Writings & Research

Short stories, scripts and Master thesis publication


nike .jpg

My trainers on my feet fit well, my trainers are accustomed to my action and movement akin to that glorious dent that your dad leavesbehind on his favourite arm chair. My trainers serve me well, crumbled and loyal. It has been 2 days since my last run; a forceful 7k which was provoked from guilt of my lack of consistency and past promises to uphold the 3 runs per week target. It is evident that my motivation to adhere to this factory line circuit of 7k is wearing thin. The honey moon period of my adventure is running dry and my urge to change my routine is at the tipping point. Distraction is inevitable. The fatigiue of my progress has now transpired towards my feet, through my non-sensical running socks and finally hitting home to my well fitted, snug - trainers. Material blame has became my fuel to endlessly browse the perfectly white balanced nike footwear in google images. 74,000,000 million results in 0.36 seconds. Now, it seems overly critical to compare my measly running results to the speed of imagery google gives me nike footwear. But, nevertheless, I am now somewhat beholden to google for elevating my need to fix my routine.

I browse the grid. Scanning for the ‘one’. Where is my glass slipper? A brightly image of Mo Farah catches my eye. His frame has been captured mid run wearing a minimal low cut nike, I click to the magical ‘more images’ and he invites me to further inspect his effortlessly long stride. Along side the click bate are the low-cut fly knit nikes without the owner. I click further. Full screen; high resolution. It is apparant Nike wants you to inspect in detail the fine fabric with colour gradients woven into the toe caps. The fluid contours of the graphic line mimicking the contrails of an aeroplane. I feel fresh already, I imagine my fatigue is non-existent just like the dirt marks in the concrete on which the nike sits on. So there it is, my glass slipper and which I have never touched nor looked at the price tag, I already imagine the fit is well suited and that the factory track 7k turns into 9,10, 13k of pure ease. Google leaves me no room for contemplation and with wide arms, it vears me to ‘visit page’ where I can now view my slipper with several exit points for purchasing. Price: 118.85c. Rather steep, but since The Netherlands has very little steep gradients this maybe one hill I would easily and happily climb to buy my motivation back. In just 8 minutes, I am nearing the door for not only a new set of elite running shoes, but a package deal of reduced fatigue and greater elasticty in my calves; just like the Kenyan born Mo Farah. The factory cost to make a nike fly knit is around $26. I could start listing out the profit value and labor exhaustion in steps to bring the 118.85c to shame in comparison. But is my argument with the profit? Is my argument with the vast material researchers with years of experience that produced a great fitting trainer? There is no doubt in my mind that IF purchased this shoe, it will last, feel like silk on my feet and for the time being; bring my motivation back. 



Within today’s social ethos, the concepts of fitness, body cult, and physical achievement play a central role. Social platforms are flooded with images of the perfect physique, pressuring users to emulate that paradigm by sculpting, sweating, and tirelessly carving away at their own bodies. As hard labour disappears from workspaces due to automation, there is a simultaneous rise in gymnasiums in post-industrial economies. In this landscape, work is segregated from bodily labour in our daily routine.

This thesis uses speculative scenarios, including fictional objects, technologies, and social structures, to explore the physical and ethical boundaries of fitness culture. By hypothesising different evolutions of athletic behaviour and the cultural codes that surround it, these scenarios also predict shifts in social and power relations. While the thesis is presented as fiction, it is merely a slight exaggeration of the spaces of work and fitness already present today, which value our voluntary exhaustion as a precious commodity.