Allan Kaprow, 1968
runner took place over three days along a private suburban roadway outside st. louis. on the first day, a miles length of tar paper, weighted with cinder blocks placed every twenty feet, was laid along the shoulder of the road. this procedure was repeated twice the next day, the second and third layers of tar paper and blocks being laid over the first, beginning at opposite ends of the mile-long stretch each time. on the third day, all three layers were removed from the roadside.
the activity of placing the the blocks on the tar paper became something of a body mantra—a constant, incremental measure of the physical experience of of working one’s way across the land.
runner was a pioneering activity, not just as an avant-garde art, but as a communal experience stretching itself as far as time and space would allow.
“my work is philosophical, not instrumental. rather than being social criticism it seeks social insight. the more active it is (in fact) the more reflective it becomes in time.”
in essence kaprow seems to be saying if you don’t do the work, you can’t reflect on its meaning and the more and better work you do, the more deeply reflective its meaning may become.
kaprow’s notes here.