In Search of A/The Point of Life

PHYSIOLOGY ART, OR AN ATTEMPT TO LINK ART & EXERCISE

Healthy living at Lupus Street, free from dis-ease

Healthy living at Lupus Street: dry and clean from dis-ease

As I mentioned, I will have to run/walk/swim/fly/crawl 155.0km as a pathetic gesture to pay back for my flight Nondon-Zurich-Nondon.

It would be appropriate at this point in time to ask some questions.

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART AND EXERCISE? IS THERE A WAY TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT WORK-LEISURE BALANCE? (WHAT IS THE BEST PROPORTION?) CAN I MIX WORK WITH LEISURE? FOR INSTANCE, CAN I FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE IN RUNNING + ART?

How  – if one so wishes to, though to be sure, they can remain ‘separate’, as many of our activities are, although in the larger scheme of things, activities that one engages in are most certainly related in more ways than one and earns one interesting insights should one reflect upon the relationship between them – can one attempt to translate/utilise the mental stamina and pleasure one cultivates / achieves from endurance sports, to art? Or perhaps there is no need to relate one to the other, and take them as parallel, distinct activities that may/happen to have overlapping traits/ goals?

EXAMPLES OF ARTISTS WHO RUN/WALK
Artists in this possible synthesis (artists with art practice that feature/reflect/hint traits of their physical regimes): * Richard Long (serious walker in his land art), * Werner Herzog (another mad walker, and he has directly talked about this in his artwork; at least one documentary has been made about his walking as well; Herzog’s obsessive/punishing/extreme qualities as reflected in his psychotically long walks are also, of course, classic trademarks of his characters and actors in his films, as well as his own personality) * Haruki Murakami (who runs miles daily, and has taken part in marathon and ironmen events, and who discusses the mental discipline he derives from this part of his life that helps him in his clarity in his writing, though endurance sports do not otherwise feature in  his work) *Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba (ongoing marathons in every city to match Earth’s diameter). DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER ARTISTS WHO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE?

SOME OF THE TRAITS SEEN IN VARIOUS ARTFORMS
Then there is the long tradition of repetition, obsession, pattern, kinetics in the history of art, though not discussed in relationship to artist’s own exercise regimes, if any. My favourite examples include Bruce Naumen, Tehching Hsieh, the tradition of obsessive calculation in Structuralist films, and Beckett, of course.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART, PHYSICAL EXERCISE
I discuss this with a friend,  a devoted long-distance runner, who says that he read that ‘Felix Mendelssohn was a good athlete but I really don’t know how that can be heard in his music’.  He suspects that physical activity was not really something that musicians, writers or artists engaged in, given that it was associated with manual labour and hence unbecoming. ‘The exercise & health madness that we see today didn’t start until late 20th-century.’  He goes on on suggest that it would be interesting to examine how ‘the body’s physiological and biochemical responses, together with the repeated muscular motion, can be presented audio-visually. It’s yet another way of depicting human movement, but focussing on the involuntary aspects of it, which also suggests the “carnal”. (I am thinking of Bataille’s “formless”, which has a feature called “pulse”).’

Well, it certainly suits public (+ artists’ own narcissitic) imagination better to think of artists who chose to alter their consciousness with substances drugs/alcohol. Self-destructive artists ‘make better stories’ – and many did write better stories too? (Huxley, Baudelaire, Jim Morrison, Warhol – the list is endless) The Romantic picture of the artist is one that is filthy, unkempt and tormented with wild hair, not one with bandana in sweat pants and working out, which is an image reserved for sissies. Beethoven doing yoga? Ginsberg on the treadmill? Pollock performing stomach crunches? Emin cycling in thermodynamic swimsuit after a 2km ocean swim? Say no more. This is nauseating.

LABEL FOR THIS ‘ART MOVEMENT’? (very witty pun, intended)
What could this exercise or movement (pun intended! Since there are not enough artists to warrant this a ‘movement’ in the first place!!) be possibly called?  Exercise art? Sports art?  Fitness art? Endurance Sports art?? Exercise Physiology art?

ARE YOU AN ARTIST WHO ENGAGES IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE? IF YOU DO, HOW DOES IT RELATE TO YOUR WORK, IF AT ALL? IF YOU DO NOT ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE, WHY NOT?

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  1. Michael

    What about “embodied art” ? I believe it relates a lot to my work, at least in the past few works as I am where my image making device is, which can either be a location otherwise impossible to reach by other methods than through physical activity, or an idea of a connection between certain systems or relations… like, in order to understand why X is like this I will have to do Y so that Z will be the sum of thought and process. (Where Y often involves the movement of the body and/or effort of any form of physiological usage. Also, being (the point of view/perspective) and experiencing the entire process instead of jumping geographical locations where this is applicable), can feel like a shortcut which can disable any direct impression that otherwise would be omitted on the way. In the long run the “embodied” involvement also generates a multitude of external triggers which I see as a source of ideas.

    Jan 23, 2010 @ 14:25


  2. Rainold

    Hi there Kaidie!

    Interesting projects. So here are my contribution to Lifes 3.0 for you and all persons going behind:

    The advice you definitely heard mostly is,WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES !!!

    The important point is, feel it, in which mood you are, be yourself ,be ONE UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL.

    Feel your positive emotions and bring yourself not in any kind of pressure.

    Good lucky!

    Rainold

    Jan 23, 2010 @ 23:26


  3. 1stlifekaidie

    Hi there my child,


    Hope you have been well since my death (no thanks to you! But let’s move on). I have been watching you and see that have been busy blogging. It seems that you are enjoying it but I hope that you get a real life too! There is wireless where I am, so I thought I could drop you a line.

    If you didn’t know/care, when mummy was alive, I was an artist, and was one who engaged in physical exercises. I had attempted to relate this to several of my artworks, some directly as subject matter, others as an aesthetic approach. To answer some of your questions posted here, I wish to bring to your attention some of these works that I have created that may interest you:

    In a work Moving On which I created in Kyushu, Japan, June 2009, I filmed myself running – previously I had done work (eg I Am Fit For Life! 2001) where I am doing hulahoops, pull ups etc, and alluded to my swimming ritual in Chlorine Addiction 2001.

    In Moving On, I used running as a metaphor for moving on (as the title says, imaginatively!!) and being on the go, always going, and not stopping, with no regrets. Visually I filmed myself running/walking (NOT FUN TO RUN WITH A 2kg Sony) – with a shaky camera that was handheld. The footage shot over the 5 hours during the 25 km journey was sped up into about 1.5 minutes only, so the resulting footage looks dizzying. The journey began from 1 port to the next in the neighbouring city, and along the Beppu Bay, so I was also making reference to the trade activities and the city as a port town.

    For Chlorine Addiction (2000), I used my swimming as a (conceptual) structure/framing device for my films- 10 double laps (1km), 3 mins each and hence 10 chapters, each 3 mins (though in practice this was not strictly the case…). Visually however there was nothing related to swimming, but conceptually the work was ‘a pool of images where a multitude of topics float about’, a feature that applies to not only this but many of my works in general, which have an expansive sort of approach, rather like a free mind-mapping / free-association play (Islandhopping and The Rather Terrible Slaughter of the Tour Guide! are like this too, having been inspired by, of course, Chris Marker’s seminal Sans Soleil).

    I had a long series of other works that are more Nauman-like ( about repetition, obsession, continuity and dis-continuity etc, me skipping, doing hulahoops etc) One series that I showed at the Presidents Young Talents (2003) puts together videos and films of me doing these ‘exercises’ in various cities that I lived in (Chicago, London, Spore, Tokyo) over the years (1995-2002).

    What do you think? Is this what you were talking about?

    Hope to see you soon!

    xoxo
    Mummy

    PS: Remember to eat more yummy rosti in Switzerland!

    Jan 24, 2010 @ 19:41


  4. 3rdlifekaidie

    Hi Rainold,
    Thanks very much for your kind words and advice! I will add them to my guidelines for the Meaning Of Life 3.0!
    x
    Kaidie

    Jan 30, 2010 @ 01:52


  5. 3rdlifekaidie

    Thanks Michael for your feedback.
    Great to hear of artists engaged in physical activities other than only lifting beer mugs 🙂
    Would your term of ’embodied art’ also encompass any other kinds of art in which the body is an integral process (such as performance art)?
    x
    kaidie

    Jan 30, 2010 @ 01:55


  6. 3rdlifekaidie

    Mummy, where are you?? So you have Internet up there? Is it Web 56.0 already, or Web -19.2?

    Feb 02, 2010 @ 20:45

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