// new media class

Lukas Esser — have to because I want to because I

Carte Blanche — Summer 2022

In the beginning of the 20th century the mechanism of the treadmill was reintroduced as a »training machine«. Before that it was used to power various machines including cranes and mills. The change from usage in production to producing ourselves is a transition from subject to object in our relation with the mechanism.

Through the transition from a disciplinary society to an achievement society the abuser and the victim coincide in the individual, it becomes an autoaggressive achievement-subject. (see Han, Müdigkeitsgesellschaft)

The sisyphus work of running on a treadmill is used as a metaphor for the actions of the achievement-subject. The physical impression of progress while being static – the paradox of moving without going through space, is symbolic for the urge of the achievement-subject to reach its self-set ideals. The bottomless structure of social media feeds are used to propagate these ideals in endless variations. Us scrolling through these feeds is displayed through the treadmill, relating our digital behaviour to physical exercise.