Imogen Reid : Work in Progress


In obstructing the reader’s ability to draw on his or her established reading habits, and effectively resisting passive assimilation, each text aims to draw the reader’s attention to the structures that usually underpin conventional reading practice; to the material properties of the printed page, and the margins that surround it, for example, the running headers and pagination, to paragraph length, side notes and the tactile qualities of the paper itself, etc. Utilizing visual technique to cut across and alter the pace and line of reading/speaking, each text effectively encourages the reader to physically engage with it, to feel the halting sentence structures, to experience the unexpected variations in vocal rhythm and intonation generated in the reader’s encounter with it. In so doing each text aims to incite alternative, interactive, embodied forms of reading/speaking practice."

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Work-In-Progress II

Treated Book Pages, Part 2: Notes To An Illegible Text

Set between recurrent pagination and footnotes, the viewer/reader is presented with a partially erased page of ‘writing’, the trace of an unidentified source text that folds back on itself in a literal repetition. In returning the viewer/reader to the same page, and thereby thwarting any customary impulse he or she may have had to move on, the viewer/reader’s attention is redirected toward the stranded footnotes at the bottom of the page. No longer indexed to a legible text, these decontextualized, nonsensical notes act as prompts encouraging the viewer/reader to draw on his or her own experience to fill in the blanks, and to participate in the production of a new, as yet unwritten, narrative.


In giving priority to notation and annotation, the treated page seeks to reconfigure the space surrounding the ‘central’ text as an ideal site for the viewer/reader to record the unsorted thoughts and feeling generated during the activity of reading, to accumulate notes, to make comments in the margins, thereby collapsing any clear distinction between the practice of reading and writing.   

Imogen Reid completed a practice-based PhD at Chelsea College of Arts, her practice being writing. Her thesis focused on the ways in which film has been used by novelists as a resource to transform their writing practice, and on how the non-conventional writing techniques generated by film could, in turn, produce alternative forms of readability. Among the writers explored during the course of her research were: William S. Burroughs, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Don DeLillo, Marguerite Duras, and Michel Butor. Her work has appeared in issue three of Partisan Hotel magazine, issue five of LossLit, and in 3AM magazine. She has work forthcoming in issue nine of Gorse Journal, and in issue four of The Projectionist’s Playground. She is a member of The Reader’s Union at Copy Press.