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RUN MOTHERFUCKER RUN 2001/2004

Run Motherfucker Run is an interactive installation whereby anyone in good physical condition may try his or her luck in a city of empty streets, deserted intersections, ominous alleyways and unexpected obstacles. When you take position on the treadmill before an enormous 8 x 4 metre screen you are subjected to a mix of film and 3-D imagery. The distance you run on the conveyor belt is the same distance you will cover in the virtual city in front of you. By quickening your pace, the acceleration of the belt as well as the speed of the image increases and depending on your running behaviour and the directional choices you make, the progress of the film is determined. A film with an atmosphere somewhere between a thriller chase and urban horror.

run motherfucker run
run motherfucker run

The interface is a manipulated industrial assembly line with electronically variable speed. With a range of 0 to 30 kilometres per hour, the treadmill measures 5 x 2 metres. Physically the interface will not allow the most natural course of navigation through the virtual environment. On the contrary, it is an individual element with a will of its own. The conveyor belt can only move straight ahead and you must move in order to see the image. Although you are free to determine the speed of the belt, only if you run fast will you get an optimum image at full brightness. As you slow down the image fades. So physically there is a mechanized pressure to keep up the pace and an urgency to hold onto the imagery of the world in front of you. This in combination with the tangible power of the machine creates a temperamental balance between control and non-control of the situation you voluntarily entered into when you first stepped on the treadmill.

rmr animation

Photo top left by Poul Ib Henriksen, Arhus

Credits: A project by Marnix de Nijs in co-operation with Reinier van Brummelen, Noud Heerkens and Boris Debackere
Software development: V2_lab (International Lab for the Unstable Media), Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Producer: RMR_Organisation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Co-producers: Productiehuis Rotterdam (Rotterdamse Schouwburg) The Netherlands
V2_lab (International Lab for the Unstable Media), Rotterdam, The Netherlands
ZKM das Zentrum für Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany

Other financers: Gemeente Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Fonds beeldende Kunsten Vormgeving en Bouwkunst, The Netherlands
Rotterdams Fonds voor de Film en Audiovisuele Media, The Netherlands
Rotterdamse Kunststichting, The Netherlands
Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Thuiskopie Fonds, The Netherlands

Many thanks to The Board of RMR_Organisation, Tim Etchells, Stereomatrix, Richard Castelli, Jeffrey Shaw and the many others associated with the project.


Marnix de Nijs © 2017