The Ontopolitics of Mountain Bike Trail Building: Addressing Issues of Access and Conflict in the More-than-Human English Countryside.

CHERRINGTON, James (2021). The Ontopolitics of Mountain Bike Trail Building: Addressing Issues of Access and Conflict in the More-than-Human English Countryside. Somatechnics.

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    Abstract

    In recent years there have been calls for scholars working within sport and physical culture to recognise the (increasing) confluence of nature and culture. Situated within an emerging body of new materialist research, such accounts have shown how various activities are polluted by, fused to, and assembled with nonhuman entities. However, more work is needed on the political possibilities afforded by nonhuman agency, and by extension, the stakes that such flat ontological arrangements might raise for the management and governance of physical culture. Building on research conducted with mountain bike trail builders, this paper seeks to explore what it means to know, to be and to govern a human subject in the Anthropocene. Specifically, I draw on Ash's (2019) post-phenomenological theory of space and Chandler's (2018) notion of onto- political hacking to show how the playful, contingent and transformative practices of the mountain bike assemblage confront the linear and calculated governance of the English countryside. In doing so, mountain bike trails are positioned as objects of hope that allows for a collective re-imagining of political democracy in a more-than-human landscape.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The article has been accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press in 'Somatechnics', https://www.euppublishing.com/loi/soma
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 2002 Cultural Studies
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 13:39
    Last Modified: 11 Jan 2021 13:45
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27944

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