Reading Club

Description (in English): 

Reading Club is a project started by Emmanuel Guez and Annie Abrahams in 2013. Eleven sessions were organized with more than 40 different “readers” in English and/or French based on text extracts from Raymond Queneau, from Mez and the ARPAnet dialogues to Marshall McLuhan, Michel Bauwens and McKenzie Wark. Guez and Abrahams experimented with different reading and writing constraints (color, duration, text-length, number of “readers”, etc.) and different performance conditions (online vs. live performance, with and without sound, etc.). In a session of the Reading Club, readers are invited to read a given text together. These readers simultaneously write their own words into this text given a previously fixed maximum number of characters. The Reading Club can be seen as an interpretive arena in which each reader plays and subverts the writing of others through this intertextual game.

Description (in original language): 

Un texte, cinq lecteurs et une arène interprétative. Les lecteurs écrivent leur lecture au sein même du texte. Proposant un moment et espace d’écriture en commun, le projet entraîne les lecteurs dans une « battle » qui explore artistiquement le rapport de la lecture à l’écriture sur le Web ainsi que le statut de l’auteur. Pour cette première session publique (en anglais) sur un texte de Mez Breeze, les auteurs invitent Lucille Calmel, Curt Cloninger, Pascale Gustin, Helen Varley Jamieson et Alan Sondheim à se connecter simultanément.


Contributors note: 

This work uses networks to bring together multiple participants to collaboratively read and edit a work. The platform records the interactions and transformations of the text, identifying participants and their contributions live and documenting each in a variety of ways. The result is a material representation of the reader's presence in the text. As the readers type, cut and paste, delete, format, and transform the text, the text becomes a conversational space in which read not just the text but each other's interventions, guessing each other's goals as they collaborate, riff, joust, and subvert each other.

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Scott Rettberg