In Search of A/The Point of Life

Posts Tagged ‘this life’

THANKS to EMMANUEL, SHEA, ANONYMOUS and ERIC, SPRING HAS COME EARLY TO NONDON. GBP £600 raised for our marathon – another £1000 to go.

When Spring arrives, cherry blossoms bloom. The time when cherry blossoms bloom indicates the beginning of the new year, a start of something new. A start of something new also means the end, or death, of something not new.  It is only the middle of January, but Nondon has been seeing double-digit temperatures (Celsius, not Fahrenheit, darling. While we are at it, not the imperial system, not inches and feet. Nor stones, nor yards, nor miles, darling). It has been so warm that we have been running in sleeveless tops (Nike Dri-fit) and shorts (Nike-somthing-or-other)- still we sweat, as slimy roast pork does, as if it is Spring, even as if Summer. We run best when we run/feel/are light; last Thursday, at a muggy 13 degrees celsius, we ran a strong 17km exploding with endorphins along the canal, to Victoria Fark and back again. It was one of our happiest runs of late.

Last Saturday, we passed the GBP£600 mark in our donation drive for our run for Shelter at the 2011 Nondon Marathon, ALL THANKS TO OUR FRIENDS EMMANUEL, SHEA, ANONYMOUS and ERIC AULD. THANK YOU VERY MUCH – your very generous support has given us a lovely push in the midst of a still dire economic crisis. We have 2 months left. Just another £1000 to go. Go we will!

Let us end this little post with a little quote from writer-runner Haruki Murakami. We are not usually fans of his work as we find that they can be a little too cute, but we slurped up What We Talk About When We Talk About Running in a matter of hours (in the midst of writing/repairing 15,000 of our own words). That which we find meaningful, we will have to devote another fresh post to, but at this point, with the photograph of the unseasonable cherry blossoms in the middle of Winter in Nondon, we want to juxtapose the very final paragraph of the book on page 197 here:

Some day, if I have a gravestone and I’m able to pick out whats carved on it, I’d like to say this: ‘Haruki Murakami 1949 – 20** Writer (and Runner) At Least He Never Walked.’ At this point, that’s what I’d like to say.

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Merry mad/maudlin Xmas – apt times to ask the big question: ARE YOU ALIVE? ENTER QUIZ NOW! LIFE QUIZ C

FILL THIS UP AND SUBMIT TO KAIDIE, NOW! There are  more than 5 different quizzes. Do complete them all! And you can fill up as many as you wish. We will publish the most interesting ones! THOSE WITH THE BEST ANSWERS WILL WIN A SPECIAL, SECRET PRIZE FROM KAIDIE!

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Walk the talk / run the dmc: WE PAID UP FOR OUR 18948km NONDON-SAO-PAULO OF CARBON FOOTPRINTS WITH OUR FOOT+FOOT (=FEET) RUNNING 189.48km IN OCTOBER.

Rundown of our runs, 3-30 October, as documented by our Garmin Forerunner 405.

As you know (you do, don’t you?), we visited Sao Paulo, Brazil last month to present a paper of our of-and-out-of-this-and-other-worlds theory, Trans-dimensional Running for our Lives! A Rough Guide To A Critical Strategy for our technologically-layered Multiverse, at Soft Borders, Upgrade! Before we flew, we also came up with a plan to make up for our carbon footprints from the return journey, and decided that to pay back for our 18948km of travelling, we had to run 189.48km in Life 1.0 .

We are happy to announce that we reached our target on 30 October. From 3 – 30 October, we ran a total of 191.11km. This includes, unfortunately, one week of NO RUNNING while we were in Brazil for several reasons. So, in reality, the task was accomplished in 17 days, which works out to be an average of 11.24km each time we ran during this period.

Our next flight is a long-haul flight which is at least 10,000km one way. If we go by the same rules we have set up for our Nondon-Sao-Paulo journey, of moving 2 decimal places of a given distance, we deduce that we will have to run at least 200km, to make up for our dirty flight. Again we will aim to do that within the period of one month.

While we are at it, we want to tell you of our plan that we have been harbouring for the past 11 months of our existence, since we came into being: it consist of 2 runs in a certain city-state. One is a run running North-South (22.5km) of the country, and the other running West-East (41.8km) of the country. The former translates to slightly more than a half-marathon, which we can estimate we can run within approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes (and hopefully less) under humid conditions, the other a full-marathon, which we estimate taking us 5 hours, or less, hopefully. With these two runs, Kaidie, the partially-imaginary figure, runs the entire country. Read this statement in any way you wish. We will complete this exercise wthin our lifetime, this life. When we do realise this endeavour, do recall that you read it here, first, my Dear Reader.

While we are at it, some of you may also recall a stubborn shin splint and tendonitis that we experienced for a couple of months over Summer, on our right leg. You may be pleased to know that they are not so lonely any more, as we have introduced them to our left leg as well. We now have very well-balanced limps (and Lives). As they say, life goes on, or rather, Lives go on.

Our GPS track (in green) records of our locomotion in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the image on the right as the most detailed.

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WHERE ARE WE, AND WHERE ARE WE GOING?? Running about in Nondon today, we ran into a sea of people who are LIVID about the Coalition cuts to education.

The demonstration is happening as we speak (However, we are hearing of violent clashes, which certainly does not sound good for anybody). Students, lecturers and education workers from all over the UK are stopping traffic in Central Nondon, in response to the Coalition Government’s announcement of drastic cuts all across education, including up to a 100% cut in funding for the Arts and Humanities, as we heard. We took pictures of the furious crowd as we ran into them in the middle of our running about in Nondon. We even ran into UK artists Susan Collins, Andrew Stahl and Jon Thomson!

We ask the same questions that we first raised in May: What now, brown cow??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Images on this page are photographed by Michael Larsson.

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

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PARTLY IMAGINARY CHARACTERS THAT WE ARE, OUR BRUISES ARE FOR REAL: An ongoing catalogue of our Miss Haps (+insults to our injuries). Having come thus far, we will still do our best this Sunday. Fingers (and eyes, and toes) crossed. Watch this space. Don’t move (for we will).

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KAIDIE WILL BE INTERVIEWED BY AN AUDIENCE MEMBER AT THE DRHA CONFERENCE 7 SEPT- but will the confrontation come to blows?

On Tuesday, Kaidie will be at the DRHA 2010 conference at the Brunel University, Nondon. In this new 60-minute performance, Kaidie will be interviewed by a member of the audience, played by Kai Syng Tan, in Author Slash Actor Slash Audience: A Lecture Performance. Several illustrious names in the new media arts field are present – on the opening day of the conference, Stelarc – yes the legendary (hirsute) man with an (hirsute) arm onto which an (hirsute??) ear has been planted – will perform. As we speak, we are making our way to Uxbridge now. With the threats of tube strikes, we might have to run there. If we know where Uxbridge is. If it is even in Nondon. Please visit website for cost and programme details about attending the conference. See you around.

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NONDON ON THE RUN: SUMMER 2010 #1. NORTH BY NORTHWEST, AND SOUTHEAST, AND SO ON. 25 July – 1 August.

** Breaking news: Currently #6 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 screen. ** Don’t forget to vote for Episode 2, Run Kaidie Run, too!**

Restlessness is a stubborn dis-ease of ours , but if there is any season that makes one itch more than usual, it has to be Summer. As we crave for a respite from our beloved Nondon , even our loyalty for our dearest Regents Fark is wonky. The comfort of familiarity becomes repulsive. Also, only running at our favourite fark shields us from other textures, tastes and terrains.

In our continuing effort to train for our first marathon in September, as well as to find means to run away from Nondon without physically being able to do that just yet, we have been using running to explore different parts of Nondon, to see Nondon in new ways that we would not have had. And as temporary respites – quickies, if you will. In these runs, we work on distance and terrain, and put speed aside, especially since we often have to stop several times to ask for directions, or stop to read one of those map boards (or whatever they may  be called?) installed in the streets. This being Summer, we plan some of our runs heading towards lidos, and have a dip as well.

We made several trips last week, in all directions. On 25 July Sunday, we ran 20.01km along the canal heading westwards. On Monday, we did 9.01km at our usual Regents Fark. On Tuesday,  we walked 13.39km South, to the London Bridge area, to survey the space that we will exhibit in a couple of weeks. On Wednesday, we went North, running 24.06km to the rather ravishing Hampstead Heath, including a freaking %$£££^%X# freezing 1.1km swim at the Parliament Pill lido. On Friday, we ran our first ever 30km, heading westwards to and from Kew Bridge. On Sunday, we hit the canal again, this time heading towards the exotic east, but missing exactly 98% of Victoria Fark (15km).

How nice, and how different it was, and hence it was nice. We went to places that we would never have imagined to be Nondon, and ran on terrain that were different, difficult. If you would accept the argument that Nondon is generous enough a city to accomodate and indeed celebrate many variations of itself, then the existence of non-Nondons within Nondon, makes complete sense. In the same line of logic, Nondon, ie Non-London, is completely London at the same time. In Kaidie’s cosmology of the world, that ‘A’ co-exists with not-‘A’  – and often in the same freaking %$£££^%X# space –  is perfectly logical. There is (some times frustratingly) no conflict.

‘Fresh sensations, new emotions, are valuable. Can we experience this in everyday life, without endless novelty, which in itself becomes pointless? […] We need that freedom’, as Jeanette Winterson says. ‘Life is too short to save for the holidays’. Indeed.

Serpentine Lido and Hampstead pond, here we come next. [Perhaps even Richmond and Tooting Bec, but we will have to budget getting there (on foot), getting back here (on foot), and having a dip (as aromatic slices of duck sandwiched in slim slices of pancake) as well. Would we have enough energy? …] We need to plan another 5 sessions of long runs, of 30-37km each, and 1 session of 42km. Would you, my Dear Conspirators of Pleasure, have any recommendation of which way we could possibly head next? Some where not too polluted. Somewhere fresh. Somewhere that would excite us. And you, of course.

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WATCH EPISODE 2 OF CLAUDIA TOMAZ’S FILM ABOUT KAIDIE! And COME ATTEND KAIDIE’S OTHER GIGS SUMMER-FALL 2010 (Nondon, Sao Paulo, Surrey, Singapore, Online)!

Episode 2 of a film by Kaidie’s running buddy, the wonderful Claudia Tomaz, is uploaded! WATCH AND VOTE for RUN KAIDIE RUN NOW! And if you haven’t already watched Episode 1, WATCH AND VOTE for KAIDIE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE 3.0 NOW! Thank you Claudia for the hard work! We feel sorry for Claudia for having to go through a couple of hours of footage of Kaidie’s yakking. And this is certainly not the last of collaborations between Kaidie and Claudia! Do support Claudia’s ongoing London Ground project!!

Left: Episode 1. Right: Episode 2. Spot the difference! In one of them, Kaidie yaks for 12 minutes. In the other, she yaks for 10. Kaidie is holding a (then-broken) Garmin Forerunner 405 which she is wearing for 1 year as part of a collaboration with Urbantick. This GPS gadget has been Kaidie's constant running buddy for the past 3 months. More details about this in the next posts!

And thank you all My Dear Readers/ Collaborators for writing in to advise us about places we could run to for a day or 2 away from Nondon. Some of you also wrote directly to Kaidie to share some fabulous hideouts. We respect your instruction to keep these places top secret! But if you (ie, everyone else except those who wrote to tell us about these secret hideouts) want to be tipped off about these places, do one or all of the following and we may consider giving you a hint or two: 1) send us an intense chocolate cake, 2) buy us a carton of lovely dry bubbly 3) tell us a place we can get authentic sashimi at affordable prices here in Nondon 4) share with us a lovely route to run in Nondon 5) Be Kaidie’s training buddy and run 27-35km with Kaidie as part of her training for her first Life 1.0 marathon (We are now up to 26.7km so far but alas, a marathon is 26.2 MILES, not km. The heat does not help with the physical and mental exhaustion, burning our soles/souls/sows. And, to rub in with t.m.i., at least two of our toenails are falling off)… If you find this repulsive (fallen toenails and tmis), don’t worry, we do too.

Left: venue of Blacked Out (near London Bridge station). Right: Clip by the groovy Singapore filmmaker Chew Tze Chuan of Kaidie's permanent public work in Singapore, as Kaidie cannot be there. THANK YOU Chew!!

The following is our itinerary for the next few months, in a few places. YOU ARE INVITED! Or please invite yourselves. Don’t be shy. It’s easier for us too… Nearer said dates of gigs please come back to this running blog of ours (and click on the category of itinerary and gigs) to check details. See you sooner/later.

UPCOMING ITINERARY (LONDON, BRAZIL, SURREY, SINGAPORE, ONLINE)

* 5 August, LONDON UK: Presentation about Kaidie’s travels all these lives in Dr Nick Grindle’s Art, Activity, Environment course, Slade Summer School.

* 21- 28 August, LONDON, UK: Blacked Out group show at Arch 897, Holyrood St, London SE1 2EL. Curated by Jennifer Hankin. Kaidie will be sharing a video projection, its London premiere. Private View: Thursday 19 August 18:30-21:30 hrs, WITH FREE BOOZE AND LIVE MUSIC! Invite yourself and your mates (if you have any?) on the evil Facebook. Or just come, but do wear something that befits the theme of lightness and dark. Why? Just because.

* 1 day trip away from Nondon! Yay! In a bid to travel light, we will NOT bring the memory trapper of a camera. But we will wear our Garmin to track our routes, and share that with you later. Currently we are giving each option a serious thinking through and have not decided where to go.

* 5-8 September LONDON, UK: DRHA 2010 conference (Digital Resources for Humanities and the Arts) Brunel University. Kaidie will be interviewed by a member of the audience, played by Kai Syng Tan, in A Rough guide to (The Meaning of A) Life 3.0: Author Slash Actor Slash Audience: A lecture performance, on Tuesday 7th September from 5.30-6.30pm AA109. Prominent figures like Stelarc and Steve Dixon will be present. Again, go ahead and invite yourself on the evil Facebook (This event is NOT free-of-charge to attend, however).

* September: Trip to Belfast?? We will bring the memory trapper.

* 19 September, SURREY, UK, and ONLINE: Kaidie runs her first ever Life 1.0 marathon on the historical Pilgrim’s Route, in the Farnham Pilgrim’s Marathon, Surrey, UK. Kaidie will be raising money for a charity, and you can follow Kaidie’s progress (or regress?) of her 42km race as she tweets segments from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales ‘live’! Kaidie might run dressing up as a monk (thank you Duncan for your suggestion!), nun or horse, but we will have to watch the erratic bowel movement if the latter (unless of course, we do an impromptu Paula Radcliffe). As this is our first ever Life 1.0 marathon, there is always the possibility of things screwing up (perhaps more so than if we have done this before, though experience does not guarantee perfection, of course). So, if we do not see you again, it has been nice knowing you, see you in our next lives, same time, same place, etc etc.

* 7-11 October, SINGAPORE: Skype performance + exhibition of images and maps from Kaidie’s journey + film screening at ArtSingapore: The Contemporary Asian Art Fair. Curated by Meena Mylvaganam.

* 18-21 October SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Soft Borders conference. Kaidie will be presenting a lecture-performance. Her paper will be published in a publication.

* November, LONDON, UK: PhD upgrade presentation, Slade School of Dine Art.

* 3-5 December, LONDON, UK: Performance at Sexuate Subjects: Politics, Poetics and Ethics, University College London, UK.

* December, INDIA: Curating a South East Asian Film programme at a Film Festival.

* Winter: ‘Live’ GPS-Twitter-Nondon run: a locative performance event with Urbantick.

Left: Kai Syng Tan impersonates Kaidie's audience at DRHA, London. Right: Kaidie's first Life 1.0 42km race in Surrey. Do sponsor!

ONGOING (ONLINE, SINGAPORE)

* ONLINE: 22 minute film about Kaidie by award-winning filmmaker CLAUDIA TOMAZ (Venice, Locarno):

– Episode 1 (12 minutes): Kaidie talks about this in general. 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!

* SINGAPORE: From 17 April 2010 until forever and ever (theoretically-speaking): Nightly from 19:29hours. Permanent public display: large video projections, The Amazing Neverending Underwater Adventures, at the Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit station (subway) of the Circle Line. Commissioned by the Land Transport Authority, this is the only station with a video art work. The 29-minute video cycle with 29-chapters and 29 riddles stars Desyphus (Sisyphus+deceive+decipher, geddit?), a predecessor of 3rdlifeKaidie, who swims perpetually in the looped line. Music composition by Philip Tan. Mayo Martin of Today newspaper has named this his favourite artwork of the Circle Line. Wacky Singapore filmmaker Chew Tze Chuan has also uploaded a clip of the work in action. Kaidie will discuss this work in here in the weeks to come. Look out for it!

Left: Kaidie 'live' in Art Singapore via Skype. Right: Kaidie travels to Brazil for the first time in (any of) her life.

Images on this page are screenshots from respective sites.

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AFTER HER RE-ENCOUNTER WITH GRAYSON PERRY/CLAIRE, SICK KAIDIE HAS A NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE.

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IN THE METAVERSE, NO ICARUS WILL CRASH. Even if/when I crash, I will be reborn and life goes on. And on. Infinitely. Ad nauseum.

A generation cushioned from the cold by central heating, from the heat by airconditioning, carted in aseptic transports from one identical house or hotel to the another, should feel the need for journeys of mind and body, for pep pills or tranquillisers, or for the cathartic journeys of sex, music and dance. We spend far too much time in shuttered rooms.

–  Bruce Chatwin, Anatomy of Restlessness: Selected Writings 1969 – 1989 [1]


Travelling is the act of getting from one place to another[2]. There has been a long history of human movement. Motivations vary – people travel out of pleasure, or reasons political , economical and poetic, or out of necessity, for short or long term, due to push or pull factors, and in various modes of transportation as technologies improve and ambitions engorge. Think climate changes, agricultural practices, trade, migration, famines. Think nomads, gypsies, sailors, stateless people and their diasporas. Think political conquests, search for new, virgin territories, untapped resources, ‘discoveries’ of ‘new’ continents like your Americas and Temasek-s[3]. Think of the revolutionary heroes, as writer, romantic and compulsive traveller Chatwin urges, who are ‘not worth a thing until he has been on a good walk. Che Guevara spoke of the “nomadic phase” of the Cuban Revolution. Look what the Long March did for Mao TseTung, or Exodus for Moses.’[4] Think escape and the search for Paradise, by Thelma, Louise, and Gauguin, and the middle-aged European/Australian woman in Bali with the Kuta cowboys, and the modestly-sized Oriental man with the towering platinum-blonde escort. Think religious pilgrimages, rites of passage and existential quests for the meaning of life. Think Romantic, heroic and punishing quests by madmen Fitzcarraldo/Klaus Kinski in the Amazon, and the solo walks from Kiev to Madrid by Werner Herzog himself, as if the very act of a strenuous trek exorcises their demons. Think trade shows, World Expos, and the travelling circus in town. Think Grand Tours to see the world for those with the leisure time (for it did take a bit longer than it would today) and spending power. For those with even more spending power, think travels to outer space, as the guy appropriately named Laliberte did in 2009 – something technologically impossible only years ago, but haunted those rich in imagination for centuries, like George Melies and Arthur C. Clark. Think poetic search for inspirations and new ways of seeing, by Barthes in Japan, and Basho the poet who cured himself of his loneliness by islandhopping in Japan. As Chatwin observes,

travel does not merely broaden the mind. It makes the mind, The raw materials of Proust’s imagination were two walks round the town of Illiers where he spent his family holidays. These walks later became Méséglise and Guermantes Ways in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. [5]

Chatwin notes also that ‘(m)an walked and swam long before he rode or flew. Our human possibilities are best fulfilled on land or sea. Poor Icarus crashed.’[6]. Think Maldives, Goa, Ibiza. Entire cities and towns perform. Today, globalisation and 1-pence early-bird gimmicks from budget airlines gives everyone the opportunity to fly, making travelling a part of contemporary life. We become tourists, take breaks, have getaways, go for vacations, perform public sex on the beach with strangers [7] in the city constructed for public show-and-tell. Think casino-city Macau, Documenta in Kassel once every 5 years, Olympics in London in 2012. Then, there are also those who travel simply because the act of travelling is pleasurable in itself, like ‘the indefatigable Arab wanderer who strolled from Tangier to China and back for the sake of it’ [8].

Some American brain specialists took encephalograh reading of travellers. They found that changes of scenery and awareness of the passage of seasons trough the year stimulated the rhythms of the brain, contributing to a sense of wellbeing and an active purpose in life. Monotonous surroundings and tedious regular activities wove patterns which produce fatigue, nervous disorders, apathy, self-disgust and violent reactions.

– Chatwin[9]



[1] Bruce Chatwin, Anatomy of Restlessness: Uncollected Writings, New edition (Picador, 1997). (pp 100-106)

[2] ‘Travel – Definition of travel noun’, in  (Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2009) [accessed 30 December 2009].

[3] Temasek was the ancient name of Singapore before its ‘founding’ by the British.

[4] Chatwin.

[5] Chatwin.

[6] Chatwin.

[7] John Bingham and Laura Clout, ‘British couple arrested in Dubai over ‘sex on the beach’’, Telegraph.co.uk, 9 July 2008 [accessed 31 December 2009].

[8] Chatwin.

[9] Chatwin.

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Where has Kaidie been all this while? After the run, where did Kaidie go? Latest conspiracy theory: LUCY SUSPECTS THAT KAIDIE HAS TRANS-MIGRATED (or hitchhiked) TO AN ONLINE NAPLES AND OTHER GREENER PASTURES.

Guest post by Lucy Natarajan

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ARE YOU ALIVE? ENTER QUIZ NOW! LIFE QUIZ A

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

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COPENHAGEN: DEAL/NO DEAL/EITHER/OR/NEITHER/NOR

afterwarhol_1991

The age of stupid, again (and again, looped, across many life, and death cycles)

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