Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Tan, KS., 2014.

RUN! RUN! RUN! International Festival of Running 2014 (interdisciplinary programme that I conceptualised, founded, curated and contributed to)

Output Type:Other form of assessable output
Publisher:UCL Slade Research Centre

This was the inaugural edition of a festival that I founded. Also known as the #r3fest, this was a hybrid programme examining running as an arts and humanities discourse, not just within sport science or as a fitness practice. This fills an existing gap within and beyond the academy. Thus far, RUN! RUN! RUN! has presented the drawings, installations, performances, papers, academic posters and films of 65 researchers, artists and runners from 40 institutions, across venues including Cardiff National Indoor Stadium and Paris School of Culture and Art. Through RUN! RUN! RUN!, which the Guardian urges other academics to 'take a leaf from' (2014), I am recognised as being 'absolutely central' in the field of 'Running Studies' (Whelan 2015).

For #r3fest 2014, I approached Alan Latham, a geographer from University College London, to be Co-Director, and artist/Slade Director Jo Volley as co-host. Funded by University College London and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the one-day event took place at the Slade Research Centre, and was attended by 50 artists, academics and community leaders from 30 institutions and including the Universities of Harvard and Oxford, Goodgym and the Sri Chimnoy Centre.

Disciplines were jumbled up to generate lively, productive antagonisms (Latham and Tan 2016), practice was mixed with research, and cultural and academic hierarchies and boundaries irritated. e usual presentations aside, there were quick- re, 8-min speaking slots that we timed with a stopwatch. Object-based learning activities were also programmed in, as paleo-anthropologists brought samples illustrating anatomical parts of the human runner for participants to explore. Academic posters, such as one on the biomechanics of running, were juxtaposed with commissioned artworks, such as Volley's drawing of a map of her run at Hampstead Heath. A meditation session was deliberately scheduled to take place at the same time as a lecture on running injury by a medic, 'forcing' the festival goers to choose between spiritualism and science. Senior academics intermingled with unknowns (we took a chance with two female performers, including a 23-year-old undergraduate).