Amidst a post-Brexit UK, (anti-) migrant crisis and a world in motion and commotion today, what does it mean to be a political, digital, existential and intellectual exile, with ‘no home to return to’ (Lao Zi)? What are the new frontiers or grand tours for the 21st century mobile citizen? How can running function as a creative and critical strategy? What are the ways in which mobility function as a metaphor for resistance, set against the status quo, against things ‘coming to a standstill’ or ‘taking things lying down’? In this age of increased border control, paranoia and surveillance, (how) can we cross borders and remain or become autonomous?
This page contains notes, outputs and proposals classified under the title of Life on the RUN! RUN! RUN! that Kai has been working on since she began her own life on the run and in particular of the past few years activating running as a metaphor and methodology to think about why and how we cross borders. Scroll down for selected examples (but don’t forget to refer to the rest of this website for other related outputs and ideas):
- September 2015 (above): commissioned Pecha Kucha Life on the RUN! RUN! RUN! that took place at a pub called Pannuhuone in Kuopio, Finland. Please click here for the Prezi. The presentation was part of the ANTI Festival 2 September 2015. Kai was introduced by Professor Gregg Whelan of Falmouth University who was also Curator of the Festival, who said:
‘Kai has been instrumental in the UK and lots of other contexts in pulling together all sorts of writers, artists, academics and performance-makers to come together and to start to form what might become to be called ‘Running Studies’ and Kai has been absolutely central in this. She introduced me to a whole lot of people.’
- Winter 2016: Illustrated article in peer-reviewed Transfers interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies (Berghahn).
- October 2016: Interview with curator Alessandra Cianetti on running across borders, on online exhibition Performing Borders.
- Summer 2016: Hand-in-Hand, a participatory public artwork which was a commission for a street festival in France, related essay as well as related short film.
- Spring 2016: Essay for a Japanese-Singapore publication on Kai’s terrific and terrifying years in Japan and her acclaimed ISLANDHOPPING (Biennale of Sydney 2006, House of World Cultures 2005, MOMA 2005, ZKM 2006 et al).
- Summer 2015: Performance-lecture, which is intended as part of a larger work entitled Bodies on the RUN! RUN! RUN!, a two-year project that consists of a film, book and website. The work will be largely created on the move, at locations exotic and mundane, actual and virtual. The work first premiered at EXPARTE, June 2015, Brick Lane Gallery, the trailer for which you can see above (music by Philip Tan). Click here for the Prezi that was played at the premiere in London.
- 2015 August: Click here, or below, to listen to audio recording of the 2nd edition of the work, followed by a discussion that took place at Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, UK, on 4 August 2015. Artist Melanie Manchot also shared her film Tracer. Kai’s talk begins from 29’44”.
Kai’s Life on the RUN! RUN! RUN! brings this ethos to life. This new work scrutinises the poetics of physical, imaginative and virtual movements — via running. explores running as a critical and creative strategy for the 21st contemporary individual, with a focus on the physical and poetic processes of ‘being on the run’.
What are the new frontiers or grand tours for the 21st century mobile citizen? What does it mean to be a political, digital, existential and intellectual exile, with ‘no home to return to’ (Lao Zi)? What are the ways in which we can engage with or run against the city and state? How can running function as a creative and critical strategy? What are the ways in which mobility function as a metaphor for resistance, set against the status quo, against things ‘coming to a standstill’ or ‘taking things lying down’? In this age of increased border control, paranoia and surveillance, (how) can we cross borders and remain or become autonomous?
Kai samples practices and theories from different schools of thought, including Situationism, paleoanthropology and the Chinese philosophy of Daoism (Taoism). She also shares what she has learnt first-hand (or rather, ‘first-feet’) as someone who has called Tokyo, London, Leeds, Chicago and Singapore ‘home’. Kai presents her paper in the form of a ‘performance-lecture’. Drawing on the traditions of the performance-lecture (Walid Raad/Atlas Group) and cine-essay (Chris Marker, Agnes Varda), Kai’s brand of performance-lectures are critical modes of inquiry in which a highly-collaged set of moving images run hand-in-hand with a scripted spoken text which is densely-littered with running-related metaphors. Sound and image dance and battle with each another, enacting the exuberance of running, yet also raising questions about academic and artistic conventions of knowledge production.
Performance-lecture 20 June London
Bodies on the RUN! RUN! RUN! 2016-2018