An outdoor tour of public artworks with a twist: instead of walking between each work as a group, we are running from work to work. And a twist to the twist: instead of running at an even pace for the entire duration between each work, we practice a form of accelerationist running, in which one is running at approximately 50% of one’s personal capacity by halfway to the next work, 75% of capacity by the three-quarter mark, 95% when almost there . . . and arriving at one’s peak velocity.
You are gasping for breath, muscles screaming, heart pounding, sweat pouring.
Now it is time to experience the artwork . . . slowly.
The Acceleration Tour emerges in response to two seemingly disparate strands in contemporary aesthetics: first, the Slow Art Day founded in 2009 by Phil Terry, which suggests that for one day each year people visit museums and galleries to look at art slowly, recalibrating the practise of spectating “to focus on the art and the art of seeing”; and second, the recent article by Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek titled ‘#Accelerate: Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics‘, which offers a new direction for Left politics, one that “pushes towards a future that is more modern, an alternative modernity that neoliberalism is inherently unable to generate.”
Though apparently a simple synthesis on the surface of things, The Acceleration Tour proposes to hold both of these initiatives in tension by challenging certain underlying assumptions in an embodied practice. This is an experiment in speculative aesthetics, exploring questions of synaesthesia, attunement, tempo, intensity, calibration, exhaustion and trauma.
Participants of all fitness levels and skills in running and/or art spectatorship are welcome — this is not a competition. The idea is for each runner to understand their own potentials as they unfold during the course of the event and maximize them accordingly. Furthermore, “running” here can be understood more broadly to encompass a variety of mobilities, such as wheelchair or prosthetic-based acceleration.
Montreal: September 20, 2013 (co-curated with Alanna Thain)
0. Marie-France Brière, “Ondes” (2005), Time Forms conference site, New Music Building.
1. Paul Lancz, “La Tendresse” and Van Fischer, “Cactus” (1971), corner of Sherbrooke and Peel.
2. Claude Cormier, “TOM II (Field of Poppies)” (2013), Musée des beaux-arts.
3. Mayra Morales, “City Waitings” (2013), solo performance, School of Physical Therapy.
4. Clayton Beugeling, “Erasure” (2013), site-specific sound intervention, Mont-Royal.
5. Tyler Lawson, “Speeds and Slownesses” (2013), 3-channel looped video installation with bicycle-powered generator, Mont-Royal.