Circuiting: attend to the poetic sense-making emerging between the lines, in the flitting of attention between one text and another.
Notes and Credits
1. Proposition for Circuiting outside Chiesa del Santi Cosma e Damiano. Photograph by Emma Cocker.
2. Proposition for Circuiting within the courtyard of Convento dei SS. Cosma e Damiano. Photograph by Emma Cocker.
3. Document from Circuiting, on 16 June 2019, on the steps of the Chiesa dei Santi Cosma e Damiano as part of Convocation. Photograph by Mika Elo.
Participants within the event Convocation engaged in a shared practice of Circuiting on 16 June 2019, on the steps of the Chiesa dei Santi Cosma e Damiano and in the courtyard of Convento dei SS. Cosma e Damiano. Circuiting immediately followed a Walking-Reading practice during which participants were invited to select a phrase, a line, a few words from Perec's text Reading: A Socio-physiological Outline. These fragments were used as the starting point for Circuiting.
* In a small group gather in a circle.
* Have to hand the sentence, line or phrase that you selected whilst doing the walking-reading exercise from before.
* Take turns to read your sentence out loud – clockwise first, then anticlockwise, trying to increase the sense of rhythm or fluidity.
* Experiment with different speeds and slowness.
* Experiment by reading all or just a part of your chosen line.
* Experiment by leaving your sentence open, unfinished.
* Experiment by starting to read your sentence half way through.
* Consider the cuts and segues between one line and another
* Consider the emerging poetics of these chance encounters between texts
Small groups gathered in the Courtyard of the Sala Del Camino or on the steps of the Chiesa dei Santi Cosma e Damiano to practice Circuiting together.
1. See also Convocation
This experimental reading is for more than one reader. Make a selection of around a dozen or so books: they could be chosen in relation to a specific theme e.g. reading or slowness; to a specific field of practice e.g. phenomenology, or could simply be picked randomly from the shelves of your studio or from the library. They could all contain a shared word in their title e.g. Poetics; or different readers could each bring a book of their own selection.
Find somewhere to sit or stand, somewhere to explore reading out loud together. Gather in a small group. Gather close or in a circle: make sure that you can meet one another’s eye. Each person selects one of the books/texts that have been chosen.
Begin with a practice round. Take a few moments to scan your chosen text. Select a sentence or a short line of the text or even a couple of words. One person begins by reading their chosen fragment out loud.
Going in a clockwise direction, the next person in the circle reads their chosen fragment out loud. Continuing in a clockwise direction, the next person in the circle reads their chosen fragment out loud. And so on. Periodically switch direction, reading in an anticlockwise direction.
Experiment with different speeds and slowness. Experiment with different volumes, loud to quiet and the gradations in between. Experiment by reading all or just a part of your chosen line. Establish some fluidity or flow. When the time feels right, stop.
Repeat the experiment as above, but now make the selection of your sentence or line of text as a live act. Rather than sticking with the same fragment, choose new sentences or lines of text to read as the experiment unfolds.You could begin at the start of your text – simply stopping and then starting again at the point at which you left off. Or shift from page to page, reading a discontinuous selection of fragments.
One person begins. Choose a sentence or line of text and read it out loud. Going in a clockwise direction, the next person in the circle reads their chosen fragment out loud. And so on.
Experiment by reading all or just a part of your chosen line. Experiment by leaving your sentence open, unfinished. Experiment by starting to read your sentence half way through. Consider the cuts and segues – where to begin and where to end. Establish some fluidity or flow. Now, switch to ‘passing’ the ‘turn’ to read across the circle by meeting another’s eye. Keep one eye open in readiness to respond to the ‘call’ to read, one eye on your text receptive to the ‘call’ of the letters, alert to the emergent possibilities of the next line.