There are books I read and others I hear; I have even felt a sentence trace its way across my arm. I like to be aware of my body while I read: frenetically underlining, scribbling in the margins of an essay,
parergon: a piece that’s supplementary to or a by-product of a larger work.
Listening while driving, listening while cooking, listening while mopping and scrubbing my way around Orlando’s post-coma gender shift and the desire for a barefoot home.
I brushed your hair as you read me a story from a book you found while traveling, our Sunday morning collaboration.
I multitask for pleasure.
Each shelf is a context. And each shelf is within a context.
See Finite and Infinite Games
Gordon quoting Conderelli quoting Arendt quoting Cicero:
“The company that one chooses to keep, in the present as well as in the past…” Close your eyes and imagine that someone is reading to you, a person with whom you’ve wanted to spend time. Select something to read together.
We were reading as the day faded. I switched on A Light for Collaborating at Night and we continued.
How is reading aloud with another different from reading silently alone? First it requires consent, and then that you make time for each other, deciding what to read and where and perhaps when to switch. It can feel like a love letter and its response being crafted in real-time. The non-sound of a lover’s thoughts slipping into the spaces between lines is as pleasurable as the text itself.
We took a break to pour some cognac, book still in hand. The sound of swallowing, warm and measured, became the sound of reading.
I have brought some of my books (with you in mind) to a library located at 3307 W Washington Blvd. You and this person you would like to spend time with can read to each other, the way you would if time didn’t escape from us, as it does, all the time. Through this reading-action we can accession a new tome into the permanent collection. You and your reading partner and me and the bookshelves’ caretaker can work on this together. I will think of our work as sensual collaborative multitasking, but perhaps you will call it something else, like reading with a lover. What does this sound like? Press record.
Meghan Gordon (b. 1985, New York, NY) is a Los Angeles-based artist, writer, and facilitator who creates exhibition frameworks that invite collaborative practice. Recent projects include some times, a performative project space in the form of an itinerant bar; Studio Cooking (in collaboration with Arden Surdam), a series of meal-based programs at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; Toggle (with the collective neverhitsend), a digital residency and exhibition platform at 221A, Vancouver, BC. Gordon received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and is currently Associate Director at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. She has received support from several arts organizations, including The Artist Project Los Angeles, NYFA, Sculpture Space, The Times Museum, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Wave Hill, MacDowell Colony, and Burlington City Arts. Gordon describes her approach to collaborative practice as “temporary autonomous relationships with an end date.”
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