Counterruns is a distributed protest. People participate by running, etching their routes into the public Strava map, and titling them with a statement. Through daily exercise runners can register their thoughts, physically engage on issues they care about, and get fit for the next fight.
Counterruns is a platform placed at the intersection of militarised fitness, commodified health, virtual self-design, and real life politics.
Mapping the way in which political messages are embedded onto routes through physical urban environment.
Counterruns is a project that connects citizens, current affairs and fitness with public space. In a small way it turns ordinary fitness routines into running for a cause.
In thinking through the myth of seamlessness and immateriality around data and technology, Counterruns grounds current affairs and social media with physical activity and before scoring them digitally again.
In a time mired by widespread oppressive politics and injustice, outrage and anger can be difficult to sustain, with current affairs increasingly normalised and abstracted through sharing at the click of a button online. Counterruns, offers a space to run walk off a news headline, ground a tweet and reflect on an event by dedicating a daily run it. By recording, tagging and sharing a route on Strava, you align to a cause, raise awareness and reroute the commodification of wellness. Think of it as a network of distributed everyday micro marches.
While Boris Johnson attempts to ‘get in shape’ for the leadership race on Strava, we’re training for active citizenship. Warm up and cool down with exercises coopted from military practice.
Get fit for the fight!
Through mapping Counterruns draws attention to relationship between physical movement and data capturing. What happens when we rearticulate local spaces with purposeful movement? By sweating data and exposing the seams between systems we can reassert our understanding of, and agency within the technological landscape.
Counterruns began by scoring Civic House in Glasgow’s Spier Locks onto the map with Strava. It is an outcome of the Agile City’s, Test Unit 2019 based in Glasgow.