New York City, 1884: 14 contestants set out to walk round and round a track for six days in the “go-as-you-please” race, taking as little rest as possible. What does this durational act tell us about a type of performance just beginning to be named in New York slang as a “stunt”? Anticipating early-20th-century dance marathons and later durational performance art, the race enacted and troubled circulation, revealing fault lines of valorization: between work and leisure, work and life, and sporting and theatrical performance.

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