The inSite workshop was part of a collaborative 3-day digital event during the RCA WIP Show 2021. I had the opportunity to design and facilitate this event with VisCom fellow students, namely, Anastasia Arjalies, Leonidas Anagnostou, Lothar Wiessmann, Myrna Marianovits, Yan Li, Yimin Qiao and Wing Shan Wong(Pat). As “SITE” students, we decided to organise inSite in order to highlight the spatial and methodological aspects of site-specificity as a feature in one's creative practice. For this event, we invited three artists, Emeric Lhuisse, David Roberts and Anna Hart, that opened each day by presenting their work. Following each lecture, different students led short workshops or introduced the audience to their practice.

inSite Day 3

Specifically, on the third day, I presented a part of my practice and ran a short workshop. The site that I was examining was a page of a text, and I used Asemic Writing as a tool to explore the idea of multiple narratives.

Through my Asemic Writing research, I am trying to question the idea of authorship, starting from a written text and opening up more generally to the concept of language, which is everywhere. What are the dominant narratives around us? How much do we allow different narratives to enter and be considered equally?

Learning from an early age the need to decode and find out what the author of a text wants to say; is not allowing the reader to be free and express himself/herself as he/she wants. Thus, I realise that making notes - a natural- process while reading a text brings up a personal perspective of interpretation to the surface. An active engagement that allows you to intervene in a narrative intimately.

Collective Reading & Annotating

For the workshop, I selected five different texts which challenge the concept of semiotics and communication from different perspectives:

  1. Dialectic & dialogic conversation,Richard Sennett, Together -The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation.

  2. Magdalen Walks, Oscar Wilde

  3. ‘Twitter permanently suspends Trump’s account to prevent ‘further incitement of violence’, The Guardian (extract from the article)

  4. The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes (extract
    from the essay)

  5. ‘Cities & Signs 1’, Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino (chapter from the book)

For this joint exercise, I asked people to abandon the traditional way of taking notes and meet in a safe space (anonymously) where they could read & annotate together—allowing the aspect of play, interaction and interfering with each other. Participants came across other people's marks and entered a new mode of discussion since some found similarities and other interesting differences in the way they examined the text.

After mark-making, an exercise of text abstraction followed to highlight the beauty and the importance of having polyphony in a group of people and generally in a community. Colourful voices became visible, pointing out the existence of multiple layers of reading and narratives.
Click to redirect to Mural platform. (Sreenshot from the workshop)

(Sreenshot from the workshop - text abstraction - Asemic Writing)