In Search of A/The Point of Life

Posts Tagged ‘psychogeography’

KAIDIE TRANS-MIGRATING? 7

Has Kaidie abandoned her mission/vision/quest for A / The Meaning Of Life and re-incarnated / is re-incarnating into a guide for the Bloomsbury Festival on the topic of Art & Society in Bloomsbury, Nondon??????

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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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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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BRIGHTON ON THE ROCKS: In July, we asked for your advice for a short trip outside of Nondon; here is our VERY LATE postmortem!

It is already Winter as we speak and we are already nearly ALL OF  12-MONTHS OLD as we speak, but so many things have been happening in our lives that we haven’t had time to follow up and/or update you. If you recall, we asked for your kind advice over Summer for a simple day-trip out of Nondon, our favourite city on earth and beyond, and many of you very kindly wrote in to offer tips. MUCH THANKS FOR THAT, AND THAT!!! In the end, we took up the advice of Susan Collins, and visited Brighton for a day (THANK YOU SUSAN!). The day before we left, we also memorised the melody and lyrics of Brighton Rock by Queen, who is our favourite (and to our mind only valid) royalty.

Unfortunately, Brighton didn’t rock on this day we visited Brighton. Not only did it not rock, it was downhill, worse than a pathetic pebble or a piece of booger-looking plasticine also shat upon by a stray dog. It rained. And not only did it rain, it rained like it was nobody’s business. On and on. Already wearing our swimsuit underneath our clothes, since 5am when we woke up that morning (for the less-than-cheap coach bus that runs on ungodly hours) we went absolutely ballistic when rain hit hard, full on, at 9am when we arrived. Not only did we feel betrayed, we felt frocking humiliated. As you well know, we have been working bloody hard and running/living harder, and have not had the chance to have any break since our birth on 12.12. 2009, and the one single day we went on one, on a day which was technically defined as belonging to the season of Summer, so-called ‘Mother Nature’ has to screw it up.  Mother my foot. We felt sad too, as this was meant to be a trip we take with you, our Dear Co-Runners. We hurled all the ‘your mother’ insults we ever knew at the sky, stone, rocks, everything else, while ogling extremely jealously at runners going up and down along the coast. The above image shows the GPS record of our infuriated, heavy and sulky tracks. In pink.

Being tough (stale, even?) cookies that we are, in the face of setbacks, we can only be even more defiant. In the past week, when snow has made Nondon cold, miserable and ‘classic grey (or gray) Nondon’, we have continued our running, albeit all wrapped up as Michelin Man, along with his (defiant) smile. In reference to the ‘mountain’ of earth imprisoning them for nearly 70 days, one of the famed (ex-) ‘Chilean miners’ Edison Pena explains, ‘I could just lie down, but my fury has been channelled into a hatred towards this mountain. … I wanted the mountain to get bored, seeing me run … I am not defeated. I am fighting. I feel that by running, I am fighting to live’ [1]

1 year into our venture, we are so spent and pent-up that we MUST GET OUT OF OUR BELOVED NONDON AND HAVE A BLOODY BREAK. Yes we swear. So we will consult your list of advice. Perhaps we will (re-)visit Brighton, in the deep of Winter, and jump into the ocean for a dip, in utter defiance. Lubed and all wrapped up, like MM.

Oh yes.


[1] These are the words of the miner in one of many love letters he wrote to his girlfriend while he was trapped. Fiona Govan, ‘Chile Miners Attend Mass at San Jose Mine’, Telegraph.co.uk, 17 October 2010. [accessed 1 November 2010].


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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF KAIDIE IN A MINUTE: 7 September 2010 Nondon.

What did Kaidie do on 7 September 2010, Tuesday in Nondon? Or rather, what did we see when we were going about our business on 7 September 2010 Tuesday in Nondon, our favourite city on earth and beyond? Wearing a small camera on our chest (which has been lent to us by Urbantick of the Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis of University College Nondon), this is a 1-minute time-lapse record of what happened that day, including: walking amongst large crowds in the streets as tube workers went on a strike in Nondon (as usual); attending a panel discussion – with Stelarc in-world in Second Life; presenting our 50-minute performance AUTHOR slash ACTOR slash AUDIENCE at the DRHA conference at the Brunel University; travelling to and from Uxbridge.

And, with all due respect to the dwellers and denizens of Uxbridge, no, we would not/never/ever want to live in Uxbridge in a house with a spouse/family/kids/pets/cars. No thanks very much.

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NONDON ON THE RUN: SUMMER 2010 #3: HYDRATED LINES OF DESIRE.

Water running in the city form their own lines of life, of thriving economic and cultural pasts and presence.  When we follow the water when we run, we superimpose yet other lines in the cityPrior to our roaring (sic) success (sic) at the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon in Surrey on Sunday, and prior to acquiring our ugly injuries in the final month of training, we were training hard. The map above documents our runs along the Regents Park canal (15km Kings Kross-Victoria Park and back; 20km Kings Kross to Harrow Road and back) and River Thames (30km on a Sunday morning). For the trans-dimensional runner, running is extended beyond Life 1.0, to other layers of lives, including the realms of imagination, as well as the Web 2.0 worlds. Here are a couple of maps showing our trans-dimensional desire lines. These desire lines are ours – unique and subjective. Changeable as they are, they register our marks, our presence, our existence and our being in our technologically-layered multiverse.


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TRANS-DIMENSIONAL RUNNING FOR OUR LIVES! A ROUGH GUIDE: IN THE CHAOSMOS OF OUTSIDE/IN. Or: Why running is an excellent tactic for the urban dweller.

** Breaking news: Currently #5 in the War of Films contest: CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S film about KAIDIE AND HER MEANING OF LIFE 3.0. VOTE NOW!** Vote by clicking on + sign at the top of video player. ** Don’t forget to vote for Episode 2, Run Kaidie Run, too!**

As we ran about in our neighbourhood on voting day May 2010, we found something found, and not lost. For a change. But perhaps she was unwanted, as it had been more than 2 weeks. Or perhaps she was the one who decided to leave, to have a new place to dwell.

In the physical, primary world of Life 1.0[1], running as a means of navigating the urban landscape has the clear advantage of not increasing our carbon footprints. While this single reason should be compelling enough to persuade the uninitiated, there are several more reasons  – philosophical, poetic, psychogeographical, personal and political  – why running is an excellent tactic for the urban dweller.

When we run in the city, we are able to personalise what could otherwise be an anonymous, alienating and brutal landscape. While located as an extension of the long traditions of walking (Benjamin, Debord, Richard Long, Lake District writers, Herzog et al), reality becomes more heightened for the runner (with the increased heart rate, speed, physical duress et al given the high impact activity). As an everyday (and legitimate and safe) activity, running departs from other urban tactics such as parkour, skateboarding and grafitti.

We can outrun our fears and danger when we run in the city. We could allow ourselves to be intimidated by the oppressive Barbican buildings and its heavily concrete surroundings, or, we could find our own ways around it, by running it. Running through a council estate in Peckham enables us to conquer our insecurities and paranoia, real, imagined or simply rumoured. If we have no physical advantage over another person (especially if one armed with a weapon, a hoody and ugly tracksuits, a fighter dog or ill-intent), like the Kalahari endurance hunter, we understand that we have our tenacity to rely on, that will allow us to outrun any potential matters of life and death.

Let all the 10,000[2] CCTVs in London follow our movements, for we will register as nothing more than blurs, as if in a Marinetti painting. Haussmann built broad boulevards that were not only beautiful for the flaneur (including those on hashish) to stroll on, but easier for Napoleon’s troops to run down delinquent Parisiens. We could theoretically outwit that, by running through it, as Lola did Berlin, not once but thrice, in Lola Rennt (Tom Twyer, 1998). (Indeed, Lola not only made us see different faces of Berlin, she overcame her useless lover’s problems and overturned her own fate). In precisely-built concrete jungles, the runner can find small ways to defy grand narratives, by running and discovering unknown alleyways and pockets of areas that are neglected. For tightly controlled cities that have been infamously described as having chaos is that is ‘authored’ or absurdity that is ‘willed’, running is a gesture that we can adopt as a comeback (also to the one who described it as such). If we have nowhere to run to, or to run away from, we can discover new spaces within a difficult system, to run. This is one way to ‘not let the bastards grind us down’, as the angry young Arthur reminds us in Sillitoe’s other Kitchen Sink classic, Saturday Night Sunday Morning.

Running also offers a refreshing filter for us to explore a foreign city. When we run in a new city, we interpret landmarks in ways that differ from the overexposed versions pushed forward by tourist books and postcards. Being literally and metaphorically on the ground, we can also run into places – including those that are filled with chaos and absurdity – that would otherwise be whitewashed from the glossy official or so-called authoritative versions. Exposure to the unedited and un-Photoshopped places can open our eyes, ears and minds to other, perhaps more meaningful micro-narratives than the overarching ones.

As runners, we also cease to be taken as ignorant foreigners or exotic Others who are vulnerable, helpless or simply irritating (although we now irritate in other ways, by for instance, ‘endangering the lives of other [slow] users of the pavement’, and so on). While we have previously seen how remains vital to assume the ideological position of an outsider, it is also strategic to look like a local every now and then. Other tourists or even locals ask us for directions, as if the runner has a greater authority on the given site. Indeed, we do.

Virtually anyone can run anytime, anywhere. While it remains unfathomable how the ‘female species’ are still viewed as ‘the weaker sex’ in the 21st century (this is a separate discussion that warrants another 2010,000 theses, and more, but not this one), running is a method in which the female urban dweller could subvert this tiresome outlook. While the female runner is still likely to be spectated upon, she is soon gone, away from any actual bullying that might have befallen someone in a slower mode of navigation. In return, we can enjoy a few moments of tokenistic reciprocations of taunts (after all, we have been at the receiving end from the beginning of time, since having allegedly been created from some spare rib, according to one best-selling storybook), by deliberately making eye contact with the male spectators, but swiftly sprinting off, as if saying ‘catch me if you can’. They do not, and / because they cannot, and they know it only too well. Hence, the look of impotence. A female runner navigating the big city alone can be a sign of physical and mental strength and confidence, thereby warding off any unwanted attention. Or, perhaps it is the face of intense concentration, or simply the excessive (and offensive) perspiration (and animalistic panting) of the serious female runner that desexualises her for the male spectator.

One female, foreign urban-dwelling runner is always warming up. Left: June 2010. Middle: April 2010. Right: May 2010, with our Garmin Forerunner 405 with a broken strap (due to our excessive perspiration, perhaps), here seen taped down to our wrist. We try to use brown tape instead of say, black gaffer tape, for aesthetic purposes as the former can blend in with the colour of our skin. You could not have seen the tape had we not pointed it out, could you?

Running in the city, we produce our own desire paths that subvert tracks laid out for us by the city planners. Should we have a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, we are also able to literally draw our own desire paths. In this way, we create our own unique marks in the midst of the concrete jungle. Akin to the graffiti artist’s surreptitious insignias on walls or trains (or the dog’s trail of urination in the streets), GPS drawing allow us to register our place and existence in the urban landscape. These new tracks, and indeed maps, can be shared with the online community on GPS-sharing sites[4], and further modified collaboratively[5]. From these, further mashups can be created. Like the Situationist tactic of deliberately reading a map upside down, the trans-dimensional runner can appropriate the mashups in innovative ways. In this manner, a lively Life 1.0-Life 2.0-Life 3.0 translation process is generated, all in turn allowing us to return to explore, question and understand our relationship with the city, and indeed, the builders of the city.

The glories of GPS aside, running in a city that we are unfamiliar with without a map can be liberating. Even in a city that we think we know, running without a map can open our eyes, ears and minds in new ways. In an age in which every frontier has been marked, mapped and fully known, such are small ways in which we can re-imagine and re-assess the environment that we live in, as well as its dwellers, including ourselves.

Running in the city, we can run away without physically away. Our minds travel while we remain fully embedded in the urban din. That it is neither illegal (as graffiti is), esoteric (as tai-chi is), extreme (as base jumping is, in which people jump off skyscrapers), technically-complex (as parkour is) or requiring special equipment (as nordic walking does), is the forte of running. Running is so simple as to be banal. While the likes of Roger Deakin, Byron and Martin Amis have made the activity of wild swimming sound lyrical, that it necessarily takes place outside the city, in somewhere unchartered and, indeed, wild, makes it escapist. With running, we can remain fully within a / the system. The ability to conform to a system while playfully questioning it, is an important point of the tactic of trans-dimensional running. Rather than to deny the city or reject reality, running allows us to opt in and play by the rules of the games, while slyly overturning them in personal but powerful ways. Running allows us to take ownership of a place that can be otherwise intimidating and prohibitive. By running, we see the city unpack itself in new ways that in turn also open us up.

Kaidie's desire paths for the month of May 2010.

This is an edited extract from a chapter. Where on googleearth does Kaidie do her writing (and some thinking)? Where is the place in Nondon that inspires us to generate such mindblowing, worldchanging, teethbearing words of wisdom?? To find out, read the next post!


[1] The various lives have been defined in the following ways in this thesis (as of 10 August 2010): Life 1.0 refers to the primary, physical world, ‘reality as it is’.  Life 2.0 refers to the realm of imagination, ‘reality as I like’, as well as realities made possible by Web 2.0. Life 3.0 points to our current hybrid, mixed and augmented realities made possible by Web 3.0. Life 4.0 refers to ‘Web 4.0? and other future technologically-enabled realities, as well as other cycles of our lives to come, in the form of transmigration.

[2] Justin Davenport, ‘Tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, yet 80% of crime unsolved | News’, London Evening Standard, 19 September 2007  [accessed 9 August 2010].

[4] Such as GPSies

[5] Such as open source software Qgis

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CLOUD 9’S AND KAIDIE’S (OVERLAPPING) TRAVELOGUES

CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S TRAVELOGUE

On 15 June, Kaidie walked to Great Eastern Street to attend Bring Your Own Shorts I, organised by Christopher Birdman Dent, and had the privilege of watching filmmaker/artist/activist/writer/DJ/performance artist Claudia Tomaz’s poetically-layered film Travelogue (2008) in its entirety – sitting right next to the filmmaker! Travelogue is a beautiful 12-minute film-poem. In the place of dialogue, this is an intricate conversation, a delicate dance, between sound and images. Filmed by the filmmaker on seductive Super 8 as she journeyed from Portugal to Morocco, the film is a spellbinding. One of the most enchanting passages of the film is that of a montage of faces; the camera -and us- come face to face with the people, sometimes lingering on, other times looking away. (At this point, we think of great filmic moments that haunt: Chris Marker’s opening and closing sequences of Sans Soleil with 3 children on a road in Iceland; when the tiger speaks to the soldier in Apichatpong’s Tropical Malady, the opening dream sequence of Wild Strawberries and when fire fights rain in Mirror.)

My Dear Readers, do read about the film and watch and vote for it!

Left: frame grab from Claudia Tomaz's Travelogue, 2008. Right: Kaidie's travelogue 15 June 2010 from Kings Kross to Old Street.

KAIDIE’S TRAVELOGUE

Although we had promised Claudia to reach there early for a chat, we ended up being quite rudely late! That was because we got rather lost at the Old Street roundabout. Kaidie has a love-hate relationship with roundabouts, as she never fails to get disoriented at one, but we do love their Sisyphian loopiness (as usual). It is not as if we have never been to Great Eastern Street – but perhaps it is that we like getting lost (at the expense of our manners). This GPS track is slightly distorted, as we switched it off before we reached the venue, mistakenly believing  that we had ‘arrived’. You can look at this map, and other GPS tracks of Kaidie’s Life 1.0 travels on GPSies.

THE OVERLAPPING TRAVELOGUES OF KAIDIE AND CLAUDIA

Kaidie and Claudia Tomaz first met 5 March 2010 at the Late at Tate Britain’s Game Play, at the Blast Theory booth, but have been meeting frequently in Life 2.0. Multi-hyphenate Claudia has a wide body of works that look at technology, landscape, the city and most of all the people in them, in a manner that is sensitive, spirited and never distancing. Her ‘mutant paintings’, Transient Forms are most tactile. The very giving artist has contributed many times to Kaidie’s running blog, and recently made not one but two films about Kaidie as part of her LONDON GROUND series. In spite of our individual paths/journeys, Claudia and Kaidie always have meeting points that are meaningful and striking. Claudia and Kaidie certainly have many common grounds of interests and have been keen running partners, and will most certainly continue to be. Run Claudia Run!

Do continue to watch and vote for the 2 films by Claudia Tomaz about Kaidie! Episode 1 (12 minutes): Kaidie talks about her endeavour. WATCH AND VOTE for KAIDIE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE 3.0 NOW! Episode 2 (10 minutes): focuses on Kaidie’s running. WATCH AND VOTE for RUN KAIDIE RUN NOW!

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A LIFE 2.0 RE-PRESENTATION OF A LIFE 1.0 SHOW THAT IS ENDING IN A FEW HOURS: Kaidie’s metamap exhibition #6.

Where do statues go after they die? Statues die when people stop looking at them (Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, 1953). Kaidie’s metamap is of a less resilient material than bronze, and, like Kaidie, has a prescribed lifespan. It begins dying this evening 17:00hrs, and from 11:00hrs tomorrow (after our morning run), we will remove the papers, tapes, blu tacks, glue dots, marker pen marks, other marks, tracks, traces, bits, pieces, things, remnants, et ceteras. We will paint over the walls and floors where we had been, and leave the space as we found it, as if we had never been there, clearing all paths, as if it had never known existence in the first place (good for it) (for its own good).

That things die, that they die from one dimension, that they do not last, that they are one-offs, that they are transient and are not foolishly forever, that they can live on  – if we so allow them to – in the realm of imagination, perhaps ever/even more animatedly, ferociously and zestfully, is a concept that we quite adore. (We – you, my Dear Readers, and us- have been there before,  when we paid a pilgrimage to Heidiland in a bid to visit the legendary Heidi, who was all but absent, and how we were relieved that she could not be found in Life 1.0, for it only strengthens her presence in our Life 2.0). We relish in the cruelty of this, as we adore how it allows us to train and celebrate the/our power of imagination.  (‘I’m wondering what this all means to you’, he asks. I am silent. ‘You are immaterial; you do not exist. In fact, you are already dead,’  I want to say, which to my mind is not negative, in our same Heidi-logic, but which would inevitably be taken to be otherwise. So I keep silent.)

The work dies from Life 1.0, our primary world, but/and migrates to / returns to / re-starts in Life 2.0, in the virtual and imaginary realm, and exists as if it has done all this while, independent of the one in the physical world.  One is not lesser than the other. To be pedantic, the Life 1.0 metamap in the exhibition ‘came from’  Life 2.0 in the ‘first place’, with the 120 maps and images created on the screen, and having previously only existed in Cyberspace. Already, even as it is alive, we are re-creating Life 2.0 re-presentations of it, in a parallel realm. The work is the same work in either lives, but the Life 1.0 ‘version’ also completely differs and is independent of the Life 2.0 one.  In fact, there is no ‘essential’ work. When we run restlessly between Life 1.0 and Life 2.0, we are re-creating the/a work again.

2nd row top left: photograph of Kaidie at work by fellow artist-exhibitor, Laura Malacart. Beside that is a sketch by Kaidie of the work, before she began. Middle: Kaidie, quite knackered by now, poses with fellow artists and exhibitors Deborah Padfield and Errol Francis at the end of the humid evening of the opening 25 June. in the next picture, Errol competes with Kaidie for Person With Most Number Of Countable and Accountable Teeth Award 2010. We are fighting neck to neck, shoulder to shoulder, and- of course we are expecting this- teeth to teeth, a tooth for a tooth, gum for gum. Who do you think should win? Bottom right: Pink poster Spillage indicates the title of the show. Bottom left: Kaidie’s hand-made wall text for her new hand-made wall-text-installation, 24 June 2010, 1 day before show opened. The masking tape on the wall were to be all licked up, of course. Kaidie’s Life 3.0 ecosystem tolerates no wastage (most of the time). Check out the ‘paper tippex’ on the right hand side of the wall text as well (since there is no undo button in Life 1.0).


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EVERYDAY ENJOYMENT WITH SPECIAL SAUSAGES in Little Britain in 25 steps: KAIDIE’S ROUGH GUIDE TO THE EXOTIC FAR EAST #4.

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THE INVISIBLE (LAYERS OF THE) CITY: KAIDIE’S ROUGH GUIDE TO THE EXOTIC FAR EAST #3.

Erratum: ‘I was confident that I could …’ on the left hand corner here at the bottom should read ‘I was confident that I could outrun this person/any one, not because I run fast (Dear Readers, we have been there before, several times), but because I knew that if I kept going, stubbornly, silli-ly, I would, eventually. So I did.’ This sentence should alternatively say, ‘I was confident that I would not run ahead of my bloody sentences and would finish them the next time before I publish anything’. There you/I go.

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DALSTON-KINGSLAND: KAIDIE’S ROUGH GUIDE TO THE EXOTIC FAR EAST #1

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DAY 45: KAIDIE’S ROUGH GUIDE TO WINTERTHUR (KAIDIE, THE TOURIST OF LIVES 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, ENJOYING THE WINTER DELIGHTS OF WINTERTHUR).

Bonechilling winter alongside warm sunny sunshine with white snowcoveredeverywhere with art, music, sports, nature, animals, cats, good studio space, good food, and good wine puts Kaidie in certain good spirits in Winterthur. Allow me to list down some of the highlights of my residency at the wonderful Villa Straeuli so far, just so that we could pat ourselves at our backs and fronts and insides and outsides and bottoms and tops and laptops and armflaps and thighbacks. As I said before, Life 3.0 is a  bloody good life, and, as I said before, envy me not, and as I said before, I said before. I have.

My very elusive happiness plugin came kicking in when I was running at the lovely Lindberg Hill, as I was happy to be back on my feet again, if ever-so-slowly. Running remains one of the best ways to have a swift panoramic introductory view of any city – across the local neighbourhood to the city central, hideaway corners  not mentioned in any guidebooks (EXCEPT KAIDIE’S, THAT IS!) to pockets of nature,  smiling back to 1 or 2 locals (out of the 100,000) who smile at you (probably because they are thinking, ‘who might this sweating, panting silly stranger be?!’ and yes looking slightly dishevelled as a visitor but literally close to the ground, one foot after the other.

Another reason for the joy was because my new travel-mate Mini, the Garmin navigator, finally found the Winterthur satellites and began doing what it is supposed to do! That said, it still is temperamental and fails to work consistently. IF GARMIN OR ANY OF ITS RIVAL BRAND IS READING KAIDIE’S TRAVEL BLOG, PLEASE HAVE THE COURTESY TO SPONSOR HER YOUR LATEST BESTEST MOST HIGHTECH NAVIGATOR.  A  lightweight one that also calculates heartbeat and distance preferred. Product placement guaranteed. Contact Kaidie NOW!

Winterthur

Lindberg is one of the 7 hills in Winterthur. From the top one can get a nice view of Winterthur. I also visited the other hill, the Bruderhaus Wildpark, and took some videos of my friends, which I will share in another posting. (We should be disciplined and distribute our pleasures, should we not, my Dear Readers?). Speaking of being on top, we also went up to the Roter Turm which also offers a nice panoramic view of Winterthur, at 483 m above sea level. The view is greatly enhanced with delicious white beers and even more so with the even more delicious Rieslings. Since we are at it, let us rub it in and make Kaidie a good food/drinks critic-cum-Rough Guide writer, by allowing her to add that the french fries at Irish pub Paddy O’Briens, just 1 minute 15.672 seconds walk from Villa Straeuli, was nicely heartchokingly fried. Devour with relish or eat plain. Thank god for the Irish diaspora! And while we are at it, thank god(s) for the Indian and Chinese diasporas too for our tandooris and wokwingfry chopped panda takeaways (vegan organic versions with black and white hair removed via brazilian waxing available on request) and singaporean (sic) flied lice. And yes, Swiss chocolates is not bad. Not bad at all. I would usually prefer dark (70% and above) chocolates, but Swiss milk chocolates is quite heavenly indeed. Cut thin, its taste is light but deep and sophisticated as well, and makes you want to buy up aaaaalllll the chocolates off all the Coop supermarket shelves  – if only the CHF isn’t so frightfully high. To eat as breakfast, pair chocolates with strong espresso or a frothy cappuccino with mountains of chocolate shavings. For brunch, pair with rose champagne; lunch, with Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc; tea, with Merlot or Shiraz; dinner, with straight vodkas; finally finish off with a large supper serving of Singapore slings, which is most appropriate, since Singapore is said to have modelled itself on Switzerland. (So, how’s Kaidie’s food critic skills so far??)

But of course, Kaidie in Life 3.0 is civilised, cultured and terribly artistic. I was delighted to have been reacquainted with some of my old friends at the Museum Oskar Reinhart, such as Goya and his fish, Van Gogh and his Arles, Cezanne with lots of fruits and/or mountains, or both, and the brilliant El Greco and his Cardinal.  This was just one of the many cultural institutions (including Villa Straeuli) set up by wealthy industralists of Winterthur.  I also had the pleasure of attending one of the weekly Saturday morning music concerts at Villa Straeuli. The sonorous sounds of the cello and the double base illicit profound poignancy as it does pure, pure joy. (Such a contradictory combination/clash/conflict occupies a most powerful state of in-between, the same spot where the frigid subzero temperature sits alongside the warm sunshine, where a Boltanski installation, a Chris Marker film  or a Glenn Gould rendition hits, and where Life 3.0 lies – ideally).

Coincidentally, Gould is quoted at an exhibition at the Fotomuseum, by Becky Beasley for her work Curtains (I) 2009:

There have been many occasions when I have recorded something and I have come into the studio at 10 o’clock on a Monday morning and really been in 16, not just 2 different minds, but 16 different minds as to how it should go.

Indeed. So go all 16 ways.

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ON MY 1 WEEK ANNIVERSARY OF LIFE ON googleEARTH, I GO FOR A 15km RUN AND DECIDE TO HAVE NO HAIRCUT FOR 992 DAYS.

Photograph of clouds taken by Autopilot.

Photo by autopilot.

Today I celebrate my 7-days of staying alive. I cannot believe how divine my life has been so far, so I bang my head on the wall and pinched myself a few times just to check. But in Life 3.0, the concept of pain is banished, so I have no way to determine if this is real.

And, as if my marvellous life is not celebratory enough, it’s a crisp, gorgeous Winter day today at 0 Degrees Celsius – and isn’t zero a delightful number, precariously perched between the positive and the negative. I decide to go for a run. It is my coldest run, ever. With a pair of still-unbendable knees and my bright orange hamster costume, it is not an easy start, but once I reach my beloved Regents Fark, I calm down and scuttle about the Outer Circle on an autopilot mode. I now feel neither cold, pain, nor anxiety. There are new challenges and fears that I have to confront everyday. In Life 3.0, I conquer them all – blindingly well. The only hitch I face today are the ducks who display an overtly friendly attitude to me, to which I am hesitant to reciprocate, for I am rather sure they have ulterior motives – even in Life 3.0, I doubt that you hear of ‘friendships’ between ducks and hamsters, don’t you think, my dear readers?

Peering out my Pings Pross flat 19 December 2009

Peering out my Pings Pross flat 19 December 2009

I complete 15 km in today’s run. During my autopilot mode, I take a picture of the pretty skies to share with you, whom I understand do not have such a vantage point. So, please see above.

In the past 7 days, I have also made new friends, some of whom groan (in pleasure?) that this travel blog is hard to navigate. Hence, for the benefit of you my Dear Readers, I have created a boring site map, though I highly recommend for you to PLEASE GET LOST. No, I am not swearing at you (I am polite to a fault! Even in Life 3.0.), but what I mean is that you should enjoy being lost, for you can have surprising encounters in your detours, but more importantly, the feeling of not having a clear destination and simply gallivanting about is pure pleasure, I would say. So, travel and explore a bit, my Dear Readers.

So, just to sum it up for you and me, in the past week some of the activities I have experienced include:

So many meaningful activities in a matter of 7 days!? Somebody pinch/punch me!

I check my ongoing Rough Guide, and am satisfied that I have practised several guidelines today, including: Free from pain, live life intensively, live life intently. Another lesson /conclusion I have learnt today: my hamster-costume, with all the fur and fat, works fashionably well this season. This gives me an idea – which is Tehching Hsieh’s, really – that I shall not cut my (head)hair for the next 992 days, as a marker of time. The picture to your left (and my right) shows my hair length as of 19 December 2009. Watch this space.


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I MAKE A NEW FRIEND IN EAST NONDON

Explorations in the exotic east.

I swim out Mummy’s tummy and wander about. I reach a place with many tall buildings, which excite me. Peering inside, I see offices with no one, as it is a Saturday. I visit the Nondon Museum, which tells me about Nondon in the past, which is nice, since I would have quite limited knowledge of Nondon before I was born today, though I think I would also enjoy exploring cities knowing next to nothing about them. With adjustable lenses within my eyes, I see a giant cucumber in a distance. This makes me excited again. I feel hungry. With desire rushing to the end of my earlobes, I swallow a few bagels (salmon and cream cheese) at Brick Lane. I see an exhibition by an artist called Sophie Calle. This is new to me. Her work is quite interesting. So this is what contemporary art is. I think I like art. I then put on earphones and walk a tour by Janet Cardiff. As someone new to Nondon, and on the Grand Tour of Life 3.0, I like the idea of being on an other tour while being on a couple of tours. Cardiff whispers into my ears. I hear sounds of footsteps. I am unsure if it comes from the earphones or the environment. I turn around anyway, and see a person behind me. She has a large pair of plastic wings on her shoulders, which she uses to wipe her mouth.

‘Come join me on my tour’, I say to her, and offer her one of the earphones.

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WHILE FLYING ACROSS NONDON, I DECIDE TO BE A CATFISH IN MY NEXT LIFE

Flying across Nondon with my friends from one of my previous lives.

Flying across Nondon with my friends from one of my previous lives.

Today is a fabulous day. At 24km, I experience a runner’s high. I feel happy, calm, relaxed, smiling to myself, other runners, cops carrying large toy guns at Binfield House, babies visiting the zoo and having their other experience of animals apart from supermarkets, ducks and ants. Before I know it, a large pair of plastic wings is stapled onto my shoulders and I begin to fly. It is quite a lovely, crisp day, given December. I sight my friends from my one of my previous lives, who inform me that this has not been the case, as Nondon has been hazy lately. Hovering above Bee Tee Tower, I peer over at the Blade School of Dine Art – gosh, people certainly look different from a bird’s eye view. Being so high make me delightfully queasy, which surprises me, as one would imagine that the gift of flight automatically comes with anti-vertigo traits as well. Being a visitor in Nondon, Yengland, the land famed for its people of impeccable manners, I decide that, although recipients-to-be may not see me, it is best not to retch while in mid-air. I begin to make a slow descent. With vomit climbing up my eyes, my body begin  violent convulsions, and I see visions of myself as a catfish in my next life. Though I had been a fish and a cat in my previous lives, I had not been a combination of them – the prospect of becoming both at the same time at one go cannot sound more splendid. I suspect that the more I do this, the more efficient I become.

Finally, I reach the ground and find myself, as well as the other version of myself, in East Nondon. I begin to surreptitiously follow the other version of me, who is in the middle of a Janet Cardiff audio tour.

DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD CONFRONT HER OTHER SELF (WALKING KAIDIE IN EAST NONDON), OR SHOULD SHE (FLYING-BUT-SOON-TO-BE-ALSO-WALKING KAIDIE) JUST SECRETLY FOLLOW HER (WALKING KAIDIE) AND SEE WHAT SHE’S UP TO UNTIL SHE NOTICES? HOW DO YOU THINK SHE (FLYING KAIDIE, WALKING KAIDIE) WOULD REACT IF SHE SEES THE OTHER? WHAT SHOULD SHE SAY TO THE OTHER? SHOULD SHE SMILE?

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UPDATABLE GLOSSARY: LONDON, NONDON, NON-LONDON

The world has more than One London, including the one 'so full of Stink and darknesse'.

The world has more than One London, including the one 'so full of Stink and darknesse', and - get this - London BEFORE London (?!?)

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

VARIATIONS OF LONDON:

* London, UK:

* London 2012’s London:

* Rough Guide’s London:

* London A-Z:

1) Contribution by reader KathyMartens 12/12/2009: ‘Something that ALL Londoners carry! Hallmark of a Londoner. If you don’t own one, you’re not a Londoner.’

* Nondon:

* Nondon in Bangladesh:

*Londoner:

1) Following KathyMartens’ definition, one that carries an A-Z.

* Nondoner:

1) Question from Michiko 12.12.2009: Is Kaidie the only inhabitant of Nondon?

* Virtual London: project by CASA at UCL; other digital versions of Londons

* At least 12 Londons in USA:

* Little Londons all over the UK, and Serbia, and Jamaica:

* Quite a few Londons in Canada:

* ‘London’ according to Patrick Keiller, Will Self, Woody Allen, Rowling/Potter, Loach, Gilliam, Neil Gaiman, Dickens, Wilde, Woolf, Kureishi, Rushdie, Hitchcock and Bond – James Bond:

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE VERSION? HAVE YOU YOUR OWN VERSION OF LONDON TO SHARE WITH ME? OR, ARE THERE COPIES OF YOUR CITY OUT THERE? HAVE YOU YOUR PERSONALISED VERSION OF YOUR CITY?

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