Editorial by John Fleming

N THE WORLD of entertainment today, sport appears to play an ever-expanding role in the opiate spaces of the public imagination. In the end, however, most sports can be reduced to the same principle of conflict, a multiplicity of obvious or sublimated analogues of war, contact sports and computer avatars, traditional games of the intellect such as chess, etc. All these sporting activities could not exist without implements, objects, and paraphernalia to imitate, identify, and characterize their existential purpose, particularly in visual and concrete ways, whatever that sport might represent or achieve as part of the player’s intentions.

From bodices, bloomers, and bathing suits, to stirrup cups, skateboards, and sweaters, in these few pages our contributors show how both historical and contemporary decorative functions combine to reveal the impulses hidden within objects, how objects provoke emotional responses through colour and shape and give a certain weight to our perceptions of sports as conveyors of our own sporting ambitions.