league experiment has not been a failure. It has enabled us to discover that binarism arises in measurement, as a form of exclusion, and that it is remarkably robust at self-replicating across multiple scales of reality. This is simultaneously worrying and encouraging: if the binary is so successful at self- replicating and expanding, might not the triolectic also act likewise? Might not the successful implementation of triolectics across multiple scales produce larger, self-replicating effects across a myriad of arenas as yet only dimly imagined? This question constitutes the terrain of the experiment with which we are now ultimately concerned.
Luther Blissett – Strategic Optimism Football (SOF)
Luther Blissett – The New Cross Triangle Psychogeographical Association (NXTPA)
Luther Blissett – The Academy of Practical Triolectics and Xenotopian Navigation (APTXN)
Luther Blissett – The Ex-Psychogeographers’ Noological Therapy Alliance (XPNTA)
Luther Blissett – The Exarcheia Square Triangle Psychogeographical Association (XTPA)
Luther Blissett – Association Psicogeografica Bucharesti (APB)
Luther Blissett – The International Federation of Independent Times (IFIT)
i Asger Jorn and Fabian Tompsett, Open Creation and Its Enemies: With Originality and Magnitude (on the System of Isou) (London: Unpopular Books, 1994), 32.
ii Asger Jorn, Concerning Form, trans. Peter Shield, (Silkeborg: Museum Jorn, 2012), 117.