Runner is an installation by choreographer Ugo Dehaes. After working with dancers for almost 20 years, he is now increasingly a choreographer of things.

In a society that is blinded by profit, optimization, growth and efficiency, dance (like all other art forms) is pretty much lagging behind: relatively speaking, making a performance today still costs the same as it did 200 years ago, because you can't dance a duet alone, and training a body still requires the same amount of time as before. The increasing pressure to also consider art as an economic product prompted Ugo to look for ways to replace his dancers and even himself with robots and artificial intelligence.

In Runner, we see a worm-like robot that twists itself into every possible turn, measuring how far these movements take it. In this way, he creates a huge database of movements, which together lead to moves or sometimes even jumps. Its primitive AI looks for connections and tries to find the best possible moves to walk forward.

Slowly, the robot learns to move faster and faster until it shoots forward like crazy. Although the robot is optimized to the limit, it still keeps running in circles.