Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Re- (Unfixed)

Image: Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker, Re- (UNFIXED), 2010

UNFIXED is a series of events developed by Reading for Reading Sake (RfRS) that will take place at Flat Time House, John Latham Foundation and Archive from Thursday 2nd December – Saturday 4th December. Contributors include Politics and Aesthetics Reading Group, Patrick Coyle, David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham (with Emma Cocker), John Hill. See further information and the full programme here.

RfRS Curatorial Outline

To read is to absorb, comprehend, determine and evaluate. These processes come to pass not only in the interpretation of a text, but in the perception of any given material. All material is data to be read, accordingly all material is privy to the particular positioning of a participant within a given time and space. 

John Latham understood books as symbols of fixed knowledge. The printed word, inscribed for its purpose in a particular moment lays unchanged, whilst the universe moves on regardless. How can artists reactivate the fixedness of publications and make the words move with the universe?

Contributors to the programme work with an attention to the publicness and privateness of any given reading moment and the activation therein. Certain discourses reappear across works in the show, most prominently: collectivity and singularity, text as score, pedagogy, haptic gestures, instruction and fallibility, displaced words, the mediation of one text with another, dissemination, dialogue, bodies of knowledge, publishing as performance, and the fixedness of the printed word.


Re – is an ongoing, iterative performance reading that presses on two writers – and two writing practices – coming together to explore process, product and performance (of text). For UNFIXED, Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker present a re-iteration of Re – that essays the relationship between performance/document, live/recording, writing/written through the collision of spoken, textual and gestural languages.

This re-staging (of a previous performance, Re Afterlive) attempts to re-activate or unfix how the performance document functions, where the disparate parts or fragments of documentation inevitably begin to fall out of sync, creating the potential for new connections and relations between the different elements of the work. Presented side-by-side, two monitors relay fragments of a performance, two facets of the same event rubbing up against one another: the promise of dialogue. A live spoken text fluctuates in and out of the installation – sometimes as a scheduled reading for an audience, at times unannounced, on other occasions silently – at first attempting to synchronize with the elements presented on the monitors, but gradually failing to keep pace over time.