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Tan, KS., 2019.

I Run and Run, Let Out an Earth Shattering Roar, and Turn into a Giant Octopussy and Other Tales of Unreasonable Adjustments (performance-lecture, Southbank Centre)

Output Type:Performance
Venue:Southbank Centre
Dates:6/9/2018 - 6/9/2018

The #MagicCarpet made a noisy entry at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer. Southbank Centre. There was Kai's tapestry art installation between Wednesday 5th - Sunday 9th of September. This was accompanied by an audio description. On 6th of September, there was a screening of a film, Of Wanderings and Meanderings, a performance-lecture by Kai followed by chat with Professor Philip Asherson. Around 700 people interacted with the installation, and 80 people came for the performance-lecture, during which Professor Philip Asherson also gave a short presentation on ADHD. This was part of the Unlimited Festival 2018.

Feedback for the performance-lecture, chat & exhibition:

'Again, a thought provoking evening and I've since been mulling over how society is set up, what the rules are, why they are there and what happens if any of us, from those at the end of the spectrum or even those in the middle, decide they are not going to conform. I'm also going to give my mind permission to wander a bit more, although probably not when someone is paying me to do my job!' - Dr Kathy Barrett, University Lead for Research Staff Development, Centre for Research Staff Development, King's College London

'Just a belated note to say how much I enjoyed the talk at the Southbank, thank you for the invitation! You should do a TED talk!!' - CHRIS BAKER, Four Communications

'Thank you so much for a wonderful lecture and for inviting me. It was really interesting and I learned so much more about your research and met some really cool people.' - Sushank Chibber

'I really like learning new things and I certainly did at your South Bank talk with Kai and Philip Asherson. I thought that the talks brought a deeper understanding to the meaning of ADHD to someone like me who operates within the 'cells'. I take great pleasure in organising and listing and it is very useful to learn more about different approaches and perspectives with regards to work, daily life and the world. Thank you.' curator Dominica D'Arcangelo

'Thank you for an entertaining and thought-provoking performance/presentation. Your performance/presentation [ at the next conference] should be a breath of fresh air to those attending - most academic presentations are usually quite awful.' - Dr David Grant, Educational Psychologist

'It was a pleasure to be with you in action Kai. You create a kind of "being with". You are in our presence and we in yours. So, we were not listening to a lecture or watching a slide show. You were being you, in all your energy, power, wit, vulnerability, confusion and searing clarity. Just wanted to say that about sitting on a mat with you. Great opening message and imagery. The images you used are clear and strong throughout the talk. Keep them. They show the un reasonable adaptation clearly and with passion. I loved the flow and the moving between the restriction of boxes in forms to mind-wander-mapping. Perfect.' - Lois, artist working in the intersection of art and science, Leeds and London.


'I Run and Run, Let Out an Earth Shattering Roar, and Turn into a Giant Octopussy and Other Tales of Unreasonable Adjustments' is a provocation to widen the discourse on neuro-diversity and how the arts can complicate the discourse, at once détourning audiences' expectations by pulling the carpet under their feet, but also, hopefully, sweeping them off feet.

Throw academic treatise, auto-ethnography, cine-essay, stand-up comedy and impressive lumps of salt and MSG together, and you get artist-academic Kai's performance-lecture, a format that she has cultivated over the years and which have been enjoyed from the Biennale of Sydney (2006) through to the American Association of Geographers' Meeting in Chicago (2015), and which was seen by 500 health researchers and professionals at the International European Network for Hyperkinetic Disorders Conference in Edinburgh (September 2018). Through a densely-collaged slideshow, Kai scampered through a dizzying/delicious assortment of drawings, snapshots, concepts, and anecdotes.

Areas Kai traversed included: hyperactivity, risk-taking and impulsively of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and how that relate to creativity; the boundaries between 'normality' and 'abnormality', the triple invisibility of neuro-diverse BAME women and how this is a hidden problem/resource; running, endocannabinoids and living life on the run; body-mind-world poetics the ancient Chinese philosophy and practice of Daoism; the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing report; what she learnt from 'going undercover' in the world of psychiatry at the world-leading Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre and how this has inspired behind her tapestry art installation, desire/death/discipline in a claustrophobic regime; mental/physical/existential restlessness; horniness and taking life on its horns; her dream app, Hinder, which connects artists with members of other species to facilitate creative collisions and 'productive antagonisms'.