running is a paradoxical act.
taken at its most basic, practical level, it is a form of accelerated movement. the heart rate increases, often to its calculated limit, taking the participant out of the usual realm of comfort. breathing becomes rapid, blood pumps around the body, feeding muscles as they enter the state of hypertrophy.
it is repetitive and restrictive. its nature demands that the body performs the same action over and over and over, and the physical direction is always forward.
surface distance is required. be this concrete or tarmac, grass or rock or soil, or the rubber of a treadmill belt. the feet are required to interact with these surfaces and therefore the act physically concerns itself with the ground, artificial or natural. running can act as a form of data collection. there is heart rate, cadence, weather information, distance and elevation, calorie intake and burn, time.
if the performance of running extends over a sufficient distance/time however, a sense of stillness manifests within the participant.
emotions become primitive, and whilst the physical heart pounds away, the metaphoric heart becomes uncaged, slows, and engulfs the participant and allows them to soar beyond their physical constraints.
the runner becomes unaware or at peace with the tearing of muscular fibres that occurs with their movement. breathing occurs unnoticed, the body becomes fully automatic, and no longer is the physical the primary concern.
this puts the movement of running in definite contrast to the act of walking. running allows information to be stripped from the consciousness, the world becomes transparent to the runner. the emotion that a runner experiences in that automatic state is amplified beyond the point when physical concerns are prominent.
whatever emotion the runner held prior to the act, those emotions are subsidiaries to the state of contentment the participant finds themselves in when this zen-like state is achieved.
it is due to that contentment and amount of content contained within the act of running that we arrive at the title of this body of work – content. just as the act of running is loaded with a double effect, so too is the title. content refers to both the feeling and information produced and processed by running.
the project began 20th january 2020, the date of completion of 5000, which was a meditation on grief, personal change, and the acknowledgement of the legality of emotion.
content is composed of 100 runs that have taken place since that date, after which a uniform state of balance, happiness, and contentment has been experienced in life.
prior to 20th january 2020 i was versed only in numbness – content is both the act of running and the records of attempts to learn a visual language that has contentment at its etymological core.
in addition to the act of 100 runs of contentment, documentation of the exploration of the learning of the associated visual language is provided in the form of the 100 mapped runs layered, the 100 runs mapped separately in pencil-dotted traced form, and the 100 runs presented in stacks of pages of varying page counts (9743 pages total) showing a gps check-in for each second of every run.