Baudrillard on Jogging

One of the books I’m reading right now is Jean Baudrillard’s The Transparency of Evil. It’s a collection of essays. In one of them, Operational Whitewash, he writes:

Jogging is another activity in the thrall of the performance principle. […] The pleasure (or pain) of jogging has nothing to do either with sport or with the body in its fleshly reality: it is the pleasure not of pure physical exertion but of of a dematerialization, of an endless functioning. The body of the jogger is like one of Tinguely’s machine: ascesis and ecstasis of the performance principle. Making the body run soon gives way, moreover, to letting the body run: the body is hypnotized by its own performance and goes on running on its own, in the absence of a subject, like somnambulist and celibate machine.

I’m not sure if understand what he is saying, but the comparison to Tinguely’s machines is apt. Consider Hannibal II:

I can’t make my mind about the book. Sometimes I think that Baudrillard is just putting words after words without saying anything. Sometimes I feel like he’s doing an excellent analysis of people project a perfected image of themselves in social media – even though the book was published in 1990. People never change, I guess.


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