Performance: Beyond Relentless Acceleration
This intervention involved arranging a race around at Nottingham Contemporary. This is no ordinary race as unlike most sporting contests, the winner was the last person to cross the finish line at 5:15 pm. Competitors could go as slow as they wanted, they could take a nap if they wished and go in any direction. The race was animated by Dadaist commentary and prizes were given to people taking part.
The core idea of Beyond Relentless Acceleration was formed as a reaction to the reneging of promises made by the able world during the pandemic of 2020; that society would not see a return to business as usual. There was the possibility of ‘allowing’ people to humanly proceed, working from home and increasing productivity in a non-rushed, less demanding way. However, fraudulent and ableist concerns about the economy, forced activity, get-back-to-work or get sacked and the winning of more profit soon overshadowed this momentary reprieve to an accessible pace of life.
Beyond Relentless Acceleration challenges fundamental notions of “worthiness”, subverting the idea of winning and inherently subverts the survival of the fittest. This has affected most if not all people with disabilities. The idea that the fastest is the best, the intervention also reveals the detail of existence happening in slow motion, attention is actually paid to who is doing what and how.
By not having heavily imposed rules for the race we are kicking against the idea that we should all be playing by the same rules.