The ‘running messenger’ is an agitator of new discourses and new knowledge in their intellectual agility and crossing of disciplinary and cultural borders. It draws on the historical foot messenger. Before the advent of the Royal Mail, FEDEX or Twitter, there were ‘messengers constantly on the move’, covering 200 miles in 24 hours'( Gotaas 2009). They were esteemed not just for their physical and mental stamina, but how they were ‘well-travelled and knowledgeable’. They ‘crossed boundaries and had a great deal of contact with people of a higher social class’. Most would have come from a humble background, and running was their ‘springboard to increased social status’ (Gotaas 2009, p.14).
Introducing the Ill-Disciplined Hyperactive Productive Antagonist Octopussy Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA SFHEA.
Can running-inspired art and art-inspired running catalyse artful ways forward for a more equitable post-pandemic future?
I have investigated running as an arts and humanities discourse and artistic research paradigm since 2009. I am described as ‘absolutely central’ and ‘instrumental’ (Whelan 2015) in leading and broadening ‘Running Studies’. My work displays ‘radical interdisciplinarity’ (Latham, 2016). A theatre researcher states that ‘it is the artist, curator, and researcher Kai Syng Tan who has done the most in seeking to develop an interdisciplinary discourse around running art and performance (Filmer 2020).
This was an interview with R22: WEB RADIO OF THE ARTS AND COMMONS. I was interviewed with artist and Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art James Steventon.
‘Run Riot’ (2019) is a chapter in Handbook on Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, Edward Elgar (2020). The structure of the text follows philosopher Jean-Jaques Rousseau’s 1778 Reveries of a Solitary Walker, and it activates a dyslexic approach to writing.
The etymologies of curating include healing and care. So, make change. Don’t waste your time, don’t waste my time. Created in mid-June 2020, this new slideshow was for a session in the MA/MFA Contemporary Curating, Manchester School of Art.
2020 version of Exceptional Talent, the State of Fun & Islands of After Death, on movement as a human right, which was first performed as a keynote-lecture at Peter Scott at the Inaugural Art & Mobilities Symposium 2018.
The body and mind in motion and commotion as a form of intervention and interrogation of and amid a world in motion and commotion. A non-linear slideshow performed at ANTI Festival of Contemporary Performance (Kuopio, Finland 2015) and Exparte at the Brick Lane Gallery (for the Singapore Tourism Board, 2015).
This is a recording of a conversation I had with artist Melanie Manchot at Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, 4th August 2015. I also shared a performance-lecture called ‘Life On The RUN! RUN! RUN! in the form of a Prezi.
JOIN NOW! I co-founded and manage the Running Cultures Research Group in 2014 which has been key in helping to widening and advancing the emerging ‘Running Studies as an arts and humanities discourse.
An early proposal of the running-messenger as disruptor and connector. UCL Institute of Advanced Studies.