Gestures of Reading

Satu Herrala, Anastasia (A) Khodyreva

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formPerformanceArt in coproductionpeer-review


Gestures of Reading is a slow cyclical project that embodies and re-senses a process of reading to nurture critical and soothing communality that, we know, takes a moment to form. It is a proposition to co-make a reading circle and, during 8 gatherings, share a space, a text, a voice, a breath, a silence, a noise and summon gestures that tend to sensitivities and specificities of various reading bodies. We begin from the premises that as artists, researchers, organisers, and human beings, we read & often we know that we know because we read “those” texts with “those” people at “that” time. Here, reading is a situation and worldmaking practice capable to tickle subversive works into existence; reading does not just happen—effortlessly, in no time, universally accessibly, in solitude, in a chair or by the desk. Reading happens in dyslexic, exhausted, small-font ways, as slow committed reading, in generative noise of conversations; it nurtures notes on the edges of a book and of a reading body. Specifically, we wonder what kind of anti-capitalist, anti-chrononormative and anti-ableist worlds we might read out into existence together, paying attention to each other’s difference.

Rather than only asking what texts mean, we centre bodies, affect, senses and attention to each other and socio-environmental atmospheres in which we read. We ask how can a well-known text be sensed and embodied anew? How may a text smell, touch, stick or sound? May breathing be a way of reading? What kind of spaces, temporalities and situations might an event of reading make? Keeping these questions close, we will engage with a constellation of well-known and quieter texts (written and audio-recorded) that pay and give attention to subversive worldmaking, collectivity, bodily differences, solidarity across differences, abolition, and more writing by, among others, Etel Adnan, Daisy Lafarge, Audre Lorde, Karen Barad, Vilém Flusser, Astrida Neimanis, Donna Haraway, Sunaura Taylor, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.

The information on artistic outputs in the Aalto Research Portal follows the reporting guidelines of Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture. Therefore, each contribution requiring independent artistic activity is reported separately. For full details of the work and its contributors, please refer to information provided by the publisher.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherGallery Titanik
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024
MoE publication typeF2 Partial implementation of a work of art or performance
EventGestures of Reading - Titanik galleria, Turku, Finland
Duration: 1 Feb 20241 Feb 2024

Field of art

  • Performance
  • Contemporary art


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