In Search of A/The Point of Life

GIGS & EVENTS

4 artists present at RHUL’S POLYply on ‘Consumption’, 14 March 2013, from 19:00hrs

Alexander Costello writes: “I am an artist. I am an idiot. Vincent Van Gogh said “Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don’t know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas, which says to the painter, ‘You can’t do a thing’. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can’t’ once and for all.” I am an idiot, according to Van Gogh. Perhaps that’s why I’m not a painter. Indeed I am not a painter. Rather I have been co-habiting with blank canvases in my studio for the last year, thinking about how to approach them and what to do with them. A friend (a painter) gave up painting because she was overwhelmed by the fear of committing to the mark on the canvas, paralysed by the thought that its potential would instantly be dashed, her credibility with it. She knew there would be no going back. This is my point of departure… In addition, I was born in London, 1976, studied BA Hons Fine Art (Scuplture) at Middlesex Universtiy (1996-99) and MFA Media at Slade School of Fine Art (1999-2001)”

Rebecca (Becky) Cremin works in process and draws on traditions of live art, fluxus, performance writing and site specific work to construct a hybridity of practice which uses language as an object to expose, to investigate, to locate. She is a founding member of the poetic collective PRESS FREE PRESS.  She is currently undergoing a practice based PhD researching sites of and for poetic performance. Her publications include ‘To be on a page’ in Dear World & Everyone In It: New Poetry in the UK (Bloodaxe), Occupancy in VLAK, (Litteraria Pragensia), she as again : again as she in Viersome 01 and LAY’D both from Veer Books and Cutting Movement from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press. Her poems have featured in Blart, Department, Klatch, Veer About, How2 and beyond. Her performances take place in galleries, pubs, on council estates, in her bedroom, in the street, in the book and on the page.

Ulli Freer lives and works in London , and has been active over a number of years. He is a member of the Veer editorial collective. His work has been published in a several magazines including AND, Curtains,Veer Away, Cleave2. Publications include Blvds (Equipage, Cambs), Sandpoles (Equipage, Cambs), Eye Line (Spanner, Hereford ), Speakbright Leap Password (Salt Books, Cambs), Burner (Veer Books, London ), Recovery (Rot Direct, London).

John James left his native city of Cardiff for Bristol where he first produced the little magazine The Resuscitator with Nick Wayte. Later he moved to Cambridge where he became one of the group closely associated with The English Intelligencer. His recent books include In Romsey Town Equipage 2011 and Cloud Breaking Sun Oystercatcher Press 2012. A Collected Poems appeared from Salt in 2002.

Kai Syng Tan will present On Eating Gum (and the Distasteful Art of My Body). ‘In Autumn 1994, I ate gum in front of the crowd in London. I did it because I could. Because my body was my medium. Because I was in London, where gum was not banned, and because using my body to make art was not banned and not considered as distasteful’. In this presentation, Kai talks about how eating chewing gum was her starting point to use her body as a medium of expression, and how concepts and practices from the Chinese way-of-life of Daoism has helped her to contextualise this ‘body art’. Trained in London, Chicago, Tokyo and Singapore, Kai is a restlessly peripatetic mutt. The interdisciplinary work of the artist-curator-educator has been shown in more than 45 cities (Biennale of Sydney; Transmediale; ICA London; Guangzhou Triennale), and she has won several awards (San Francisco International Film Festival Merit Award for Experimental Video, Young Artist Award, Most Promising Young Artist Award), grants (three scholarships), and residencies (NIFCA, Japan Foundation). For several years Kai was an advisor in a panel at the Media Development Authority of Singapore, and worked as lecturer and programme leader in an art university and film school, as well as a digital arts consultant. Named ‘one of Singapore’s foremost video artist’ (Dr Eugene Tan 2007), Kai’s permanent video installation is on display in a central subway station in Singapore. Kai is currently a PhD candidate at the Slade.

POLYply is organised by Dr Kristen Kreider and Dr Will Montgomery.

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‘About running, the runner’s high, playing Nondon Ambassador and feeling good: Kaidie’s experience of the Nondon 2012 Olympics’.

Talk on Friday at the RCA 14:30-15:30hrs as part of TRAND 5: Whatever Next? London 2013 and beyond, 8 February – 8 March. Convened by Joe Kerr and Sarah Teasley .
Other speakers in the series include authors Iain Sinclair, Will Self and Travis Elborough, designer and academic Sophie Thomas, filmmaker Paul Kelly, and musician Bob Stanley.
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Slade Performance Day, 2013 February 15th, Friday

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A HANDS-ON-FEET-ON COURSE-DISCOURSE-EXERCISE WITH KAIDIE THE TRANS-RUNNING-AMB-ASS-ADOR at dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, on 6 September 2012

3 days before my expiry on 09.09.2012. I make a d-Tour to dOCUMENTA 13 to transfer my final, world-changing messages. I run into problems right away: 1) My session follows one that was over-long – and still over-run (!!3 hours 20 minutes!!) 2) The running time assigned for lunch is hence cut down. So, only 12 people turn up at my 2pm run. The other 20 have walked-out – some of whom are no doubt the oh-so-precious-well-heeled-high-falutin-arm-chair-critics-cynics who must not to be caught dead in such uncouth/mindless/embarrassing/juvenile act as running. I’m running out of time – but not breath. I get on with it.

‘Hello world! Come join me in my “running discourse”! Let’s warm up. Stretch your muscles and your imagination. Let’s divide ourselves into 3 groups. Run for 3-minutes while discussing on one of these topics: DISCOURSE A: Walking versus running (biological and psychological similarities and differences). DISCOURSE B: The correlation between movement and thinking (thinking when moving versus sitting still? Lying in bed? Running? Cycling? Which is most conducive?). DISCOURSE C: The nature of discourse itself (one-way? dynamic? Versus other modes of communication such as a giving a paper at a conference?) Pay attention to how your body respond to or transform your thoughts!’ After the run, participants gather together to their findings. ‘Fun!’ ‘Feel ache on muscles I didn’t know I had!’ ‘Nice breeze on my face when running!’ ‘Tipsy after a night out, I tend to sprint home.’ ‘Too short! Want to run more! Want to discuss more!’ ‘Too distracted by the beautiful scenery of the beautiful park of Park Schonfeld to think properly!’ ‘I have to move to think, can’t think when still!’ ‘Nice day to run about in the field!’

I share my own findings too. These findings have been gathered from my past 996 days of running. ‘We’ve run for 3 minutes – but we human beings have run for 2 million years. Our “gluteus maximus”– or bum – are very maximus – to balance us while we run. When you run while you are high, you are following in the footsteps of the Raramuri people of Mexico who brew their own beer and run for hundreds of miles. And they’ve done that for hundreds of years. Without beer, running can make you high too. For scientists, this “high” is the production of neurotransmitters that make us happy, so linking our body and mind. For runners, this ‘high’ can be conducive to creativity – so linking running with thinking. For example mathematician Alan Turing conceptualised the computer while running.’ ‘On the other hand, or feet, Daoist sage Lao Zi linked the feet with the head, movement with life and thinking. You can see the latter in the Chinese word “dao”, which refers to both course and discourse. I pinpoint this thinking to poetic thinking: non-linear, creative, associative. I also pinpoint this movement to running, because the 16th century Latin etymology of “discourse” (“discursus”) refers to running from place to place, and runners were employed as messengers or ambassadors around the same time (15th-18th century).’ ‘So, I propose that as the running-ambassador transferred messages, neither ambassador nor recipient were passive, but were active agents themselves who, along the way, customise and transform the messages. In so doing, the messages are more than messages, but discourses. Such are to-and-fro exchanges that are alive, active and dynamic. New discourses and new knowledge are created. The process is creative and poetic, and can be an artwork. The running itself can be an artwork.’ And finally: ‘Thank you for allowing me to share my message of running. My name is Kaidie, and I have been your running-ambassador. Or trans-running-ambassador. Or, to be extra arsey, trans-running-amb-ASS-ador. I hope that you can personalise my messages, play with them, transform them, and further pass them on, keep the discourse alive, and open up 10,000 more discourses. Good bye.’ With that, I run off, into the sunset, and live happily ever after (for 3 more days). Life, as they say, goes on.

For an early video (circa January 2012) that provides a run-down of the correlation between running and discourse: click, run the video, hear, watch. Some of these photographs have been taken by Dr. Hayley Newman With special thanks to: Dr. Sharon Morris, and Trespasser (for being a trail-run-ner of this performance), and the participants of the session.

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You are invited to Yonder, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, PV September 7, Exhibition September 8- October 21. From down under, will Kaidie die a series of deaths (jetlags included), until she finally goes at 9 September 23:59 hours Nondon time? To Be Continued…

(One of) Kaidie's last acts, which opens 2 days before she moves on on the 9 September... Special thanks to curator Jasmin Stephens for helping to orchestrate Kaidie's death in this leg.

An extract from the PICA website (click to run there)

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dOCUMENTA 13, September 6, Park Schönfeld, Kassel: Come run with Kaidie in a running-discourse!

What: dOCUMENTA 13

When: September 6, 14:00-14:45hrs

Where: Park Schönfeld, Frankfurter Strasse 167, 34121 Kassel, Germany

About Kaidie’s running-discourse:

The Chinese word for discourse, ‘dao’ (‘tao’), consists of the radicals of a head and feet, linking thinking and movement. It can be argued that the specific locomotion is running. This speculation comes from the fact that the Latin root word of discourse, ‘discursus’, refers to running to-and-fro. These two strands of thought are brought to life in this work, in which visitors can join ‘Kaidie’ in a light run while running light-hearted and light-footed discourses about the themes of dOCUMENTA 13 and EARN. Kaidie can be understood as a facilitator, leading the run as well as discourse alike. However, what happens along the way – digressions, deviations, walk-outs included – is up to her co-runners.

With this work, we are not only following in the footsteps of the Chinese sages who were peripatetic and equated nimbleness with life, stillness with death. We are also evoking the spirits of mathematician Alan Turing and novelist Haruki Murakami, for whom running played an important part of their creativity. Moreover, this work can be understood as a playful affront to traditional or dominant approaches of knowledge production. Additionally, Kai’s PhD research (in both her written thesis and studio practice) focuses on running, in both the literal and figurative senses of the word, and as both subject matter and methodology. Hence, this work can be seen as a metaphor for the tension between art and research, which seems to be one of the oft-debated points about the value of the ‘Fine Art PhD degree’.

Possible topics of the discourses during the run include:

  • the possibilities of artistic research
  • the tension between artistic creation and its place in the institution;
  • the possibilities of discourse, including the ‘non-discursive, the not-knowing, the intuitive’;
  • if knowledge production is considered as ‘productive’ in a capitalistic economy
  • non-logocentric approaches to discourse

COME JOIN KAIDIE FOR THE COURSE-DISCOURSE – held 3 days just before her expiry on 9 September, this may well be Kaidie’s last!!

A part of: EARN workshops at dOCUMENTA 13: A platform for current doctoral artistic research

About the workshops: This unique two day programme of workshops brings together 26 practitioners engaged in formal graduate research studies through an ongoing art practice. The programme includes a variety of workshop formats from discussion groups to practical workshopping and from presentations of work in progress to exploratory mappings of emergent fields of enquiry. The presenters include both internationally established artists/curators and artists/curators emerging into a space of international visibility for the first time. The overall goal of this two day platform of workshops is to provide an introductory overview of artistic research models as manifested across a variety of graduate programmes within the European Artistic Research Network. It is also intended that this two day programme may act as a lead-in to the major conference organised as part of dOUMENTA(13) on Saturday 8th And Sunday 9th of September. It is anticipated that a survey of divergent models and practices across the EARN network will help to inform subsequent debate by mobilising specific concrete exemplars of doctoral work in contemporary art to supplement and perhaps counteract more abstract and generic notions of “the academic” and “the institutionalised” etc. (Dr Mick Wilson)

* Book here to attend the event at dOCUMENTA

* For more details about other workshops and context: click and click again

* For more details about EARN European Artistic Research Network

* For more details about Slade: click yet again

* Getting there from Nondon: 1) Take a budget plane from a cheap airport (but before that, buy a cheap bus ticket to get out of Nondon to said cheap airport located in what is allegedly still ‘Nondon’) 2) Fly 3) Arrive at Frankfurt, Dortmund or Hannover airports, all of which are NOWHERE near Kassel but, before the Kassel Airport is open (NOT this year, during the once every 5 years grand Documenta, but NEXT year) this is the path of least lousiest resistance 4) Take an exorbitantly-priced ICE train, ssssspeedy at 3 hours or so, to Kassel’s Wilhelmshölhe (after negotiating the challenging website, and after taking some shuttle bus service or another to another train station ‘near’ airport) 5) Use tram line 3, 4 or 6 to get to ‘Rathaus’ 6) Change to Tram 5 to get to the said Park, not respelt here since its hard  to umlaut the ‘o’s. 7) Participate in Kaidie’s life-changing performance and evaluate if any part of this has been worth it.

Alternatively, simply RUN. See why/how the usefulness of running now??????

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A Photo of the Photo-finish in fool glory, in action, in situ

Thank you for attending the Private View of The Games – Inspiring Images at Connaught Brown on the 18th July 2012, at W1H 4SD in Nondon. Pictured here is the Kaidie’s 2012 Nondon Olympics Photo Finish in its fool glory, in action, in situ. To the left of the work is that by runner-artist Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba, and to the right is that by Jamaica’s Albert Chong. Kaidie is shot here, nearly photo-finished, with the director of the gallery, Mr. Anthony Brown. Edition one is sold, with Kaidie’s broken toe nail and all, and to be displayed in the living room of the buyer soon. 4 more to go / come your way. Hurry, bye one, get one (not free)!

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**2012 May 30: Recorded version of performance-lecture at the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University**

This is a recorded version of a performance-lecture presented at the Lancaster University’s Sociology department’s for Centre for Mobilities Research Annual Research Day, 30 May 2012. Present at the session was the Distinguished Professor John Urry. Professor Monica Buscher made 3 inspiring presentations. The conference was hosted by the wonderful Professor Colin Pooley. Music, as usual, by the indefatigable longtime collaborator Philip Tan.

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If Kaidie comes back from her death and performs in front of SOCIOLOGISTS, who will be more scared?? Who will run off first?

Kaidie rises from down below in hell to run way up north...

This page has been plagiarised from the Lancaster University’s Centre for Mobilities Research’s (CeMoRe) site which you should visit, especially if you can’t come and join us in the scary affair.
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** The Creative Process of Running: A 22-minute Discourse (2012 January 25) ** (Happy deathday, 1 year on)

This is a 22-minute discourse on how the process of running – physically and metaphorically – can be creative.

Several of the points in the first part of this work (on how running physically can be creative) have been inspired by the points raised by Dr Alan Latham in his lecture The Zen of Running. You can learn more about the geographer – and hardcore runner – here.

A presentation of this as a slide show was first held on 2012 January 25 at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, and exhibited as a video at the Making Space PhD exhibition at the Slade Research Centre at the Woburn Square, February 2012. As with all uploads, this is an ongoing research and subject to change. For more of such inconclusive ‘moving images’, run to Kaidie’s channel.

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** You are invited to the Private View of the Making Space Exhibition 22 February 6-8:30pm WC1H 0AB**

While Kaidie remains dead, she may well conjure up a thing or two at this annual PhD event at the Slade School of Fine Art’s Research Centre in Nondon, UK. In any case, many other artists are involved in this exhibition Making Space, including a few big names. You are invited to the PV on the 22nd, and if you have already acquired tickets for the conference on the 25th, count yourself very lucky. The rather delightful Grayson Perry will be speaking – having caught his very wonderful exhibition at the British Museum recently, coming face to face with the great Perry may well be the impetus for Kaidie to stop playing dead and come back to life.



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**2010 December performance-lecture at the Slade School of Dine Art**

Yes we are still rather dead. So here is a mini-retrospective of sorts.

This is a performance-lecture held 2010 December 1 at the Slade School of DIne Art, Nondon, UK. In the ‘live’ version, we would be reading the script ‘live’; in this recorded version, you can hear us (flipping the pages of the script).

What is crucial to note that, all this was so (very nearly) impeccable and mindblowing at that point in time, ie 2010 December 1. Yet, restless beings that we are, that you know we are, this is not fixed in stone (is any? Even stones are not fixed [in stone], for they move, do they not??). We have (clearly) moved on, specifically, improved, in leaps and bounds of course. As you know we are simply incapable of producing anything run of the mill, but evolution-believers (and practitioners) that we are, many of the points raised in this performance have shifted, and many of the imageries have also been transformed. For ever-newer-better-higher-faster-good-better-best rundowns/out-lines/maps/cosmologies and other configurations, come back here often though even that can be slower than what we think while we are on the run etc etc. And, we all know that there can never be a ‘final’ version – even as we reach the ‘final’, for, so long as our stamina (speed and endurance) lasts, we will keep on running.

And the more we run, the better we can run, the further we can run. So, each variation is as ‘final’ as they get.

Point is, run, and you will find your own way. Or rather, ways. So, there you go. Here we are.

This performance-lecture was undertaken as part of our MPhil upgrade to PhD status at the Slade School of Dine Art, University College Nondon, UK. The opening and closing musical accompaniment is created by our usual Co-Runner, PHILIP TAN

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** GOODBYE 2011, HELLO 2012**

Hello there!

We hope that you have had a fruitful 2011 as we have. Thus far,

1) … approximately 475,000 unique visitors have (allegedly) visited our running blog since 12.12.2009

2) … in our search for the/a ‘Meaning of Life’, we have run at least 6000km in the past 750 days in the primary world, including having completed 2 fool marathons (Nondon, Farnham Pilgrims), 2 half marathons (Safra Bay Run, Uxbridge Grand Canal), as well as other smaller races (Friends of MSF, PAssion), while raising some money for charity along the way (many thanks to many of you who had responded to our emotional blackmail!)

3) … we have made nearly 2500 ‘friends’ on Facebook, including turning some of them into wondrous collaborators (such as Jeremy Hight, who curated us on an online exhibition on Leonardo Electronic Almanac; James Odling Smee who baked us a heart-stoppingly-mind-shifting chocolate cake that sent us on the mostest moistest magnificently heavenly sugar-high; Chico (a many-pawed cat owned by Anji Reyner) who has just passed away from real life, and who is now accompanying us on our astral runs

… Indeed, we have been dead since 24th of April, when Kai Syng reached her Chinese age of 37, which was a week after Kaidie hit 4:24:37 at the Nondon Marathon 2011. Yet, there is no stopping us from coming back to life (or is there?)! How, indeed, will we spend the final 250 days before we finally hit the bucket on 09.09.2012, on the last day of the Nondon Paralympics? Will we catch Kaidie impersonating a 2012 Nondon Ambassador at the Kings Cross Station come Summer 2012? Before that, will we catch someone who resembles Kaidie as a Cultural Bloomsbury guide on the topic of Art & Society, and running the Bath Half Marathon, KNI Waltham Forest Borough Run, and a midnight sun run in Norway? And, last but not least, will we finally find the/a Meaning of Life? … Boundless questions abound…

Come run our last laps with us.

Happy New Year 2012.

Yours Sincerely,

Kai-die

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** KAIDIE MOMENTARILY RISES FROM HER GRAVE ON 1 AUGUST 2011 IN LIFE 2.0 ON LEONARDO ONLINE **

Kaidie has been momentarily woken up from her ongoing death on 1 August, with her participation in Re-drawing Boundaries, a LEA New Media Exhibition online. And it is completely the fault of curator-artist-writer-theorist-photographer-musician-weathernerd-cat-dad-all-rounded-all-rounder Jeremy Hight (whom Kaidie is acquainted with only via the evil Facebook). Hight’s senior conspirators are Lanfranco Aceti and Christiane Paul. Do visit the show and experience other locative media works by Teri Reub, Jeremy Wood amongst others!  Kaidie thanks Hight, Aceti and Paul, and returns to her astral journeys.


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THANKS TO YOUR AMAZZZING SUPPORT, WE RAISED £1520 FOR SHELTER AND COMPLETED THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON IN 4Hours 24Mins 37secs WITH A PLACE POSITION OF 2132.

Click image to zoom in. Yes, our name on our vest RAN. Moral of our story: DON'T buy fat marker pens that say 'permanent' and 'water-resistant' from Paperchase. They lie.

An open letter to the 47 sponsors of Kaidie’s run for Shelter at the 2011 Nondon Marathon:

Dear Trespasser, Benson, Emmanuel, Wee San, Zadoc, Andy, Umi, Anonymous, Hapless, Veronica, Ateen, Sarah, Chin Hwee, Kelvin, Caroline, Paul, Chris, Michael, Michael,  Anonymous, Tim, Marc, Ying Yan, Anonymous, Shea, Laura, Sze Wee, Mirabelle, Christina, Daniel, Yentri, Stephen,  Cristian, Diego, Cliff, Laura, Andrew, Sonia, Fernando, Patricia, Kian Chow,  Eric, Pei Chi, Hillary, Pei Shan, ‘Your favourite Russian’, and Ben,

Who doesn’t have nights of tossing and turning, flossing and gurning, cold sweat and stiff muscles, sharp pain racing through the knees, swollen fat feet populated by misshapened black and broken toenails (if you are a foot-fetishist, you’re advised to NOT date a runner, or, if you insist on dating runners, you’d better develop other healthier fetishes) and absolutely-not-wanting-to-get-out-of-bed, especially when it is grey and cold, slippery and murky? We do too, and certainly did, but YOUR financial blackmail left us with no choice but to get up on our hefty-dimpled-cellulited- very-very-reluctant arse, and run. Afterall what’s a wee bit of cajoling our toes to stepstepstep on the pavement one step at a time (typical conversation with our toes and feet: ‘Please??? Prettttyyyyyy puuuulllleaasse!?!!! OH GET ON WITH IT WON’T YOU!’), compared to what people without a shelter have to face and live, day in, day out? Trans-dimensional runners as we are (which is our task for the 1000-days of our existence), running is the least we can do, to help raise money for Shelter for its meaningful fight against homelessness and poor housing in the UK.

So, with your generous support, we raised a total of GBP £1520, and on 17 April 2011, had the honour to participate in one of the biggest gigs on earth on our favourite city on earth, the 2011 Nondon Marathon. At a sweltering 16 degrees celsius, we completed the 42km course in 4 hours 24 minutes 37 seconds (which is 1 hour 5 minutes less than the time we took for our first full marathon last year in the hilly offroad course at the very very lovely Farnham Pilgrims’ Marathon, with battered shins), measured on our Garmin Forerunner 405 loaned to us by Urbantick. We are ranked 3484 in a total of 12,229 (lycra-clad and dimpled) female participants, and an WHOPPING 14,914 overall (of a total of 34,656 male, female and other-gendered participants)! Our position for our category (aged 18-39, although we are only 500 days-old in reality) is 2132.

Given that it was a flat route, it felt easy and not sluggish, generally-speaking. The crowd was wonderful, with people shouting our (DIY-marker-penned-NON-water-resistant) name to support us along the route (one girl shouted: ‘Shelter lady! Looking good!’ We shouted  – presuming it was us she was referring to??? – ‘Thanks! You don’t look too bad yourself!’), as well as feeding us with jelly babies, oranges, chopped bananas, home-baked cookies and cakes, chocolates and other candies. There were even 2 priests who sprayed holy water (we presume? or some other unidentified liquid) at runners (which we went for and basked in, non-believers as we are, although always opportunistic for a bonus)! Memorable too was a (drunk?) man who positioned himself at the kerb and held out a large plate of CHIPS goading us ‘GO ON, YOU KNOW YOU WANT SOME CARBS!’) We also slapped the extended hands of several kids (SOME OF WHOSE LOOKED REALLY FILTHY!!! What had they been handling!? Eeeeewwwwwww) as well as a couple of adults (Eeeeeewwwwww!). For the first half we kept up at a good speed, and the first 2 ten-kms were completed around 60 minutes, while the last 2 took a little longer, as we worked-in a timeout/lull session, before we went for a faster final 2km (of the 42km route). Our time at half-marathon distance (13.1 miles) read 2 hours 08 minutes (which is 20 minutes faster than our first attempt in a half-marathon in a previous life; we are hence now certain that a next half-marathon can be completed in around 1 hour 55 minutes). We burnt a total of 3186 kcals, and did not take any loo breaks (‘So what?’ you may snigger, but a record for our tiny bladder [and oversized brain, as you our dear reader are well aware]). We ran as a ‘GBR’ person (instead of ‘SIN’), not to mention the ‘Virgin’ (and ‘Money’) tag all over us It felt HOT HOT HOT for us – imagine what the fancy-costumers had to endure!!! We kept running into one of the Rhinos- and we had read that their costume was more than 18kg. Not one time did that Rhino, or many of the other costumed runners, stopped. They got on with it, step by step. Seeing that, we switched off our pain button for our supercramps that had haunted us the entire week, and got on with it.

What spurred us during the course? 1) Our anger at the enforced feeding and reduced training in the past week (as advised by ‘experts’: ‘taper and carbo-load!’). For 7 days we were so restless we were completely dysfunctional, not to say insonmiac (fearing that we’d oversleep and miss the gig) and murderous (wanting to slaughter runners we run into, out of pure envy) as well. The forcefeeding  -of CARBOHYDRATES, NO LESS!-  was most unpleasant and traumatic. 2) We found the sight of other wobbly, thunderous cellulite-cum-dimples in hips wider than 62-inch-wide plasma-TV sets IN LYCRA slightly offensive. AND THERE WERE MILLIONS, UNABASHED. Also to spare runners behind us of THEIR eyesore of OUR cellulited plasma TVs (although we were wearing shorts, NOT lycra), we huffed and puffed and kept moving. Like jellies. And the godmother of jelly, baby.

After the race, we attended the party thrown for us by Shelter at the Strand. We enjoyed a most lovely massage given to us by a most lovely Phil (who told us that he was a ‘functional therapist’. ‘As opposed to a dysfunctional one?’, we asked; Phil also said that our ‘IT band’ was tight. Techhy as we are, we are proud to hear that a band – an information-technological one, no less, inhabits our body), had a few glasses of prosecco (of course we would have preferred Champagne, but darling, it’s alright, as we do love bubbles), as well as linguini WITH FOUR meatballs (The race has brought out the carnivore in us!!! The waiter gave us 6 but we donated 2 back. ‘Are you sure??’ ‘YES!’ we cried, and threw his balls back at him, while we rolled ourselves back to our seat)!!! (All these benefits of our £100 entry fee!)

What did we do when we went home? Watch the BBC’s coverage of the event on iPlayer, of course. It is always always moving to watch endurance athletes do their thing. The show put up by this year’s winners was, to say the least, incredible. They were not running 42km – THEY WERE SPRINTING. Those large long strides – powered by their tiny, leanmeanmighty bodies. So you think that only us mortals suffer? As soon as the elegant Emmanuel Mutai came home through the finishers’ line, he stooped, to puke. Bright, yellow, stuffs. Who would have guessed? For, like fellow Kenyan and female champion Mary Keitany, his was a face of resilience and pure focus, from beginning to end. He held court, and got on with it, and won – gracefully. TALK ABOUT ENDURANCE.

After a day of rest and unsettling sleep (pierced intermittently by foreign pains in our knees  - and IT bands????), we resumed running (we mean limping) on Tuesday. We have also signed up for 2 races: the Kilomathon (26.2km – YES in our favourite METRIC system!!) on 23 October 2011 in Nondon, and the Bath Half Marathon (21km, or 13 miles) in March 2012. We do enjoy the full slap of 42km / 26 miles, but we think that the  twenties are the most suitable. Afterall, we do not have all that much time left in our 1000-day lifespan for hours and hours of training, and we still need to run not only in Life 1.0 (in the primary world), but Life 2.0 (online) as well. We intend to go for a couple more within our lifetime: a warm one, during Winter (Marakkech!) and a midnight sun run (in Norway! Aha!).

All in all, the 2011 Nondon Marathon was a pleasant race. We were fully focused on our given task – the task that you have entrusted us!! We feel honoured and humbled to have been given the chance to run such a big gig in our favourite city on earth, and to have done so for a meaningful cause. THANK YOU to all our sponsors for your generous support for our donation drive for Shelter!!! THANK YOU ALL for your lovely messages of support!

Yours Sincerely,

Kaidie x

PS For our other readers reading this, should you wish to show your support for Shelter, YOU CAN STILL MAKE A DONATION! Click a few clicks here!!

PPS: Dear ‘Trespasser’, if you are reading this, please write us to tell us who you are, for, how could we possibly thank you properly if you do not reveal yourself?

'Trespasser', won't you share with us about the perils of running on the digital highway?

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WE JOIN 40,000 TO RUN THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON ON SUNDAY! But NO, THIS IS NOT A RICHARD-BRANSON PRODUCT-PLACEMENT BLOG POST!

1) Running is an immensely popular sport today all over the world, since it can be done anytime, anywhere, and by nearly anybody. 2) Any marathon is a big gig/performance/show (a show of human determination, although nowadays marathons, and even triathlons is such an achievable feat that the genuinely fit ones go for and invent ever more ultra- and extreme races, in impossible landscapes, over impossible periods of time, etc, etc.  4) Nondon is an amazing stage to live/work/play/be (we’ve gone through this before)  5) The Nondon Marathon is a big show on earth alright (Biggest fundraising event on earth! 40,000 runners! Records to be broken The most scenic marathon routes! …  …) 6) Nothing – no thing in this world today escapes the supermarket, corporatised treatment/makeover. 7) Richard Branson has never, ever been known to be subtle.

HENCE. Look at these images. Richard Branson’s Virgin has been running the Nondon Marathon in the past years. It’s a huge gig alright – a large advertisement for itself. Yes, do yell it loud and clear, in every which way possible, leftrightcentre, brand us and co-opt us into your game, your rules. Thanks Sir Richard. If the Nondon Marathon Expo at the Excel Centre (MILLIONS OF FIT [healthy] AND FIT [goodlooking] runners, lean and mean and powerpacked in lycra!) is just a small indication of what’s to come on Sunday 17 April at the Nondon Marathon, we are prepared to be even more branded (‘Virgin’ no less!), and be seen with even more products. ‘Pure’ as it is or can be, running, like any other activity today, can be coated in much gunk that threaten to make us forget why we run. (We are not being cynical and dismissing the good work that such a big gig does (raising much fund for charities for one, and we are running for a charity as well), but there are always questions to ask in any such large-scale hyped-up enterprises [Bono, Geldof et al]). It does not have to be like this- our last (and first!) marathon was a much smaller event. The Farnham Pilgrims Marathon in Surrey was quirky and intimate, highly praised by all runners of varying experiences, and was not dunked in excessive institutionalised/corporatised distractions. We have signed up for the Bath Half Marathon in March 2012 (provided if we live till then?), but there are certainly questions to be asked and issues to think about, with regards to the institutionalisation of running – an activity that is, for us, essentially an act of gentle anarchism, a personal act of resistance. It’s an interesting tension. In this day and age no one is not co-opted in one way or another, but the question, we suppose, is how we run (navigate, negotiate, manage) that tension (like we do many things in life, unless we are hermits living in caves). Before we become (hairy/smelly) hermits in caves, we scribble a message on the wall at the Expo. (Thanks ADIDAS!!!!)

UPDATE: THANKS TO MS CHUN WEE SAN, WE HAVE HIT OUR TARGET DONATION OF £1500! This is Wee San’s SECOND donation for our Nondon Marathon effort for Shelter, the homelessness charity! Wee San, an art teacher, has previously  also supported our run for the Friends of Medecin Sans Frontieres!  THANK YOU WEE SAN! We also want to thank Jackie Claxton for her support, even after we have reached our target! Having reached our target, we have slightly raised the bar to £1600, so keep your donations coming! Click some clicks here to donate, today! We will close our donation page 1 week after the marathon, on 24 April 2011 Sunday.

AFTER WEEKS OF PRE-RACE ANXIETY, SUPERCRAMPS, FORCEFEEDING BUT TAPERING, IRRITABILITY, WE ARE MORE THAN READY FOR OUR RUN. TO FIND OUT HOW WE HAVE DONE on 17 APRIL 2011 AT THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON, COME BACK TO THIS RUNNING BLOG IN A COUPLE OF DAYS. BUILDING IN 1 LOO BREAK (INCLUDING QUEUING UP – no we won’t do a Paula Radcliffe!) WE ARE HOPING TO COMPLETE OUR 42KM BY WEDNESDAY MORNING, OR, IF WE ARE OPTIMISTIC, TUESDAY EVENING. SEE YOU SOON(ER OR MUCH MUCH MUCH LATER)!

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DO YOU WANT TO BE KAIDIE’S FINAL DONOR(S)? HELP US RAISE OUR FINAL £117 FOR SHELTER BEFORE WE RUN THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON NEXT SUNDAY 17 APRIL!


This mind-blowing image will grace Chin Hwee's wall, due to his generous donation. Mercenary, are we? Helping to redistribute wealth? Or merely spreading the immense beauty and poetry of our creative expression to everybody? (You're welcome, our pleasure.) Do YOU want a piece of our astounding art work? Give us £100 - or rather, give SHELTER £100 via us (we pocket NOT one penny), and a unique, signed print is yours. YOURS!!!! Call us now to engage in this meaningful transaction. Don't call us now, and you wil regret it, for our amazing works are not only going way below cost price (ahem) and our market value (ahem) in the art cattle market, the prices of our fabulous works will soarrrr once we kick the bucket (is the bucket half fool or half empty??). Don't live your life with regrets. Act NOW. Help us help Shelter NOW.

THANKS to the generous donation of Tan Chin Hwee, we have raised a grand total of GBP £1383 for Shelter, the homelessness charity!!!!!! This is superb, and beyond our expectation. We are so very chuffed that this money will be put into very meaningful use by the charity that fights against homelessness, an issue that is urgent now more than before due to the recession. THANK YOU to ALL 43 OF YOU WHO HAVE CHIPPED IN TO SUPPORT OUR EFFORT in the past 4 months! A MILLION, BILLION, GAZILLION, MEGAGAGAZILLION THANK YOU, everybody. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TOO ATEEN PATEL for your donation! Ateen is a runner as well, and is running the Paris Marathon in memory of his father, and raising money for the British Cancer Foundation – please do help Ateen if you can! Chin Hwee too is an avid sportsman and has always inspired us in his activities – we had taken part in the SAFRA Army Half Marathon together in a previous life. In spite of his madly punishing schedule at work (including work for the community), today Chin Hwee has resumed running seriously – presumably inspired by us, this time round, this life! Well done us, pats on our backs, ahem – and is taking part in the Singapore Marathon at the end of this year!! GO CHIN HWEE GO!! Chin Hwee has previously also supported our fundraising efforts at the 10km Friends for Medecins Sans Frontieres race, as well as the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon when we raised money for the Farnham hospices. We will make a print of the above image to present to Chin Hwee for his wonderful, wonderful support. THANK YOU CHIN HWEE!

With Chin Hwee’s kind donation, we are now tasked to raise the final £117 before our big gig next Sunday. Won’t you help us in our final lap? Please do - a £100 donation gives you a unique, signed print!, but any, any amount is greatly appreciated. With devastating cuts, times are hard, those of us who are able to help in one way or another should, all the more, do so!  Mentally and physically we are more than ready (although we have a disgusting patch of bruise/blister field on our right sole – TMI!!!!!!!!), having not stopped running throughout the entire $%£X####X winter, training very very nearly every single day, and frequently defiantly at 6am in the dark around our favourite Regents Fark, to stick two fingers at whoever/whatever creates cold and grey and depressing winters. We look forward to pounding the streets of Nondon. Nondon is our favourite city on earth and beyond, and running through the most spectacular parts of this inspiring and giving metropolis with thousands and thousands of people in one of the biggest shows on earth will be breathtaking, so breathtaking that we may forget to breath and die. We love running alone, but we also love running with masses and masses of people in our most beloved urban stage and playground, this life, and the next, and the next, and the next!!! Come and join in the rave. See you there. (We will be the ones wearing red! And panting with our big fat tongue sticking out! With blister fields on our feet! And not smelling very nice! And flapping our arms wildly! And … … )

For full interactive map, visit Virgin Nondon Marathon website.

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ALAS! HAS IT ALL GONE PETE TONG!!

In a bid to save £1.67 for each alphabet (or £10 for 'K-a-i-d-i-e') we wanted to print on our Shelter running vest, we have gone IKEA and done a DIY (copying the Arial bold font - couldn't you tell!!!), with the assistance of a superfat marker purchased from Paperchase which says 'water-resistant' - although not 'sweat-resistant'! Hence, the letters may run as we run. Come what may, it's the point of no return. We will find out on 17 April at the 2011 Nondon Marathon.

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30 DAYS TO RAISE THE FINAL £342 FOR OUR RUN FOR SHELTER AT THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON.

It costs £10 to print our name on the vest (£1.67 each alphabet!!) so at the meantime, we have printed our name digitally - free of charge!

Here we are in the Shelter vest that we will wear on 17 April Sunday at the 2011 Nondon Marathon. Thanks to the wonderfully generous support of 38 of you in the past 3 months, we have raised £1158 for the housing and homelessness charity. With your blackmail, we have been training steadily, clocking in 3 hours for 30km. That said, we may reach the destination at 1pm, which is 4 hours after we begin running the 42km, or Tuesday morning at 40 hours after we take off. In the next 30 days, we hope to raise our final £342. This afternoon, STEPHEN WARD, who sells fruits in front of the Goodge Street station and who is also a runner, very kindly donated £10 for our effort! THANK YOU STEPHEN!!

Do click on our fundraising site to make a donation now – and we will thank you till the cows come home.

** As we run we try to make sense of what has just unfolded and is unfolding in Japan – and can not yet make sense of the scale of devastation. This was where we lived in a previous life for 3 years, and during when there were constant reminders of the preparation of ‘the big one’, along with countless drills. Yet, no rehearsal or preparation can help us come to terms with what the magnificent destruction. Let us also find ways to help and do what we can: click here to see how we can show our support. **

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Come to the SYMPOSIUM AND EXHIBITION 2-4 MARCH (private view 4 March 18:00hrs) SURPLUS TO REQUIREMENTS? Slade School of Fine Art Research Centre Nondon WC1H 0AB. SEE YOU!

Spring hits Nondon as she starts to come face to face with deep cuts introduced by the ConDem government, including to Arts and Humanities in higher education. (Is art a surplus to requirement? Why should anyone moan about cuts to the arts, when so many other more fundamental aspects of living are affected? Are the cuts to the arts justified? Is art a privilege in these economic times? Is art a privilege in any economic times? Is art education a right? Is education a right? Is education a privilege? Is art education a privilege?  Is research in Arts and Humanities a right or a privilege? What is the value of such research?  How do we measure the contribution of the Arts and Humanities research? … …)  Will our Kaidie be a victim of the cuts, or will Kaidie stand/run strong against all adversities and strike back, defiantly? Come and help us decide our next move. We premiere a diptych, here shown under wraps in our humble abode (even though we are neither humble nor modest about our abode, and are merely using ‘humble abode’ as a stock phrase, just as we say things like ‘cotton light’ or ”pitch black’ even if lightness is not cottony and more, say, stony, or blackness is not ‘pitch’, when ‘stitch black’ sounds more, well, intriguing, possibly causing more frission … ). Come to the Surplus To Requirements? exhibition and symposium organised by the PhD students of the Slade School of Dine Art, University College Nondon. We will be at the site to sell our prints to raise the final £405 for our run for Shelter at the 2011 Nondon Marathon, as well as to meet with you, of course. See you at the Private View on 3rd March 18:00-20:00hrs Thursday.

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Mathematically-speaking, we SHOULD take 4 hours to run 42.1km. Non-mathematically-speaking, we may take 40 hours.

Reproduced from SAFRA Bay run 2009 results

How long will we take to complete 42.2km at the Nondon Marathon on 17 April 2011? We will finish, by hook or by crook or by crawling. But the million-pound (or £1500) question is, in what time? To be sure, every run is different, and every race – a particular competitive run session with a specific start and finish across a set route; a heightened run session – comes with its own sets of quirks. The variables are infinite (climate, route, scenery, traffic, fellow runners, clothes we wear, if the race is well-sign-posted, audience/spectator-support, number of yummmmmyyyyy jelly-babies [and Snicker bars] we manage to pop into our mouth en route at feeding stations, et al), but we can begin by examining our running and race history: (Go ahead and mock, spit, laugh at us, but you would have realised by now that we are painfully slow coaches, such slow runners we are that we are probably better off walking, but at least we have lasting power for the endurance race of our lifetimes…)

1) 2010 March: 10km race by the Friends of Medicin Sans Frontieres Nondon:  This was an easy race of 10km which we completed in 52 minutes, which works out to be a speed of 11.54km per hour (or 7.17 miles per hour), or a pace of  5 minutes 12seconds for every 1km (0.822 minutes per mile)  It began as a crisp early Spring morning but turned 8 degree celsius, so we were dressed in short-sleeved and long tights, although we were carrying the burden of stomach cramps (!!! TMI !!!). In this race, we raised money for the Medecins Sans Frontieres. We had been kidnapped before the run, was released on time by The Good Pirate.

2) 2010 September: 42.2km: Farnham Pilgrims’ Marathon, Surrey. This was our first ever full marathon, which we ‘accomplished’ (sic) in a disgraceful 5 hours 29 minutes! We have plenty of excuses, however: 1) it was off-road in a hilly terrain  – we stopped to WALK at a steep hill climb at a point (it was said that most runners had to add 30 minutes to any of their times for this race) 2) We had spent the entire summer running all over Nondon, in a bid to train for our first ever marathon. However, in the final 2 months, we were brought down by injury (tendonitis and shin splint), which came with us to Farnham. Yet we do not fret, and were delighted to have completed the race. All in all, it was a most wonderful experience, against the gorgeous and meaningful mise-en-scene that the pilgrims had once walked, the fellow runners a tremendous joy to be with, and beautifully organised. We also raised a weeeee bit of money for the Farnham hospices.

3) In a previous life: 2009 August, Singapore, 21km (13.1 miles) SAFRA Bay Run Half-Marathon: This was our first ever race since casually picking up running in January 2009 in a previous life, at the same time of still being chlorine addicts.  We took 2 hours 21 minutes – which is the amount of time taken by the world’s elite runners to complete FULL marathons!! However, we were not displeased, with the high humidity, and at 30 degree-celsius of the (paradisal) tropics. We are proud however of the fact that in our final 4km sprint, we managed to bypass 655 men and women (and yes, allowed 20 to bypass us). Running alongside more than 20,000 people of all size, shape, age and colour was also tremendously enjoyable. By default, happiness and pleasure are inevitably short-lived- but our entire 2 hours 21 minutes was a skyrocketing morphine-high. It was an extraordinary trip.

So. How on (google)earth would we fare on 17 April 2011?

1) For the first / last 450 days of our lives, we have been working hard at our running. Outside of a race, our comfortable pace is approximately 10kmh – 10.5kmh. At this pace, there is neither exertion nor discomfort. (Under artificial conditions, inside the gym, our average is around 10.5kmh – 12kmh, though this figure we should ignore, since it is climate-controlled, and we are running on machines that move nowhere, hence using different muscles of our body. The psychology of such locomotion differs from that outdoors as well)

2) Since February, we have been training longer distances (20km and above), but our fourth toe on our right feet has been harvesting a blister (!!! TMI !!!) This has never happened previously so we are slightly worried, wondering if we should go ahead and buy a new pair of shoes of a slightly larger size. Yet, already armed with three pairs of trainers, we do not want to buy another pair right now. Then there is also a new bone-like thing sticking out of our left feet recently, that prevents us from wearing any shoe without feeling pain. (!!! TMI !!!) Again this is new, and did not happen in our Summer training.

3) The past year of running means that our technique would have improved, but at the same time, we are aging as we speak.  We are juvenile at 430-days-old, but because we have only 1000 days in our lifespan, we are nearly middle-aged. While we come with the charms and beauties of a mature wine and even more mature blue cheese (as well as iron-will power, truckloads of stubbornness, and plenty of drive), we might not win a spring chicken in a photo-finish. We will come back to this issue of running and mortality in a separate post.

4) As anybody knows, there’s such a silly law called the law of diminishing returns. Whichever sillier eejit came up with it, we have no idea, but when it comes to a slowburning, longhaul endeavour as a long-distance run, no one is sparred from this law. We can get increasingly worn out and deriving less and less satisfaction from the run over hours and distances. And from experience, we know that we are excellent practitioners of the law. This can translate what should take 4 hours into to a pathetic epic 5 hours (first 10km takes 1 hour, because we are warming up and do not want to over-exert; for the next 10 km we dip a little, as we are still conserving our energy at 1 hour 10 minutes; then the 30th km takes 1 hour 20 minutes, and for the final 12km, we have the sudden epiphany that we have to get our arses moving, and hasten a little but alas it is too late as our glycogen-levels would have deteriorated so we complete it in 1 hour 30 minutes).

So there we have it. On 17 February Sunday, we may take anything from 4 hours, or, 40 hours.

But let us think of positive thoughts. Next year, in our final year of existence, we would like to sign up for the midnight sun run in Norway. How beautiful and hyperreal an experience it would be. And, with all that sunlight one cannot possibly sleep anyways, so why not go for a run. For a few hours, the duration of a sleep. We currently devote about 8 hours of exercise each week (at least an hour a day); training for a marathon means a minimum of 10 hours or exercise each week. We must not neglect our run in other dimensions, so this running about in Life 1.0 may be taking up just too much time. We decide that the half is the best distance for us, also since we can sustain happiness for a maximum of 2 hours at any one go. Anything beyond that, at 4-5 hours for instance, the law of diminishing return sets in and the dreaded dip, the hitting-of-wall happens. 10km races are too fast/short. Hence, we intend to take part in the 2012 Bath Half Marathon. With a companion.

WE ARE STILL TRYING TO RAISE MONEY FOR OUR RUN FOR SHELTER FOR THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON! DO LEND US A HAND! OR TOE! OR DOLE! OR DOUGH!

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COME TO THE SYMPOSIUM + PRIVATE VIEW OF OUR GROUP SHOW at WC1H 0AB 3rd MARCH! We’ll be there to sell signed prints to raise funds for our run for Shelter, and premiere a new work.

Surplus to Requirements?

Exhibition and Symposium 2nd – 4th March 2011. The recent student demonstrations were reported in the mainstream media as demonstrations about the coalition government’s proposed rise in tuition fees.  There was scant debate about the huge cuts and fundamental changes to arts and humanities funding that are also part of the proposed changes. Is this because as a nation we don’t care about these subjects?  ‘Surplus to Requirements?’ is a three day event organised by the Slade PhD students that will comprise an exhibition, installations, performances and presentations given by students and invited artists, theorists and curators, around the theme of the ‘value’ and significance of art and research in the current political and economic climate.  It will ask what criteria are being used to ‘measure’ art’s value and contribution to society?  It will explore ideas around expenditure and consumption, the role of the art object as a commodity. Is art superfluous or an essential part of society? How do we measure excess in these terms?  In counterpoint to the commodification of art, the importance of bodily and material aspects will be explored, using theorists such as Adorno, Grosz, Deleuze and Guattari, Bataille, Marcuse and Marx.

Guest speakers for the symposium on Thursday 3rd March are:

Dave Beech – Artist in the Collective Freee and Chelsea College of Art & Design; Sue Golding – University of Greenwich; Mel Gooding – Art critic, writer, and curator; Jen Harvie – Queen Mary University of London; Robert Hewison – City University London and Associate of think tank Demos; Sarat Maharaj – Lund University and Malmö Art Academy, Sweden; Peter Osborne – Kingston University London and editor of Radical Philosophy

Attendance at the one-day symposium is free but please e-mail surplus@london.com to reserve a place.
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MONSTER (a poem of love and its opposites). HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.

Premiered at Oxford University UK, at the ‘Human- Machines, Mechanized Modernity, and Mass Subjectivity between Asia, the Soviet Union, and North America in the Twentieth Century’ conference, June 18-20, 2009. Music by Philip Tan. Special thanks to Aaron Moore, Tina Chen, Sarah Teasley. Created by a predecessor of Kaidie’s in a previous life, Kai Syng Tan, May 2009 Singapore. The opening lines in the 2nd act of the film are taken from Cascando by our most beloved Samuel Beckket.

Monster is a video poem seen from the point of view of an elderly woman, who really is an imagination by the artist of herself in the near future. Monster addresses man’s eternal obsession in modifying his body and nature in a compulsive bid to ‘improve’ himself. Such notions as the frailty of the body & flesh, and how our body-machines decay and imaginations of means through which we sustain/prolong/improve on them, are teased out. With the classic allegory of Frankenstein as a point of departure, the work posits the Man vs. Machine/Monster argument as a complex and layered relationship that is at once dependent, violent, obsessive, loving and destructive. While ‘I’ (Man) have created ‘you’ (Machine) out of a need for survival, ‘you’ have fought with me against (my) nature, but entrapped me nonetheless; my selfishness, greed, ambition and insatiability has led me to create an indomitable Monster/Mutant that is increasingly out of control – yet I remain faithful, and continue to love, nurture, and protect you. And I get hungrier still. This man/machine dance/wrestle is a powerplay that is paradoxical, grotesque and tender at the same time. Incorporating text, performance and animation, Monster is accompanied by a haunting soundscape made up of sounds from construction sites – an all-too familiar sound that fills the artist’s ears in the high-tech Asian miracle city that she hails from. The shiny images of the city-state in a relentless process of construction and rebuilding are juxtaposed with personal, intimate images of everyday objects photographed in the artist’s home – used, forgotten, dusty as they are. We go up close to the skin of an elderly lady, whose life overlaps that of her daughter’s. Happy Valentine’s.

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WHY WE ARE RUNNING FOR SHELTER

We exist/live/run, in order to look for the Meaning of Life, and we run not only in real life (what we call ‘Life 1.0′) but online (what we call ‘Life 2.0′), as well as in hybrid realities of mobile Internet (what we call ‘Life 3.0′). As we run across the various dimensions, we call our running ‘trans-dimensional running’ (ASTOUNDINGLY CREATIVE NAMING INNIT!!!). While it would made our lives easier if we only sat at our armchair and desktop too cook up a fabulous tale that works perfectly on paper (and screen), we have taken upon ourselves (how grand!) to take up running in real life as well (big deal!). We reckon that while we are at it, we might as well make it meaningful for others as well (hopefully, although we [think we] harbour no delusions of self-aggrandisement as to how much our existence makes any difference to anybody else).

Charities exist to fight for meaningful causes. When faced with the necessity to make a decision as to which charity to run for in the upcoming 2011 Nondon Marathon (IN 70 DAYS!!), we selected Wateraid and Shelter , as we reasoned that water and housing are but the most fundamental needs of any being. When Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity got back to us, we were absolutely delighted.

As restless and insatiable beings, we have always been peripatetic, as we traverse the worlds and lifetimes, necessarily in solitude, but doing our best in each life and dimension as well as we can. This is by no means a unique position – with today’s highly mobile population, and with the ubiquity of smart mobile gadgets, we have become location-independent as ‘digital nomads’, in this Life 3.0. Which wonderfully coincides with our own attempts to continually strip ourselves of baggage (in a previous life, giving up the paintbrush and canvas in 1995, for the film camera, then the video camera, and today, with only our laptop as not only our studio, but our life itself, as we store our data on the invisible ‘cloud’ online. A compulsive reduction of clutter, and the active application of the [Buddhist] dictum of non-attachment that nonetheless lies in direct contradiction with the instinct to hoard, to hold on to things… Short of stripping ourselves of ourselves, what next?????????????????????). Yet we are well aware that this discussion is rich. There are many, many who are not itinerant by choice, for a vast complex web of reasons. How can those who have the ability to make such a choice, respond to those who do not?

As runners, we do the only thing we can do, that is, to run. As we have said repeatedly, our running is but a small (and futile?) gesture in the scheme of things, but a small step towards an attempt to not be a part of a/the problem. If that is at all possible.

With the political and economic climate still looking difficult, please help us support the work of Shelter.  The images show us the affordability – or rather, un-affordability-  of living in London for those claiming housing benefit for the next 5 years, when the cuts by the ConDem Government takes place. This research has been compiled by Alex Fenton, research associate of the  Centre for Housing and Planning Research of the University of Cambridge (5 November 2010). As Nondoners, we are concerned. Nondoners forced out of Nondon because of prohibitive prices – where can these Nondoners go? Will this become a Nondon that is populated only by a certain group of the society?? Where can these Nondoners run to? What would that Nondon be like??? What sort of Nondon do we want???

Let us all run for Shelter, now.

For high resolution maps and full analysis, please visit the Shelter website!

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