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Tan, KS., 2019.

Running (in) Your City

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Mobilities, Literature, Culture
Brief Description/Editor(s):Aguiar, M., Mathieson, C., Pearce, L.
Publisher:Springer Nature, Palgrave Macmillan
Pagination:pp. 163-186
Number of Works:12

BOOK: The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan and edited by 3 international literary scholars in the UK and US. It is the first book dedicated to literary and cultural scholars' engagement with mobilities scholarship. It both advances new theoretical approaches to the study of culture, and furthers the "humanities turn" in mobilities studies. It draws on cultural geography's vision of a mobilised reconceptualisation of space and place, and the contribution of literary scholars in articulating questions of travel, technologies of transport, (post)colonialism and migration through a close engagement with textual materials. Contributions range across geographical and disciplinary boundaries to address questions of embodied subjectivities, mobility and the nation, geopolitics of migration, and mobilities futures.

RIGOUR, ORIGINALITY, SIGNIFICANCE: As we run in or through the city, can we also metaphorically 'run' it? This chapter introduces four tactics of 'running art-fully' as an urban, mobile method. It draws on my art practice-led research, and approaches from Situationist International and body-mind-world poetics from the Chinese philosophy of Daoism. I introduced four tactics: the speed-play-drift, playing hide and seek, the body as a sight and site of protest, and transcending the spectacle. This work enriches existing discourses and practices within visual art, mobilities studies, and their intersections as well as the wider literary and cultural contexts. This includes the cultural tradition of walking, the genres of locative media, performance, installation, participatory art and urban and artistic intervention. Written like an artistic manifesto, this also contributes to discussions around the role of art and the artist in today's socio-political context. More broadly, the work advances discourses and practices in interdisciplinarity and practice-led research.

PROCESS: The chapter is developed from my investigations framed around mobilities since 2014, which draws on my practice-led research since 2009 around running, as well as primary and secondary research around the restless body as a medium since 1994. Specifically, the materials are from my doctoral thesis (2014) and various performance-lectures, including: Association of American Geographers' Annual Meeting in Chicago, International Running Symposium at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Malmo, Sweden, and the ESRC-funded Running Dialogues: Running, Space and Place at the Roxy Bar & Screen in London, and a talk University of Helsinki (all 2014-2015).

INSIGHTS: In my investigations, I discovered that narratives have historically centred around bodies that are white, male, privileged and able. My tactics draw on my first-hand experience as an artist who had picked up running, and who is non-white, female and non-neurotypical. My body plays multiple roles: sensor, medium, barometer, map, and weapon as it interfaces, interacts with and create interventions in the city. This generates new insights for other bodies that are different to mine, as well as lends legitimacy to those similar to mine. They invite the reader adapt and further interrogate and improve on my work, as well as to create yet other tactics.