The Reading Room: Retrospective description 2: Activities and Reflection

It is proving interesting  and useful, thinking about this so long after it happened.

There’s a different sort of clarity to the reflection, maybe only remembering those things in shadow or relief the way we squint when looking at an object when drawing.

So this section will discuss the activities I set up for the Reading room event, the levels of participation and the intention behind them.

  • Newspapers: local and international
  • Linocut
  • Home-spun ‘letterpress’ printing
  • ‘Global News’ whist
  • Cut-ups
  • Film
  • Communication with participants from Camberwell MA show
  • Watching a live – feed of the event from the event
  • Eating and drinking – Home-made cakes (not by me!) , tea and coffee
  • Conversation

Newspapers:

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I’d started to collect newspapers from around the time started visiting the Reading Room but had widened the collection by asking friends who were visiting foreign parts or lived abroad to select a paper and bring them/ post them to me.

In itself this was interesting as i often then had to provide return gift as exchange…. in this case… Banbury Cakes, a local speciality.

This exchange made me think of Marcel Mauss and the meaning of exchange, particularly pertinent as we were approaching the General Election.

All the British newspapers were full of it … and not much else.

You could have been forgiven for thinking than Britain existed as an island, in isolation from the rest of the world…..

Oh jolly gosh! We do!

Anyway, with the help of friends I collected  about 100 newspapers from

Global Australia Northern Territory:Japan:Canada:Bahrain:Mexico:Spain:US:Sicily:Tunisia:Turkey:Austria:Ukraine:Poland, France:Germany:Spain:Several Arabic newspapers: China today: several British editions of each). Local papers from Wales: Cumbria:Lancashire: ScottishIsles:Leicestershire:Northamptonshire with some very local town editions and others county-based and national British newspapers including the Metro.

There were also newspapers from my personal archive of Significant days… the birthdays of my sons, the attacks on the Twin Towers, January 1st 2000, 50 years since V-J day ( my father’s freedom from POW Camp): and also some from the 1950’s left in my present house when we moved in.

Some I bought from news stands around the country when I was out and about…I stopped collecting on the day of the event, so had papers from April to mid- July.

There was lots of ‘news’ as the movement of refugees was building, as well as events in Kuwait and Tunisia.I will write more about my observations of  the newspapers in another post.

So the idea behind this collection was to fill the Reading Room with newspapers and ‘ bring it back to life’ but with a global perspective and in the present.

Bringing the world to The Reading Room in a similar way to the way Broadband and the web can do. But bringing it visibly in.

I wanted to present to the villagers their position within a global context as the proximity to RAF Croughton across the road from the Reading Room demonstrates so well.

The ‘isolation’ of the village through slow Broadband, poor mobile phone signal, whatever the network, very restricted bus service ( one every 2 hours till 6ish and none on Sundays), no Post-Office, means it, in common with a lot of rural villages, has a feeling of ‘separateness’ from the world.

RAF Croughton meanwhile has super-fast communications network connections globally.

I wanted the newspapers to act as ‘links’ to the urban and global as they would have done in the early 20th century when the Reading Room was built. For the community there to be aware of the communities ‘ outside’, with whom they are already ‘linked’, albeit invisibly.

Newspapers, according to Sir George Grey’s editorial in Liverpool Mercury (1858) were essential to working men as they:

Deal with Events, discussions and living interests …

It is …a daily or weekly universal history

The newspaper teaches political science by discussing the principles of legislation and government in their practical applications

The intelligence with which it constantly presents him from all parts of the world, renders it a textbook on geography

 

as quoted in Aled Gruffydd’s Jones lecture on Reading Rooms at the British Library

Over a century later digital news has partially replaced print but print provides something ‘other’.

The haptic experience and communication involved in reading communally with ‘ hard copies’ is different from reading communally on-line, although the use of tablets rather than desk-tops and even lap-tops has some similar characteristics in terms of simultaneous social engagement with both the geography of the reading location and the geography of the ‘read- about’ location.

 What actually happened and analysis –

Because the number of visitors was low and spread over a few hours there was never a large number of people reading at the same time.

Because the number of papers was so large, maybe, most of the people who did read them tended to stand and flick through rather than sit down and really read together.

Though thinking back maybe that isn’t true… I just didn’t document the sitting!!!

Maybe this is because there was no central focus to focus round and the seating wasn’t ‘comfy’.

Possibly it needs a critical mass of people to ‘set the trend’.

People did stay and chatted over the newspapers and possibly there conversation was influenced by the content ( at least the front pages) and presence of the papers.

The papers certainly became part of the room.

This contrasted with the bar where the film was being shown ( see next post).

All these things play a part.

I considered how to place the newspapers for some time but possibly by adding the activities to the event it distracted from the newspapers.

Because I had been working with workshops I added these to the event.

Originally I was just going to have newspapers and newspaper-based performative activities.

Somehow I got distracted by ‘wearing two hats’

The printing would have been good to have if there had been another space to do it in….or maybe a simple change of arrangement of the tables would have made a difference.

As it was… it was what it was… an experiment.

People came, read the papers and made conversation………

_JSH9492

 Linocut:

I included this activity as an introduction to participants to printing  and making  their own printed mark, maybe for the first time.

Most people have made potato prints at school but this was a way of directly demonstrating how print could be created as an image or text.

I’d been working with children with emotional and behavioural problems on a small project and also with some adults and found that linocut is a good  means  to encourage creative engagement, as well as making the link between ‘print’ and communication for participants in the event.

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Analysis-

A few people engaged with this activity and spent a while making both text and images.

They really enjoyed it and were very excited by the process.

This is where it becomes ‘fuzzy’ from my point of view…….were they truly engaged in and participating in an art-work or was this just a free community workshop…….

 Ooh, the dangers and difficulties of working in the community……

When I’m working with people, as with places, I get caught up in them and find it had to remain detached and objective….. I am drawn to the people and the community…… I need to stand back when doing my own work, just as I would with a drawing… to re-assess rather than get caught up in the process…

It’s difficult morally though as I do not want to

  • use people from a community
  • treat them as part of an anthropological study

and, though I’d paid  rent for the Reading Room, Jane and Richard had been so helpful that I felt I needed to give something back….. Possibly….

Anyway, In Future i need to keep professional boundaries and stand ‘outside’ more.

Home spun ‘letter-press’ printing:

I had hoped to use the Letter Press workshop at Camberwell to make some posters to advertise the event in the village.

Jonathan explained that this would be very difficult as the Final year students had priority and I couldn’t just ‘pop-in’ to use it when convenient.

So I decided to make my own ‘type’ with Lino-cut.

The letters need to be quite large as I wanted the posters to be A1 and also to use the same  type on a ‘group text’ on a large roll of Fabriano paper during the event.

P1030042

I made the type and printed posters to ‘advertise’ that `I was present in the Reading Room of anyone who wanted to visit when I  to used it as studio space in the run up to the event…

( part of the publicity for the event)… and a way of making contact with people.

 If you look closely you will see my BIG MISTAKE!!

I was linocutting the alphabet type for relief printing as with letterpress.

 I had been showing lots of children and adults basic printing technique and emphasised the fact that text is REVERSED when it is printed.

I KNOW THIS.

HOWEVER, I got so carried away and was doing so many things at the same time… including editing video for the event….that I FORGOT! and I had got to about  ‘R’ before I realised……….

It had taken hours, actually a couple of days at least to make the ‘type’ as the letters were quite large………..

 Lesson here in having too many ideas and trying to do too many things at the same time….

I got little cross from a while….

Then I decided to cut the letters out completely and so have some free letters that could be used ( albeit rather fiddly) to print in relief and the background lino cut to print as a positive with the ‘space’ showing the type.

In the end it looked OK and I printed up these rather rough posters.

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I also had both sets of type available for participants to use for printing and they got the experience of relief printing and positive/ negative images.. so it worked out really well in the end.….STILL what a bozo mistake to make!

Analysis-

I couldn’t use the big Fabriano roll as

  • there wasn’t space in the room to unroll it
  • I hadn’t got a table large enough and putting it on the floor as I’d first thought was impractical because of the age of the likely visitors
  • the long pasting table we were going to use wasn’t strong enough to allow printing.

Shame though, I still like the idea of a communal group piece of printing as a symbolic piece of work with democratic decisions being made as part of the process….for another project, maybe….

I also laid out a ‘John Bull’ miniature printing set and people did mess about with this.

Occasionally combining  it with the the cut-ups, below, to link the text…………….

People did use the lino cut  ‘type’ and again engaged well.

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_JSH9431

Did they see the link between the newspapers and the printing activity… and the wider link between digital comms…. the past and the present.

I like to think so but it would have been more tangible link if I could have had a digital comms connection and the live feed etc..

But thats sort of what it was about too.

A non- sequitur, a paradox.

Global news Whist:

I’d played around with the Sports Direct deck of cards that was used in the Reading Room for the Whist Drives and made a deck with each suit covered with images from:

El Universale – Mexico (28.05.15)   Hearts

Wall Street Journal – USA ( 14.05.15)  Spades

Independent – UK ( 09.04.15)  Diamonds

Al – Hayat – UK edition 26.04.15) Clubs

with the suits visible and the Sports Direct logo covered.

Making these was a good opportunity to study the imagery used in the different newspapers from the point of view of

Content ( depending on the breaking news in the locations most interesting to the various audiences- personal, financial, commodity, conflict, violence), humour, geography ) – US: mainly commodity, UK: some humour, Mexico: images of personal attacks and British news, Arabic: images of destruction and post-aggression .

Colour ( the lack of colour in the Arabic newspaper is immediately obvious and the emphasis on colour likewise in the `meican)

Gender – overall male bias. Few images of women at all

Layout and size ( Arab newspaper images tended to be portrait and smaller, US and UK larger and landscape)

China Today- UK edition ( not included here) has a graphic illustratration on the front every day and drawings throughout… not cartoons…

Practically speaking they were not really good to use as playing cards as they didn’t slide easily over one another and there were tiny differences between them.

A keen Whist Player would be able to notice these differences and remember what cards had been played from which hand…..and win!

also they were a bit crinkly in places as the PVA was hard to apply with some thin newsprint.

It would have been good to have had some printed especially with the images on, a proper deck,

Maybe worth looking in to for an extension of this……..

Analysis-

There weren’t sufficient people who wanted to play whist present at the event at the same time….

so they were there as an exhibit but not used interactively.

Whist was advertised on the posters.

Maybe I should take them to one of the existing whist drives and see what happens when they are used.

The trouble is Whist is a Very Serious business…. and not for messing about with…..Watch this space…

Cut-ups:

This idea came form looking at the Dada artists, their anti- war stance and their politics wrt  contemporary issues, the proximity of RAF Croughton and the activities that reputedly are carried out there. It is 100 years since the beginning of the movement and WW1.

I was also interested in using ideas of Chance which seem pertinent.

I had looked at some of  Gustav Mezger’s work with newspapers as below

I was really drawn to the Cut-up method of creating text as below

This particular methiod came from the Dadaist, Tristan Tzara

‘The poem will be like you’ -Tristan Tzara

To make a Dadaist poem:

Take a newspaper.
Take a pair of scissors.
Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.
Shake it gently.
Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.
Copy conscientiously.
The poem will be like you.
And here are you a writer, infinitely original and endowed with a sensibility that is charming though beyond the understanding of the vulgar.

Tristan Tzara

I adapted the idea though and cut words out of several newspapers written in English.

Local and national, UK broadsheets, China Today, USA Today, I think.

I cut words and very short phrases from these papers and then put the text in a box.

Participants were invited to take text randomly from the box one by one and stick the words on to a sheet of paper.

They could also choose an image from another box to create their own ‘page’

 

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Analysis –

As this had a stronger conceptual link with the location and my overarching ( hate that word) concerns, I feel happier about this as an activity.

It was placed closer to the refreshments in a ‘safe’ corner so about half of the visitors participated in this.

Maybe that’s also because it was quick, not too messy, didn’t involve using tools they hadn’t used before and there was no fear of ‘failure’……

 It was not as strong as the original poem piece and i think I should have made this link more obvious by showing the poem and possibly asking people to repeat the same action  as Tzara’s rather than adapt it.

 It diluted the meaning and made it ‘fun’ which is fine… but not so strong as a ‘serious’ interactive piece……..

 Here are some of the results so you can decide…including the one with added printed text… ‘lemurs’…….

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See next post for Film etc……..

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The Reading Room: Retrospective description and analysis 1: Audience(s)

It’s been nearly 2 months since this event and almost as long since my last post.

I’ve realised the reason for my tiredness…shingles… only diagnosed retrospectively a couple of weeks ago but its still left me feeling below par…

Sometimes its hard to recognise the difficulty between exacerbation of MS symptoms and something different… but on top of the shingles aftermath I had vertigo ( caused by excess heat during a week in Austria – It was worth it though…met Sarah in Innsbruck too so that was fab. Hi Sarah!) then a further infection…..and more time with cognitive insufficiency…..hence the delay.

Well that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it!

However, I decided just after the event that I would write up the analysis’ from a distance’ anyway… as a link to personal memory…I just hadn’t expected it to be from such a distance…..

It does mean that I will miss out some details, inevitably, but writing from this time perspective will be interesting as an exercise in remembering ‘ accurately’.

I’ll try to make some order out of my thoughts but within that I suspect there will be some randomness within the order…

Audience

Potentially there were two primary audiences for the event.

Those at the Reading Room and taking part directly and also those who went to the MA Show and had the opportunity of picking up a leaflet and following the instructions to call my mobile phone number and find the location.

I struggle with ‘audience’.

I am never sure who my audience is.

this isn’t good… how can I make work which addresses an audience if I don’t know who they are.

Previous work has addressed a contingent passing audience rather than a real ‘art’ audience and this is where I feel more ‘at home’, with an audience that is local and happens upon work which may or mayn’t be ‘art’

It’s hard to do this justice in an exhibition, even through documentation and I have restled with this and the concept and reality of documentation for some time.

some of my work has been about documentation itself which is how I got HERE

So this work attempted to address two audiences at the same time…..as part of the work itself.

Local

The local audience were the people of Croughton and surrounding villages.

I purposely did not advertise he event outside the village as I wanted it to be a local event with participants having some connection to the site.

The only’ outsiders’ who came were Jon Shapley who I had asked to document the afternoon and two visitors from  nearby village who had seen poster when I was working in the building and ‘popped in’ to see what was happening. They came back for the event.

I used posters with a ‘vintage’ look… downloaded font ( OldNewspaperType ) and layout taking a copy of the Daily Mirror as an example.

dmirrorthumb

 The first edition of this newspaper was published in 1903, the year the Reading Room was built.

Here is a quote from Information Britain

Launched by Alfred Harmsworth (the future Lord Northcliffe – British newspaper ownership so often coincides with elevation to the peerage for some reason) to capture a market under represented on Fleet Street at that time, i.e. women, The Daily Mirror was innovatively staffed mainly by women, including for the first edition Mary Howarth as editor.

I put posters up in the usual village places, there is no Post Office….. so… the Co-op and Jane put one in the bus shelter and the pub next door and the Reading Room itself.

There were lots of flyers also in the pub, Co-op and at Reading Room coffee mornings and whist drives for a few weeks prior to the event.

Whilst I’d been filming I’d been to lots of the social events and so they knew `i was going to be ‘doing something’.

I emailed an American couple from the RAF Base who had been at a dog training evening and also  the  couple who lived close and were passing by.

One was an artist who had worked previously in animation  at the local Animation Station and now, interestingly, worked for the Landmark Trust, a charity that renovate old buildings for use as holiday homes.

I also contacted the village website to get the event put on  but it didn’t appear after two ‘leaving of details’.

I got an email from the webmaster the evening after the event, as below.

Sorry – I only caught up with my backlog this week end – so I missed this.
Please try to give me a months notice to be sure.
All the best.

Jane apparently gave the details to the village newsletter which is distributed to every household in the village.

So everybody in the village should have known about it.

What I didn’t do was use social media as I wanted it to be available to a specific audience.

Camberwell

By showing the poster for the event ( but without location printed), flyers to provide a level of information and maybe intrigue as well as my contact details, and a larger pictorial flyer ‘illustrating’  elements of the event I had hoped to engage an audience at the MA Show.

The idea was that people would take a flyer and a leaflet , look at them in association with the poster and maybe follow the instructions, as below;

The Reading Room was built in 1903 by local landowner and benefactor, Edward Ramsay.

Jane (from Middlesex) and Richard (from Cleveland) now care for The Reading Room.

They met in 2009 on ‘Farmland’, keep bees and enjoy GEOCACHING.

FIND THIS LOCATION

Call : 07956 159954

The font I used was Helvetica Neue as this is the one used on iPhones.

Originally I’d used a different font for each line… referencing the text so for instance Farmland was in the Facebook font and Geocache

The Reading Room was built in 1903 by local landowner and benefactor, Edward Ramsay. Old Newspaper Types download

Jane (from Middlesex) and Richard (from Cleveland), now care for the Reading Room . Times

They met in 2009 on Farmland, keep bees and enjoy GEOCACHING. Lucida Grande Facebook And Arial Narrow Geocache website??? Farmland Verdana from website

FIND THIS LOCATION Arial but sharp outline therefore Bold on Google Earth

Call : 07956 159954 Helvetica Neue I Phone 4

Lots of work and very interesting but actually FAR too complicated and a waste of time….Would anybody have noticed and understand… also it meant that the message on the flyer was complicated not made easier to read by the font…

so it defeated the object really.

Anyhow, the idea was that on the day ( or possibly before as the MA Show Preview was on the Thursday and the event on the Saturday afternoon, people may pick up the flyers and call or text me.

Then I could send them the location by text or email with a pin for the Reading Room.

I hoped for conversations by call, Face time or Skype about the project and The Reading Room itself and its proximity to RAF Croughton and the contrasts in methods of communication  technology in the two different places.

I had hoped for any callers to then call again during the Reading Room event and then conversations could occur between people in the Reading Room and people in London… or wherever… a sort of ‘Old meets New’ if that’s not too naff…

The plan was also to try and stream a Live Event from the Reading Room.

I planned to send participants a link so that they could see the context and the action.

I also displayed posters of the following QR codes for links to a Soundcloud account  ( lots of soundless made from the Reading Room and interviews with local woman about her memories of the Reading Room)

QR_Soundcloud

and a Youtube channel ( a link to the ‘Live Stream’)

QR_YouTubeChannel

so that participants could look at other material ‘ after the event’.

The Result !

Local

As you can see from the documentation there was a very small and selective response and engagement form the village.

To some extent this represents the difficulties that the Reading Room itself has in attracting an audience for any of its activities.

Other factors were

  • Charlton Village Fete ( a big event in the next village) was on the same afternoon as were other local ‘happenings’.
  • The fact that I am not from the village and maybe seen to be doing something ‘ I knew nothing about’? I had not contacted other village groups such as the local History Society or Reading Group as I had originally thought.Mainly because of lack of time.The more integration with the community the better the response. Obviously…
  • Suspicion of an ‘art activity’. There is an art group on the village and I had not approached them.
  •  Several people were on holiday as it was just at the beginning of the school holidays.

So, on another occasion I think I would make more effort to do these things and realise just how much time it takes in a community where you don’t live and they have not commissioned the work.

I was really pleased though by the quality of engagement if not the numbers.

The local vicar and curate came and were interested in the concepts behind the work.

The local people who did come stayed for some time, around an hour or more on average, and engaged fully with the activities I’d set up and watched the film for its full length.

The film was well received. More about this later.

One gentleman who came made a special effort as he didn’t usually attend Reading Room events although his wife does.

He lived  and worked on the farm where the stone used to build the Reading Room was quarried, was a member of the Reading Room from the age of 14 when he started work and held both his Wedding Reception and Golden Wedding Reception in the Reading Room.

He brought a photograph, which he keeps in his wallet.

IMG_1973 IMG_1975

The conversations ranged from memories and myths of the Reading Room and the village to stories of working in Russia during and after the Cold War.

So the link between local and global was alive in the conversation. ( if not in the technology as you can read below!)

I met this man again to glean more information and discovered that he was not only a member of the Reading Room, paid subscription and had a Membership Card until it was lent to someone else and not returned, but he also worked at RAF Croughton!

Camberwell

Despite the label to the work asking people to call me and FIND THIS LOCATION

No-one contacted me at all.

Not my friends who visited the show, or any of my cohort or my tutors………

Even a friend who I specifically asked if the extra label I send to be put on the plinth BY the flyers was actually there… saying PLEASE TAKE A FLYER AND LEAFLET… she didn’t call me..

There are several possible reasons for this…

  •  Mistrust of just calling a number from your phone….maybe….
  • Disinterest… the work was not engaging… maybe i  should have shown the film as well, but I did’t want to. I wanted the film to be shown in the community first and anyway there will have to be at least 2 versions… more on this in another post.
  • Lots of people took a leaflet and flier whilst I watched at the preview and then…put them back! Hence me sending and extra label instructing them to TAKE AWAY!!!
  • There is just too much work at a show for things with little immediate impact to be seen at all.
  • People generally don’t like to participate…. ( I haven’t previously, believed this and have not found it to be true wit other work I’ve done but this time it seems to be true)

However, it didn’t really matter as on the day of the event there, as expected, was no phone signal or Broadband available at all at any time in the Reading Room

or even outside although BT Open Reach shows as available… it ain’t.

Maybe some people did try to call then but didn’t leave a message

I like to think so but I don’t really imagine this was the case.

So a live stream was set up to start… But it didn’t happen.

Worth trying though for the sake of it. I might even remember how I did it and try again sometime.

I had to borrow my son’s Chromebook as my laptop is very old and didn’t support Chrome.

I had to pay him too…

 SUMMARY

Not a huge take-up . but I often think my work has a sort of ripple effect.

A small audience but hopefully one that is affected deeply and remembers for a long time… that the experience has some impact on future action

In retrospect, I should have invited colleagues and friends to the Event but at a later time, maybe in the evening following on from the local community so that the event could be intimate and personal and about the community…as it was…. but also other people got to see it and there was an interaction between the two…. a much better idea. I could have advertised the other event on social media but with the later start time.

I did think others would have found some elements more engaging than the Croughton Community and vice versa so it was a big missed opportunity. Although now I have all the materials etc I can set it up another time more easily.

I may even do it as a fundraiser  some time next year.

From a research point of view it was an invaluable experience as an experimental participative method.

I’ll discuss this in another post.

The spread of printing, the Semiotics of Newspapers, Walter Benjamin, Dada and politics

1st June 2015:

During the end of May and the beginning of June I realised that the printing bug had spread.

People get hooked on it, from the simple foam impressions to linocut and collograph. I thought about the spread of the printing activity, the spread of printed word, and the way the internet is being seen as a similar phenomenon.

I was thinking about the images that were printed and the images printed in the newspapers I was receiving.

As I  have mentioned in earlier posts, I had requested papers from friends and colleagues who lived abroad or were travelling as well as buying UK editions of international papers.

My colleagues from MAFAD have been especially helpful with an exchange system in place… ‘Banbury Cakes’ a traditional delicacy in exchange for newspapers.

Jason has already had his

On 15 Jun 2015, at 05:14, Jason M  wrote:
Thank you for the cakes, Hwang postcard and cheque,Rhiannon!

It might have taken a while but the sheer suspense made it all worth while!

Hope all is Hunky Dory in Banbury

J

People were going on holiday, pilots were sending me papers from the planes they were flying. I was buying them compulsively when I saw any.

The images differ from country to country, in terms of layout, ( Landscape/ portrait, colour ( US and UK and Mexico),drawn ( China Today) and content ( very different in the Middle East from Europe, US and China)

Thinking about printing text and image, layout and the semiotics involved

I’ve just found this: Semiotics of Newspapers which will be interesting reading.

I should insert some images from newspapers here

I’d also been thinking about Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and what Benjamin says about Dadaism, anti-art, non-marketability, capitalism and consumerism and participation. Also about the influence of anti-war and Dada. and the use of newspaper cut-ups e.g.

Tristan Tzara’s The Recipe for a Poem.  

How to Make a Dadaist Poem
(method of Tristan Tzara)
To make a Dadaist poem:

Take a newspaper.
Take a pair of scissors.
Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.
Shake it gently.
Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.
Copy conscientiously.
The poem will be like you.
And here are you a writer, infinitely original and endowed with a sensibility that is charming though beyond the understanding of the vulgar.
–Tristan Tzara

I had started to think this maybe something that I could adapt for an event at the Reading Room.

Referencing Dada but not overtly. About how Dadaism was relevant to theReading Room , its geographical location and the contemporary political context. 

 I was thinking too about Benjamin’s thoughts on film from the earlier post of my notes.

“Given the circumstances, the film industry has every interest in arousing the participation of the masses by means of illusionary presentations and suggestive speculations.”

‘The fact that the work of art can now be reproduced by technological means alters the relationship of the Masses to art’

‘That is what constitutes their hidden political significance. They already call for a specific type of reception. Free-floating contemplation is no longer an appropriate reaction here. They unsettle the viewer: he feels obliged to find a specific way of approaching them.’

‘different techniques to slow motion and closer “bring out wholly new structural formations” slow motion gliding, floating, supernatural’

(Andre Breton says that the main value of a work of art is its capacity to reflect the future.)

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The Reading Room : 8th visit

Context:

Before the events in my last post this had happened  Nepalese earthquake on 25th April and there was lots of astounding video footage on YouTube and  from the  Avalanche in Everest which was worse than the one the previous year.

8th Visit : 30th April 2015

I wanted to bring world events back to the Reading Room as it is now isolated through its lack of Broadband connection, lack of mobile connection except on a couple of networks and poor analogue radio signal.

I brought in some of the papers I had received from donors and some that I had bought on trips to Oxford and London.

You can only get China Today in Sainsburys, Banbury.

When I asked at WHS for a Washington Post they looked at me as if i was crazy…

So I made some video of Jane and myself just looking through the international newspapers in the Reading Room.

The papers were mainly American but UK Press, Arabic and the same, China today and some European, French, Spanish and German but all bought in the UK.

The tables were all set up for the Coffee Morning.

I’m not sure. I will have to look but I think that by this time the Earthquake was old news and not headlining the papers any more.

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