My focus for the Research Pavilion was language-based – through a matrix of reading, writing and conversation-based practices examined in both their specificity and in combination. How is the attentional texture of these different practices? How are experience, awareness and perception shaped by language practices; facilitated and/or limited by linguistic constraints? How do we read / write / converse as artistic researchers? Against utility, against informational acquisition: what other modes of reading might we cultivate? What different kinds of sense making are generated through different critical-poetic practices of reading / writing / conversing? How does the how of reading / writing / conversing the very act, event or process itself, perhaps even separate from the what organise us and shape our understandings? How might we reorganise ourselves differently through reading / writing / conversing conceived as aesthetic practices?


in-and-through three

connected activities:

I: Reading on Reading

II: Conversation-as-material

III: Convocation | On Expanded Language-based Practices 


I. Reading on Reading

Words are sonorous as much as signifying units; the soundness of a text tested by tongue and lips as much as by the mind. Certain language must be rolled in the mouth before it can be fully digested. Texts resonate at different frequencies according to their enunciation; new meanings revealed by changed inflection, in the pauses and durations breathed between the words. Make reading a site of rehearsal, where reader and text negotiate one another’s force. Here, reading’s affective potential can be amplified by reading in the company of others. Common understanding is not the product of what is brought to a meeting of minds, but rather it is experientially co-produced through the process of encounter. Unexpected collectivities are inaugurated in meetings on the page; new constitutions borne of reading’s mutual witnessing. Beyond the self-expressivity of the speaking I: towards a practice of collective voicing. Movement of words beyond the discursive, beyond the dialogic: not the proliferation of meaning towards meaninglessness, but a practice of sensuous soundings.


Reading as resistance; reading as reparation, reading as experimental adventure. Reading with the body. Reading experientially. Reading in time. Reading in space. Reading with. Attention. Just reading, no more, no less. Reading slowly and deeply, yes. Yet, sometimes swiftly – reading with curious eyes, alert and urgent. Not just one book – two, three, four, innumerable. Piles of papers – scattered, disorderly. Unsystematic reading – still, is there method in this messiness, in the movement between this page and that? What emerges in the shifts and slippages from one text to another; in the chance encounter between words; in the gaps and intervals; in the breath; in the stumble and the pause?



Reading on Reading unfolded through a collaborative exploration of different practices for reading on reading, developed with Cordula Daus and Lena Séraphin. An RC exposition specifically for Reading on Reading can be found here.


II. Conversation-as-material

During the Pavilion I continued to explore the practice of ‘conversation-as-material’, a practice that I have developed through various collaborations as both artistic form and method of critical-creative enquiry. Within this practice approach is conceived not only as a verbal-linguistic means for reflecting introspectively on practice but also as a (re)generative practice in-and-of-itself; site and material for the construction of immanent, inter-subjective modes of linguistic ‘sense-making’ emerging from different voices enmeshed in live exchange. Conversation-as-material is a practice attentive to — whilst attempting to make tangible — the live circumstances or ‘occasionality’ of its own processual production. It attends to the conditions of its own becoming as the subject of conversation itself in an attempt to shed light on the process of creative endeavour, specifically the event of artistic collaboration and the wrestle therein to find a shared language. The quest is for a not-yet-known vocabulary emerging synchronous to the live circumstances that it seeks to articulate: over and over, turned up and inside out, language is rolled around in the mouth until it starts to yield. Here, meaning does not exist prior to utterance but rather is co-produced through the dialogic process itself: an infra-personal textual poetics revealed only in retrospect once the recorded dialogue has been transcribed and distilled. Yet, rather than simply a dialogic archive, conversation-as-material considers the transcript itself as aesthetic material for playful appropriation and reworking.

Conversation-as-material - unfolded through a series of 'conversations' with fellow researchers during May and June, accompanied by a process of 'live writing' - the practice of transcription within the Pavilion for making visible the fragments of an emerging poetics (from 4 June).





III Convocation | On Expanded Language-based Practices

These various concerns around language were further explored within the frame of a 3-day 'gathering' or 'convocation' that I co-curated with Cordula Daus and Lena Séraphin in co-operation with Alex Arteaga.


Convocation – from com ‘with, together’ and vocare ‘to call’. We call for a gathering of language-based practices: from the wordless corporeality of body language to the virtuality of digital text, from the voicing of spoken utterance to the textility of words on a page. Textorium – a notion that etymologically pertains to weaving and braiding, the weaver and the woven. For phenomenologist Max van Manen the term refers to the writerly space of reflection, the experiential world of the text as it opens up for the receptive writer and reader. But how can the ‘taken-for-grantedness’ of language be put into question? How can language-based practices enable us to encounter ‘things’ anew?

From textorium to sensorium, a reciprocal space for coming together through a material encounter with language experienced in its diversity. How do we experience language’s activity, affectivity, ambiguity, capacity, corporeality, density, elasticity, ephemerality, fluidity, fragility, illegibility, instability, intensity, inter-subjectivity, hybridity, materiality, multiplicity, musicality, occasionality, opacity, performativity, physicality, plasticity, porosity, potentiality, relationality, simultaneity, sensibility, sensitivity, sonority, spatiality, syn­chronicity, tonality, temporality, visuality, vitality?


Convocation invited exploration of the how-ness of language within practices of: Addressing | Calling | Conversing | Describing | Dialoguing | Disrupting | Drawing | Echoing | Effacing | Evoking | Fictioning | Invoking | Listening | Misunderstanding | Moving | Muting | Naming | Questioning | Reading | Redacting | Spacing | Speaking | Summoning | Transcribing | Translating | Voicing | Wording | Writing | ____ ing


Convocation | on expanded language-based practices was a collaboration between research cells Through Phenomena Themselves, Disruptive Processes and AIRA. 16 – 18 June

Reading’s Attentional Field

Whilst in Venice, I was also practising reading in different site-specific locations – I wanted to reflect more the attentional field of reading in relation to the where of reading.  I wanted to explore how an activity that I might anyway engage in (reading in different places) might actually constitute a ‘practice’. How do different situations and environments shape the experience of reading? Which situations and environments are conducive to reading – which kinds of conditions enable and which kinds constrain? How does background 'noise' create a desirable 'ground' against which to read - how are distraction and concentration activated in and through different sites of reading?  What does the practice of reading reveal about different situations and environments – how does reading create an attentional field through one might encounter or engage with a specific situation (differently)? I documented a number of these various reading sites – through sound, video and written reflection.