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Second Wind

Yuki Kishino
18.2.2024 - 12.4.2024

In 2007 I severely dislocated my shoulder, and in 2017 I ruptured my achilles tendon. Both injuries happened while engaging in sports that I had done for years. I spent decades building up my fitness, technique, and knowledge. Now, suddenly, these things that defined me as a person were no longer possible, and I was faced with protracted rehab, chronic pain, and the ever-present possibility of re-injury. My shoulder will never be the same—I feel it ache now while typing—but through careful and progressive overloading with weights I have regained a lot of strength. As for my achilles, there is a weakness in that leg that leads to an imbalance. But the pleasure I feel from running has helped me soften the asymmetry. Gaining the confidence to trust my body and move freely revealed possibilities that I thought were foreclosed. I have the generosity of friends to thank for that.

Training is a framework of repetition. The same small gestures made over and over again through time produce an accumulation of knowledge. This accrual allows us to extend ourselves in space, broach new possibilities, and explore the affordances of the world. As noted by Gilles Châtelet in To Live and Think Like Pigs, “...only patience-work entails an unprecedented amplification of freedom…” At times these processes result in strange aberrations, gradual decay, or sudden catastrophic failure, such as an injury. But conversely they are the foundation of recovery, and a path to new discovery. Learning by repeating also extends backwards in time via language, music, material culture, genetics etc. Our selves today are vessels of past voices, songs, assemblages, and evolutions. Our actions contain ancient genealogies. In this regard, training connects us to the ancestral, intermingling us with otherness.

While watching Yuki Kishino’s new video I encounter themes similar to those mentioned above. Two short clips from an athletics competition are repeated back to back, mantra-like. In one there is a group of female runners, and in the other their male counterparts, both viewed by an audience within the spectacularised space of an arena. Through the course of the video we witness the clips being analysed by different types of computer vision algorithms, presumably gleaning data from every passage of the frame. Once again repetition becomes a form of training. Over the course of the video there is a narrative told by two computer-generated voices. The story details the first-person biography of a former athlete, hampered by injury, who finds new freedom in non-competitive sport. Not unlike my own injury experience, this tale is gently heartwarming, but also borders on the cliché. Perhaps it is no surprise to discover that the text was generated through a series of prompts given to ChatGPT.

With Yuki and our friend Richard I went running recently. Richard was participating in a 10km race and Yuki and I were along to support. Matching cadence on the iced up paths we paced a slow warm up before the race began. As the pack left the start line, Yuki and I jogged leisurely to one of the viewing points, catching Richard as he whizzed past. We whooped and cheered. The thing that brought us here was not new—people running together is immemorial, our reactions well-rehearsed for millenia. Regardless, the emotion of the moment was clear and immediate.

Yuki’s video makes me wonder how machine-learning will progress through its own experiences of adversity and rejuvenation. How will it manage inevitable injury? What will the recovery process reveal? And what unexpected social bonds will emerge? What expressions of joy?

_Scott Rogers was born in Mohkinstsis Treaty 7 Calgary (CA) and lives in Glasgow (SCO). He is an artist.

About the artist:

Yuki Kishino (*1982, Kawagoe, Japan) lives and works in Berlin. He participated in Berlin program for artists in 2018 and graduated from Prof. Peter Fischli and Prof. Simon Starling class at Städelschule in 2016. His works have been exhibited in MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt am Main), Kunsthaus Hamburg (Hamburg), Goethe-Institut (Paris), Wschód Gallery (Warsaw), and Wilfried Lentz (Rotterdam). He also won Japan Photo Award, selected by Elisa Medde in 2023.


Graphic designer: Theetat Thunkijanukij
Photograph: Atelier 247

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