*Supported by and as published on Fermynwoods Contemporary Art. * Scroll down for contexts and reference lists


Can art and running catalyse artful ways forward for a more equitable post-pandemic future? The Running Artfully Network (RAN) is a new international artist-led group that brings communities and experts together to reframe running as an artistic intervention to unpick our time of multiple global crises, and to create a more equitable and creative future. To celebrate its online launch, we’re inviting the submission of proposals for art-inspired running or running-inspired art that outlines new insights into the climate crisis, inequality, the threat of technology, or mental health. You will present your proposals in the form of presentations that last no more than 8 minutes. This could be in the form of a presentation of the documentation of your work, or in the form of a micro-workshop or enactment, online intervention, performance-lecture and so on. The top two selected works will be awarded £250 each from the inaugural RAN Award. One of them will be for a Newcomer (defined as someone with less than three years of practice or research in art, or art using running). We also welcome ‘traditional’ academic papers and other provocations in response to the theme, also within the 8-minute time-limit.

Submission Format:
Abstract/proposal: <500 words
Bio/Artist Statement: <500 words
Images and links to previous work may be included
Total file size cannot exceed 3 pages A4 PDF and 10MB
Email to: veronique.chance@aru.ac.uk

31/01/2021: 11:59 GMT Deadline for proposals
07/02/2021: Selection and notification
18/02/2021: Final abstracts
26/02/2021: Running Artfully Network Launch and Celebration, ending with an open discussion on next steps. 

Selection Panel and RAN founding members:
Kai Syng Tan (#r3fest founder and Running Cultures Research Group lead)
James Steventon (Director, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art)
Veronique Chance (Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University)
Lisa Stansbie (Fields of Vision and Axisweb lead)
Matti Tainio (University of Turku, Pori University Consortium, Finland)
Elisa Herera Altamirano (Capicúa Mov Lab lead, Mexico/Spain)
Beth Clayton (UK)


The inaugural RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale #r3fest in London 2014 marked the start of a new dedicated pathway for artists, researchers, runners and the running-curious to discuss running beyond a sport or fitness activity, and to create art using running.

Founded by an artist and geographer, the bi-annual trans-disciplinary workshop helped galvanise and build on the efforts of forerunners (Sillitoe 1959, Creed 2008, Tykwer 1997, Oates 1999, Austin 2007, Murakami 2008 et al), and has since premiered the innovative, contemporary performances, films, drawings and papers, of 65 presenters (including artist Carali McCall and performance-maker Eddie Ladd) from 40 academic, cultural and third sector organisations (including FreetoRun, Goodgym, Leeds Arts Gallery and the Universities of Harvard and Oxford), across 5 venues (including the Cardiff National Indoor Stadium and Paris School of Culture and Art).

Led by artist Kai Syng Tan with different curators sincethemes covered include running as a metaphor, medium and method to consider the city, gender, ageing, borders and political exile.

Its ‘alumni’ have since instigated, among others, the ESRC-funded Running Dialogues, The Art of Endurance in Finland, a 6-hour running event at the Festival of Grenoble, as well as an international 80-member Running Cultures Research Group, and has paved the way for new players like Lost Running Club.

Praised in the Guardian for its ‘positive atmosphere’, #r3fest has established ‘Running Studies’ as a creative, cultural, arts and humanities discourse (Tan, 2018), and shifted the discussion and practice of running beyond something reserved for privileged bodies divorced from socio-political contexts (Bale 2004, Lorimer 2012) and giving the cultural canon of walking (which has historically centred around bodies that are white, male and ableist) a good run for its money.

The new Running Artfully Network (RAN) will mark the next phase of #r3fest. It gathers leading researchers and practitioners in running, art and sport who will ‘pass the baton’ to the next generation of leaders of Running Studies to apprehend wicked issues of the day.

RAN builds on the method of productive antagonisms (Latham and Tan 2016) and reframes running as an ‘artful’ intervention (Büscher 2018), embodied and spatial practice (Whelan 2012, Chance 2018), mediated performance (Chance 2006, 2019/20), and socio-political tool (Altamirano, 2019). RAN will confront divisive or elitist approaches in research, art and sport.

Like #r3fest has done in the past 6 years, RAN’s mobile, generative, creative and iterative system seeks to energise dialogues across diverse and divergent bodies and bodies of knowledge, incite a rethinking of public policy and environmentalism from a creative, critical and relational approach, and demonstrate the rigour and significance of art practice itself as a system of knowing the world.

The RAN online launch is part of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art’s In Steps of Sundew two-year programme funded by Arts Council England – a series of artistic interventions exploring the effects that extracting resources from the landscape has upon its occupants.



  • Bale, John. 2004. Running Cultures: Racing in Time and Space. London: Psychology Press.
  • Bramble, Dennis M., and Daniel E. Lieberman. 2004. “Endurance Running and the Evolution of Homo.” Nature 432 (7015): 345–352. doi:10.1038/nature03052.
  • Chen, Ingfei. 2006. “Human Evolution: Born to Run.” DISCOVER Magazine, May 2006.
  • Cook, Simon. 2015. “Running Dialogues Summary.” http://www.freestak.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Running-Dialogues-Seminars-Summary.pdf.
  • Cook, Simon, Jon Shaw, and Paul Simpson. 2016. “Running Order: Urban Public Space, Everyday Citizenship and Sporting Subjectivities.” In Critical Geographies of Sport: Space, Power and Sport in Global Perspective, edited by Natalie Koch, 157–172. Routledge.
  • Creed, Martin. 2008. Work No. 850. http://www.martincreed.com/site/works/work-no-850.
  • Cregan-Reid, Vybarr. 2016. Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human. London: Ebury Press.
  • Filmer, Andrew. 2020. ‘Endurance Running as Gesture in Contemporary Theatre and Performance’. Contemporary Theatre Review 30 (1): 28–45. https://doi.org/10.1080/10486801.2019.1696322.
  • Heinrich, Bernd. 2002. Why We Run: A Natural History. Harper Perennial: Reprint.
  • Holland, Kieran. 2020. ‘A Sense of Play: (Re)Animating Place through Recreational Distance Running’. In Developing a Sense of Place, 255–71. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110550/1/Developing-a-Sense-of-Place.pdf  
  • Hindley, David. 2016. “#R3fest Leeds Leg Review.” RUN RUN RUN Biennale (blog). December 3. http://kaisyngtan.com/r3fest/leeds-leg-review/ .
  • Hitchings, Russell, and Alan Latham. 2016. “How “Social” is Recreational Running? Findings from a Qualitative Study in London and Implications for Public Health Promotion.” Health & Place. Accessed January 8, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.10.003
  • Latham, Alan. 2015. “The History of a Habit: Jogging as a Palliative to Sedentariness in 1960s America.”
  • Latham, Alan, and Kai Syng Tan. 2016. “Running into Each Other: Run! Run! Run! a Festival and a Collaboration.” Cultural Geographies. http://cgj.sagepub.com/ .
  • Liebenberg, Louis. 2008. “The Relevance of Persistence Hunting to Human Evolution.” Journal of Human Evolution 55 (6): 1156–1159. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.07.004
  • Lockwood, Alex. 2014. “Running and Academia: The Intellectual Aspect of Pounding the Pavements.” Guardian. June 30.
  • Lorimer, Hayden. 2012. “Surfaces and Slopes.” Performance Research 17 (2): 83–86. doi:10.1080/13528165.2012.671080.
  • McCall, Carali. 2013. “Work No. 4 (Restraint Running) Back Hill, 2013 https://vimeo.com/115101499
  • McCall, Carali. 2014. “A Line is a Brea(D)Thless Length: Introducing the Physical Act of Running as a Form of Drawing.” PhD, University of the Arts London. http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/6511/.
  • Stansbie, Lisa. 2019. ‘Fields of Vision: Arts & Sport Communities & Methods of Practice’. Athens Journal of Sports by Athen Institute for Education & Research.
  • Sillitoe, Alan. 1959. “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”. New York: Signet First Edition.
  • Tainio, Matti. 2016. “#R3fest London Leg Review.” RUN RUN RUN Biennale (Blog), December 13. http://kaisyngtan.com/r3fest/london-leg-review/.
  • 2019:  ‘Running (in) Your City’. In Mobilities, Literature, Culture, edited by Marian Aguiar, Charlotte Mathieson, and Lynne Pearce, 1st ed. 2019 edition, 163–86. S.l.: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-030-27072-8
  • 2020: “Run Riot”. In Handbook on Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, edited by Malene Freudendal-Pedersen, Monika Büscher, and Sven Kesselring. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Tan, Kai Syng. 2016e. “What Has Running Got to Do with Our Divided World? – RSA.” Royal Society of the Arts Blog (Blog). November 16.

Image: RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale #r3fest 2016 – Cardiff Leg at the National Indoor Athletics Centre. Photograph by Gordon Plant. Poster: Designed by James Steventon

*Click here for an an earlier iteration of RAN.