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2019|Text [READ THIS WORD THEN READ THIS WORD] (1969) by Vito Acconci, software, video and sound, duration: 18:20 min.


How can one unlearn something one has forgotten learning?

Reading Vito Acconci is based on the artist’s encounter with Acconci’s text [READ THIS WORD THEN READ THIS WORD]. In the video, the text is projected and gradually drawn over by an animated trace of the captured artist’s gaze. The artist counts the letters aloud in his native tongue. The animation and the sound are the  record of the cognitive activity, bringing to the fore spatial, temporal and kinetic relations between the moving eyes and the graphic territories of the letters. Simultaneously, the video interferes with the field of operations taking place between the projected text and the visitor’s gaze and inner voice. The text is broken into a string of consecutive letters and the temporalities of looking, seeing, perceiving and saying are differentiated. Through these strategies, the video becomes an instrument to unlearn underlying yet forgotten rules of the internalized and sub-cognitive activity of reading that are semantically laid bare in Acconci’s text.

Reading Vito Acconci is a part of artistic research project Reading Reading (2017-). The research project is a manifestation of the various ways to capture, embody and unsettle the temporal relations that unfold between the written text, eye movement, and the (inner) voice while reading. By altering ocular desire and stretching the time between sensing and making sense, the experiential works provide an acoustic, poetic and critical opening to reading as a sub-cognitive activity.

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