In Search of A/The Point of Life

Archive for October, 2010

ARE YOU A LONDONER? ENTER QUIZ NOW! LONDON QUIZ 2

Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. FILL THIS UP AND SUBMIT TO KAIDIE, NOW! There are more than 5 different quizzes. Do complete them all! And you can fill up as many as you wish. I will publish the most interesting ones! THOSE WITH THE BEST ANSWERS WILL WIN A SPECIAL, SECRET PRIZE FROM KAIDIE!

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Kaidie shoots shooters shooting Gil Vicente shooting the queen and bush at the 29th Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil, October 2010. All very worthy killings indeed.

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KAIDIE AT SOFT BORDERS: UPGRADE! CONFERENCE. Kaidie’s Rough Guide to Non-Nondon Cities: Sao Paulo.

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Kaidie’s Rough Guide to Non-Nondon Cities: Sao Paulo: DEMONS slash GODS slash TOP slash BOTTOM

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UPDATABLE GLOSSARY: YOU & I & US

The same side of the same coin.

The same side of the same coin / peas in the same ipod.

GLOSSARY/ WIKI ABOUT THE UNIVERSE OF KAIDIE / LIFE 3.0,? AND THE THEATRE OF CHARACTERS (ongoing). SEEKING DEFINITIONS AND MULTIPLE + ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS! CONTRIBUTE NOW!

THEATRE OF PLAYERS IN THIS UNIVERSE-  INCLUDING YOU!

* Audience:

* Author:

* Artist:

* Reader:

* User:

* Player:

* Producer:

* You:

* Me:

* We

* Antagonist:

* Protagonist:

* Your avatar(s):

* My avatar(s):

* Your online proxy:

* My online proxy:

* Your online proxies:

* Our online proxies:

* Your offline proxy:

* My offline proxy:

* Our offline proxies:

* Collaborator:

* Co-author:

* Conspirator of Pleasure:

* Co-runner:

*Running buddy:

* We are in this together:

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As we fly 18,948km Nondon-Sao Paulo (return), WE WILL RUN 189.48km IN LIFE 1.0 BY 7 NOVEMBER TO MAKE UP FOR OUR CARBON FOOTPRINTS (yes we are wussy by moving a couple of decimal points, but better a pathetic gesture than none??)

As you know (do you? did you?), we are flying to Sao Paulo this weekend to participate in Soft Borders: 4th Upgrade! International Conference. In this gathering of artists, curators and academics from 30 countries, we will be making a 20-minute presentation of our fabulouslyfeetstompinglyheartstoppingmindblowing theory, Trans-Dimensional Running For Our Lives! A Rough Guide To A Critical Strategy For Our Technologically-Layered Multiverse Today. Seasoned (ahem) and weather-beaten (ahem) world- and out-of-the-world- travellers that we are, this will be the very first time that we visit ‘that part of the world’. So, our Dear Conspirators of Pleasure, should you have any tips (Where would be interesting places to run? What to eat? What to drink? Whom to meet? What to do? What to say? How to say? etc. But unfortunately, no, we are not able to drop by at Rio for the famous beaches and silicone…) about the trip, do let us know! And, as usual, if indeed your advice is so amazing as to afford us an amazing experience or two, we will create and publish a post here to share with everyone!

As trans-dimensional runners, we would have liked to fully practice and live what we preach, of course. Nonetheless, for us to run all the way from our favourite city on earth and beyond (thus far), Nondon, to Brazil, would take a while. At 9474km one way and a grand frolicking 18,948km return (!!!), it would take – to put it mildly- ages. Recall now that we live only for 1000 days, and we have only 695 (!!!!!!!!!!!ALREADY!!!!!!! Time flies whether or not we are having fun, however we define ‘fun’, or not) days left. so for us to run to Brazil and back, we would bust our given duration many times over, and be fropped left right centre.*

*It would be appropriate at this point in time for us to have a reality check and undertake some scientific calculations: Someone at our recent ARTSingapore gig asked us how much we have run in the past 305 days of our existence. Good question, we thought. We know that we run an average of approximately 60km a week – sometimes more, sometimes less. On some days, we have 5km quickies, of speed training (we say ‘speed’, but we are pulling [y]our leg[s], as we all know by now that when it comes to running we don’t/can’t do hit-and-run quickies, unless you release an repugnantlyyelpingly ridiculousness of a ‘dog’ of a chihuahua behind us, or, ahead of us, a glass of crisp bubbly, but otherwise, we will not/can not sprint, and our running is no where near the word ‘speed’ and its variations – we do endurance and go the whole length for hours and kilometres [for instance, 1 kilometre per hour], but we simply just don’t Bolt, sorry) on the treadmill or elsewhere, and on others, we run outdoors for approximately 10-20 km. To deduce that we have run approximately a total of 2500km in the past 300 days should not be all that far from the truth, which works out to be an average of 8.3333km per day). All that said, we must confess that some days we do not run, but run off instead to conduct our illicit and addictive affair with an old and very brilliant flame, chlorine. (By definition, any affair would taste sweet because they are affairs [whether or not the affairs themselves are of any good]; illicit affairs are even sweeter, and intrinsically and necessarily so, simply because of their illicitness… Hence, in spite of our vocation/mission of trans-dimensional running in this life, our ongoing stubborn dalliance with swimming in madmade pools…)

Several of your would recall a previous trip that we undertook, to visit our Facebook Friend, the legendary Heidi, in Heidiland (YES HEIDILAND EXISTS), Switzerland, during our 3rd-lifer-In-Residency in Winterthur. The return journey between Nondon-Zurich was 1550km, and after several days of wrecking our brains, we worked out a sophisticated and sustainable system of a means to compensate for our dirty carbon footprints. We understand that not all of you are as mathematically able as we are, so, to explain it in very simple means for you, it suffices to say that our system involves the movement of the decimal point to a position that would render the distance run-able for us, within a decent period of time.

Now, our Dear Fellow Runners, do understand that decency is the governing concept here- for our ‘system’ of repayment of our carbon footprints has to be sustainable and do-able. Running 18,948km would have taken us AT LEAST 1894 days if we run an average of 10km a day, which is 894 days over and above our lifespan (and we have already spent 305 days). Running 1894.8km would still take us about 189 days or 6 months. Also, we are currently in discussion with Japanese art workers about a trip in December/January/February to Asia as part of a project, which would cost at least 10,000 km – ONE WAY. As already argued in January when we undertook our trip to Switzerland, we had already acknowledged that this is but a gesture, and there is no thing big enough we can ever, ever do to compensate for our continual slow smothering of the earth. Apart from having vowed from day one (actually day zero, many life cycles ago) not to create mini-mes to add even more wrongs to all the wrongs that are already happening and all the wrongs that we are already committing, we are also cutting short our lives, and making us put in physical effort every time fly. We have heard of some other gestures such as making donations to have trees planted whenever one flies, but we are uncertain of the impact of such a deed – it does not hurt those with deep pockets and merely buys them out of their guilt (as Zizek has eloquently and sweatily articulated elsewhere). Insofar as all gestures are vain, our tactic of running to repay for our carbon footprints amounts to not much (if anything) either, but as it requires one to put in slightly more physical effort (other than the physical effort of clicking a button to agree to donate money to plant a virtual tree and alleviate one’s guilty conscience), it certainly makes one (us for instance) think twice about flying. And we speak as guiltyfrockers who absolutely adore being in mid-air in large machines, suspended in time, space, cultures, nations.

As we can’t spend the rest of our lives to pay for our Nondon-Brazil return journey, we will move not one but TWO decimal points, to run a total of 189.48km by the end of this month. We begin this repayment from 3 October, when we properly resumed our running (after resting for 2 weeks on our laurels and gloating in the glory of our completion of our first Life 1.0 marathon). So far, over the first 7 days, we had covered 84.27km. Note that although we had had some lovely walks (and a funny dip in Thames!) with some of you during this time, they are not counted, as we will only consider running, and of distances above 5km at any one time. We have 15 days left to run the remaining 100km or so, so we’d better get our  magnificent inertia and monumental butts moving.

Watch this space for our updates, and cheer us on. Or, go right ahead to mock and boo us for being such a wuss, but we are trying, alright?

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As we turn 10-months old, we ask: ARE YOU ALIVE (too)? ENTER QUIZ NOW! LIFE QUIZ B.

Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. FILL THIS UP AND SUBMIT TO KAIDIE, NOW! There are more than 5 different quizzes. Do complete them all! And you can fill up as many as you wish. I will publish the most interesting ones! THOSE WITH THE BEST ANSWERS WILL WIN A SPECIAL, SECRET PRIZE FROM KAIDIE!

My Fieldset
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

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RUNNING THE NEXT LAPS OF THE LONG-RUNNING BODY vs MIND vs TECHNOLOGY vs SOUL DISCOURSES. Trans-dimensional running as a critical strategy for our techonologically-layered multiverse.

Trans-dimensional running is as much a visceral counterstrike as it is a celebration of our technologically-expanded lives. As we run trans-dimensionally, we embody both the techno-utopianist Cyborg as well as the fragile, flesh-and-blood animal. We have one foot embedded in the physical world, and the other afloat in the non-physical and metaphysical worlds, detached from worldly matters. Technology permeates the activity of running, as it does in almost every aspect of our lives today. Yet, running could arguably be an act that utilises the least technology. In its most unembellished form, practitioners can run shoeless[1] – and indeed naked, as Pheidippides did 2500 years ago. Trans-dimensional running is a simple means of navigation in the digitally-saturated reality today. Running across the varied topographies, no one is in a better position than the trans-dimensional runner to tease out the long-existing as well as current debates of the battles between body, mind and technology. The undertaking of any endurance sport is a training of not only physical but mental resilience. In exercising our body and mind to revel and wrangle with our technologically-enhanced realities, the trans-dimensional runner has one foot in a techno-utopianist delirium (Clay Shirky et al), the other in a scepticism (Michael Zimmer et al). Running is a visceral counterpoint to the relentless development of technology. Web 2.0’s (somewhat ironically-named) social media was constructed by and for the geek –socially dysfunctional in Life 1.0– to virtually do virtually everything online without ever leaving one’s chair (or flat). While we celebrate our newfound ability to leave our bodies behind and run off into metaverses online,[2] pounding the pavements in meatspace immediately pulls us back to earth (and nature), reminding us the presence and limitations of our flesh-and-blood machines, and, indeed, our mortality.

And to the snobs (invariably bound to the armchair) who say that running is unthinking, one’s mind must work as actively as one’s body when one is running, as runners and sport psychologists attest.[3] When the body hits the metaphoric wall, only willpower and imagination can propel the runner to complete the last 6 miles of a 26.2-mile race.[4] When the body undergoes extreme states of duress, the chemicals in the brains pushes the runner into an altered state of consciousness.[5] At an optimal level, this can be the proverbial ‘flow’, a notion of focused motivation put forward by psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihály. As Daniel Shiffman, creator of open-source software Processing says, ‘I do all my best programming while jogging.’ [6] We also do not forget that Alan Turing, who was a highly-accomplished marathon-runner,[7] was said to have invented the beginnings of the computer in the middle of a run.[8]

Who better than the mythical ‘Marathon Monks’ of Mount Hiei, Japan, to refer to in the discussion of the importance of the lucidity of the mind (and spirit) when the body runs? While we are not unfamiliar with ascetic feats that humans are capable of in the bid to attain enlightenment (as seen in the fervent twirling of the Dervishes, and the practice of fire-walking of Hindus, just to name a few), the achievement of these monks still seem out of the world. The tofu-eating monks of the Tendai sect chant – while carrying scriptures, and running and walking for a total of 1000 days across a period of 7 years, in a practice called the kaihogyo. Running the equivalent of 2 marathons daily for a large part of the task,[9] the monk must cover a total distance of around 40,000 kilometres, equivalent to 1000 marathons.[10] In an exercise that already sounds like no walk in the park, the monk must go without food, sleep and drinks for a stretch of nine days as well.

Talk about effort. Perhaps those self-proclaimed Cyborgs and Cyborg-lovers (Donna Haraway, as well as the Orlans and Stelarcs) – could come out of their ivory towers and learn from the practice that has begun since the 18th century, which has feet firmly on the ground, while reaching for (self-) transcendence. Our ‘1000-day run’ is a mockery to the phrase when compared to this extraordinary synthesis of the mind, body and spirit…



[1] Vijai Singh, Barefoot Running – Video Library – The New York Times [accessed 12 July 2010]. In this video, we see that the writer of Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Professor Christopher McDougall also runs barefeet.

[2] Tim Guest, Second Lives (Arrow Books Ltd, 2008) p. 355.

[3] Such as Costas Karageorghis, ‘Sport Psychology: How Mental Imagery and Self-Hypnosis Can Improve Performance’, Peak Peroformance: Sporting Excellence [accessed 25 September 2010].

[4] As Barry Magee, bronze winner of the marathon in Rome, 1960 says, ‘(a)nyone can run 20 miles. It’s the next six that count.’ Quoted in ‘Running Quotes | Training & Racing’, Run the Planet: World Wide Resource for Runners, 1996 [accessed 24 September 2010].

[5] As discussed in such literature as Henriette van Praag, Gerd Kempermann and Fred H. Gage, ‘Running Increases Cell Proliferation and Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Dentate Gyrus’, Nat Neurosci, 2 (1999), 266-270.

[6] Daniel Shiffman, Learning Processing: A Beginner’s Guide to Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction (Morgan Kaufmann, 2008), p. xii.

[7] Although Turing did not manage to be selected for the 1948 Olympics, having come in fifth, his best time of 2 hours, 46 minutes, 3 seconds, achieved in 1947, was only 11 minutes slower than the winner in that Olympic Games. John Graham-Cumming, ‘An Olympic Honour for Alan Turing | Comment Is Free | Guardian.co.uk’, 2010  [accessed 5 July 2010].

[8] According to 1968 Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot in the foreword (p. ix), in Michael W. Austin, Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), p. 135.

[9] Jayne Storey, ‘Running Buddhas. Ultra-Endurance and the Spiritual Athlete’ [accessed 10 July 2010]. According to Storey, the full menu of the monk’s 10000-day feat, the Sennichi Kaihogyo, is as follows: ’1st year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2-mile marathons, beginning at 1:30 a.m., each day after an hour of prayer. 2nd year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons. 3rd year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons. 4th year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons – performed twice. 5th year: 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile marathons – performed twice. On the 700th day, the monks undergo a 9 day fast without food, water, rest or sleep – a mind-boggling feat which would result in certain death for most human beings, before having a short rest of a few weeks and increasing their gruelling schedule. 6th year: 100 consecutive days of 37.5 mile marathons. 7th year: 100 days of 52.2 mile marathons and 100 days of 26.2 mile marathons.’

[10] Anthony Kuhn, ‘Monk’s Enlightenment Begins With A Marathon Walk’ (NPR, 2010)  [accessed 11 July 2010].

Images on this page are photographed by Michael Larsson.

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CHAT WITH KAIDIE ‘LIVE’ SATURDAY 16:00hrs + SUNDAY 18:30hrs (Singapore time)! We’re at ‘kaidie3rdlife’ on Skype.

Above: From the ARTSingapore catalogue. Below: from I-S magazine, Singapore.

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No offence to all you lovely trans-dimensional running companions – virtual and real – of ours, but WE’VE DEVELOPED A FATAL ATTRACTION TO THOSE RUNNING BUDDIES WHO HAVE DROPPED DEAD, GORGEOUS.

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SETTLE YOUR SCORE WITH KAIDIE THIS THURSDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY! ‘LIVE’ at ART SINGAPORE 2010. Plus prints and 50-minute film.

For more information, visit the Art Singapore website, or contact Florence Fang at Flame Communications. For information of other sorts, or if you wish to run with us, contact any one of us (KaidieKaidie Nondon, 3rdlifekaidie, kaidie3rdlifeKaidie Absent, Kai Syng Tan, et al). Stop sitting around and come on board!

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