Paradox of Praxis: Sometimes Running Nowhere Leads to Somewhere

Paradox of Praxis: Sometimes Running Nowhere Leads to Somewhere

Austin, TX. 2002 3:04


Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing; the modus operandi during several projects for Francis Alÿs, a Belgian performance artist. The particular performance in reference takes place in Mexico City, 1997 when Alÿs pushed a block of ice through the city for nine hours. Through this absurdity of action, Alÿs was left with nothing but a puddle of water in the street. The paradoxical commentary shed light on the massive disproportion between effort and outcome in much of Latin American daily life. More importantly, these projects wrestle with the theory of transformation. We asked ourselves: Is the value of a transformation in the outcome or the process of beginning to end.

 


We found instant parallels and inspiration from Alys. We wanted to pay homage to this project through a running lens. Sometimes running nowhere leads to somewhere. Transformation becomes valuable when the intention lies in the spaces between beginning and end. 


The allegory here holds a deep lesson about life; one where we empty our energy into an end goal that never comes to fruition, but that doesn't entirely matter. Putting immense energy into a goal provides perspective and growth. We understand a PR, a Olympic Trials qualifier, or a race win are all outcomes that can validate the process of a training block; but the absurdity of pushing through the countless obstacles during the odyssey reap more benefits for soul.


The reality of running is most evident in its simplicity; rather, the ability to directly attribute a process to an outcome. It is a heinous bait which many runners continue to get hooked on. The effort required to wake up everyday to  running nowhere can lead to a sense of purpose where the end result can be arbitrary. The race result can become irrelevant because the success was already achieved in past bricks laid. 

 

 

The Loop Running Supply Co.

Photo / Director: Brendan Carroll 

Art Direction: John Rice 

Model/ Editor: Kam Casey