Psychometry of Texts: The Limits of Reading?

20 November 2021


Venue: Cubitt gallery, 8 Angel Mews London N1 9HH

Organiser: Vladivostok Vax

Vax Vladivostok is a collective of five individuals interested in exploring the experimental ramifications of the seance, collaborative process and the dialogue betweeen fiction and non-fiction. 'Vax Vladivostock' is also a fictional spirit entity the group met during an experimental seance.

This workshop will use some of the conventions associated with reading groups and psychic development circles to explore the limits of reading. In a reading group, conventionally understood, a group of people meet regularly to discuss a book they have all read. Within academia, reading set texts in private and discussing them in a group is commonplace. However, the curious mechanisms whereby marks on paper have meaning is often left unexplored. Similarly, other ways in which we might ‘read’, engaging other modes of our being, are underexplored. This workshop will extend the conventional definition of ‘reading’ to include the sense it is used in another context, that of psychic development, where ‘reading’ can also be an act of non-rational, non-verbal expressing of information, where the information is not conventionally codified, and where the information is obtained from non-textual sources, e.g. an object (psychometry) or a person (telepathy). In the workshop we will attempt to ‘read’ texts sealed inside envelopes, invisible to the naked eye. Participants will be encouraged to explain what meanings they are aware of, answer questions about those meanings, and discuss their interpretations, as well as reflect on the process of reading at its limits.